Case Study: How To Have Fun Connecting With Fans Like A Superstar DJ
from the take-that,-management dept
deadmau5 (pronounced 'dead mouse') is a great example for artists that want to make it in the music business. He is famed for his great production and unique style, which helped get him noticed and separated from the crowd. That's a good thing, because then it's worth talking about. What's remarkable about deadmau5 stretches further than his unique production style and performances (he wears this huge mouse-mask on his head). His level of engagement with his ecosystem (or fanbase, if you will) is exemplary.
Minecraft has been talked about before on Techdirt. Back in November, deadmau5 set up his own server for this sandbox-game in which players can craft their own world. His fans love it, and deadmau5 regularly pops in to hang out with them in 'mau5ville.' In a way, both deadmau5 and his fans emerge themselves in fan art. There are tons of videos of mau5ville online, so you can take a tour. One user even used the game's tools to make a cover of a song by deadmau5, which deadmau5 then shared with over 2 million of his fans. Other artists sometimes prefer to go the way of a takedown notice when a fan puts his energy into making fan art -- but deadmau5 prefers to promote it. You can see both videos below:
However, deadmau5 is not like other artists, and recently he showed this by buying about 20 Minecraft accounts and posting the gift codes on his Facebook page. He understands that having fun with your fanbase and spending a little money on it can be much more important than telling them to buy your music. He listens to his fans, and he informs them when they can buy new music, because that's what his fans want. But it's about more than just pushing what you have to buy.
In the beginning of December, deadmau5' marketing team decided they should get involved in communicating to his fans.
Apparently deadmau5 didn't like the fact that his management was disturbing the trust and rapport he had built up with the ecosystem, because those status updates were followed by deadmau5's:
Then he checked the backend of his Facebook page…
Excellent choice, in my opinion. This is the best thing he could do to earn back the trust of the ecosystem, because you really don't want to get on the bad side of the ecosystem. The ecosystem can reject you, the ecosystem can move on, the ecosystem doesn't need YOU in order to survive.
And the cool thing is, he wasn't thinking about marketing or self-preservation or strategy in the process of making his choices. It's just him, genuinely. And I guess the status update he posted 1 minute later shows just that:
It looks like deadmau5 recognizes his fans have more value than just a few purchases. Instead of complaining that his fans should buy his album for 15 euros, he is actually buying them Minecraft accounts for 15 euros a piece. This might be hard to understand for his management and a lot of other people in the industry, because if fans are free, how can they have value?