I haven’t blogged about Direct to Fan marketing lately since the band is still in the studio (quiet as can be)…but I ran across something today in my mail that intrigued me enough to throw it out here on the blog, just in case anyone is reading!
We all watch videos on YouTube. In this day and age, I don’t really see how one can escape YouTube – we go there to listen to songs, see clips from various shows and TV, and yes, even the occasional music video. There’s a whole royalty payout system that goes on (or doesn’t go on, depending upon who you talk to), over there that I don’t really understand the full mechanics of – but in any case, it prompted a few folks to come up with a platform they call Audiam. Ultimately, Audiam seeks to help artists receive royalties from YouTube, as well as introduce new methods for exposure.
One such way they want to increase exposure for bands is by having the band encourage fans to take their music and create their own videos. The way it works is the band chooses one song and tells their fan base to make videos for it. That seems, well…like something that has been done before, but what’s different is that this time, the fan gets paid. *blinks* Wait a second, why on earth would a band want their fans to get paid for using THEIR music?!? Good question.
Here’s the scenario: Duran Duran comes out with their new album. They want videos for their music – so maybe the band decides to do a video of one of their songs, but there’s another song that they’d really love to use in order to gain more exposure. So they announce that they want fans to create their own video to the song. Granted, fans are going to get paid for these videos being viewed, but for the band – it’s about exposure. Maybe 10 fans who wouldn’t normally use Duran’s music decide that they want to create a video. They each upload that video and it gets viewed 1000 times. That’s 10,000 views the band didn’t have before, and if the band does it right, they can even have the fans direct viewers back to the original piece of music or another video of theirs from the fan-made video. It’s about numbers, and it’s very similar to doing an ad-campaign. For free.
The band has done a similar thing before when they did the Genero video contest for AYNIN, and TV Mania even allowed fans to create franchises and then submit videos and music in a contest. (Hey, did that contest ever end?!) This is simply another version of the same sort of promotion, once again creating a sort of “We’re all in this together” feel.
While I’m not at all sure of the economic viability in such a platform – for the artists or the company itself, it does seem that more and more these days, fans are being put in the drivers seat as opposed to being the passive passenger…or purchaser. There are still any number of annoying obstacles in the way for bands these days, as they stumble to figure out how to use many of these new platforms to benefit their bottom line and increase their exposure. I don’t envy those who make their living trying to figure out the answer to getting paid (from streaming, YouTube, etc.) or learning how to maximize the possible benefits to social networking. I see enough on SEO as it is – being told that we need links everywhere and so forth. My personal opinion is that while all of this is fine and good, the personal connection has to be there. People are far more willing to go out of their way for people/bands they like and who they feel respect them in return. The ONE thing I learned in sales was that people buy from people that they know, like and trust. It is just not possible for one band to know every single one of their fans…but they can certainly put themselves out there to try once in a while. It’s a good system for the people who are smart enough and sincere enough to put the time in to make it work.