We recently wrote about a new feature from Songkick, called Detour, that can be used to crowdsource a concert
to guarantee for a performer that it's worth going to a show there. Songkick now has another example
, which is even more interesting. This one isn't just about pre-proving a profitable demand level for a show, but about engaging with fans, finding new fans and really getting people engaged. It involved the band Hot Chip, who had an open day in their European tour, and was hoping to use it to play a "smaller" town -- one that many tours for similarly popular bands were bypassing. Songkick found 3 towns that the band hadn't headlined before -- and then let the three towns compete. What's interesting is how people in one town -- Folkestone -- went above and beyond to make it happen:
What happened next though was incredibly exciting. A bunch of superfans in Folkestone decided that they were going to make it happen. As one fan said, "Most bands don't come to this part of Kent, they tend to stop at London." They got super proactive and started to email all their friends and even petitioned the local radio station and newspaper. It exploded and went completely viral in a matter of hours through fan to fan word of mouth marketing, Hot Chip sold out. Check out the sales curve of pledges for the show, the huge viral spike is when fans started to self-organise.
Songkick has some interesting data points:
Some interesting things we learned:
- 70% of the people who pledged had never seen Hot Chip before. Detour is really creating new fan to artist connections.
- 66% of the attendees found out about the show through their friends (The rest from Songkick and Hot Chip)
- 1 (amazing) fan emailed over 2000 people they knew to try and spread the word.
In other words, such a platform isn't just about fans getting an act to show up somewhere, but also about getting fans to spread the word
, to evangelize and to help build the fanbase
much bigger. One thing we've definitely noticed about successful crowdsourcing campaigns is that they tend to create a sense of "ownership," which means that supporters have incentive to get their friends to support things too, which is a different form of "viral" marketing. Songkick notes, also, how far fans will go to support acts they like:
I think the thing that really blew me away was the level of self-organisation amongst fans. In a world where half the music industry is still focused on complaining about file sharing, people often forget that fan is short for fanatic. Hot Chip's fans are incredibly passionate about them and figured out a way to self-organise to make this show happen
Now, there is one caveat that Songkick doesn't mention that could be worth exploring as well. While it is great for those in and around Folkestone, does it upset those in Stoke or in York who are fans, but who didn't "win?" It seems possible, though hopefully they went into this understanding that was a possibility. Either way, we see that doing these kinds of things isn't just about pleasing existing fans, but finding more fans as well.