How Imogen Heap Connected With Fans, And Created Her New Album With Their Help

from the cool-example dept

Another day, another example of a musician using social media tools to better connect with fans and built up true loyalty. This time, it's the story of how singer Imogen Heap involved her fans in the process of creating her latest album, using a variety of tools, including MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. She not only kept them in the loop of pretty much everything that was going on with the album, but she also reached out to them for ideas and support on certain parts of the album and its packaging (including fan-submitted artwork for the packaging). As the article notes, because of all of this, many of her fans feel personally invested in the album itself, making them more willing to purchase it when it comes out.

The whole story is interesting, though the one part I'm not sure I agree with was her decision to "fight back" against someone trying to auction off a pre-release copy of her album on eBay. Rather than complain about it, she did ask her fans to just bid up the price as high as possible, which helped eBay become aware of questionable activity on the auction, which they pulled down. As the article notes:
During a time when many music fans are clamoring for free music, Heap's fans actually helped ensure her music wasn't prematurely leaked.
While it does show the loyalty of her fans (and puts to rest the myth that fans will automatically try to get pre-released music), that strategy does seem a bit questionable and could result in eBay users losing their accounts. She claimed that she would make sure no eBay users were punished, but that's a decision up to eBay, not Heap. Still, overall, the entire story is definitely a great case study in really involving her fans in the process.
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Filed Under: connect with fans, cwf, imogen heap


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2009 @ 7:29am

    This seems to be the common thread of all of the "Masnick Success Stories", artists playing a type of music with loyal fans but much fewer of them.

    This is an (admittedly kind of esoteric) approach to business that those clandestine few "in the know" call "selling stuff to people who want to buy it."

    Would it just as easily enable publicly traded companies whose officers and employees are facing constant pressure from all over the place to adopt it mid-stride, while simultaneously retaining current market share, being first in line to sign up-and-coming artists to exclusive deals reminiscent of past successful contracts, continuing to build an exploitable catalog of IP holdings, and not even temporarily lose share value? Uh, probably not. I'm sure complaint forms are readily available at their local Office of Things That Are Not My Problem. Just FYI, I understand the lines there are long and the waiting area is a bit cramped, but well, y'know, take it up with them.

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