Guest post from Brent Quincy Buchanan who used to work at Warner Music, signed Children Collide, Ladyhawke and The Galvatrons. Now runs his own company called The Grindhouse working with bands to help them build online communities.
During the 1950’s and 1960’s bands knew the importance of connecting with their fans. They set up fan clubs which was a way to keep connected with their fan base and make more money from them in the process. So why is it that 60 years later that every artist and label isn’t an expert on fan connection. Too lazy? Can’t see the ROI? Blame the 80’s and 90’s when the money was flowing. You didn’t have to work as hard to see results. I am truly blown away by the fact the major labels and a lot of bands these days don’t understand the basic principle of fan connection or if they do don’t do very much about it. Without that connection you have nothing. Well you have something but a twinkle in your eye and a collection of great songs isn’t going to buy you all that shit you want and don’t really need is it?
Trent Reznor gets it. Radiohead gets it. Lilly Allen…now she gets it. Her site is amazing. If I was a hard core Lilly fan I could go visit her site everyday and feel apart of what she is doing. She’s even doing treasure hunts on Twitter for tickets. Lilly Allen first week of release went to number one in a bunch of territories. Granted there were a few reasons why this happened, PR, Marketing, good songs but one important factor was that she had her core fans mobilsed. She had been interacting with them during the whole recording process so when the record dropped they all went out there and purchased it week of release (even with a whole lot downloading it for free).
Bottom line is artists need to connect with their fans. Let them feel apart of it. I don’t mean to be the bearer or bad news here but kids don’t buy cds anymore, were you not keeping up? Although they are still quite happy to pay to see a show or buy a bands hoodie, these kids want exclusivity and access. The beauty of the internet is that you can accommodate this with relative ease. So if you’re in a band or working for a label. Pull your finger out. Stop complaining about the industry being fucked and connect with you fans properly. Your fans are your customers. Rant over.