Your Fans - Guest Blog Post Brent Quincy Buchanan

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.

78 comments:

returnon said...

Great Julian got you to represent the music biz; its one industry that must embrace social media.

Availability is not the only aspect of music that is ubiquitous today. The tools to make music digitally has rendered anyone capable of production, irrespective of skill with actual instruments. Setting up a MySpace page and uploading music to last.fm is easy, cutting through the noise to be heard is not.

Hordes of upstart musicians vying for attention online might be heard, but they need more than good music to get fans. The fanbase is vital to commercial success. Fans feel a connection with the artist that discourages them from stealing and encourages live performance attendance.

Artists need to be personable, a social media campaign only facilitates the development of a fanbase. Concerts, behind the scenes, music videos and interviews give fans an impression of artist's personality.

In 2000 I got into a heated argument with a mate in a band when I extolled the virtues of Napster. He made the same complaint the music industry has been making since; "illegal downloads rob us of revenue (sob)". I argued that music sales would diminish in importance against the "experience" of live performance.

But who could predict the rise of online video and its impact on the music industry. Badly shot fan concert videos have all sorts of positive or negative implications (the Britney stage intruder a recent example). I'm yet to see the music industry embrace this aspect of the online community. Lily Allen could link favorite UGC YouTube videos from her site. It might further encourage fans and fence-sitters to go to her concert?

Stan Lee said...

Good post Brent. Made for an interesting read, especially in light of the leaking of the new Wilco album this week.

They get it. They emailed their mailing list to say the album had been leaked, gave a link to a charity for people who had downloaded to donate to if they wanted to. They also set up a stream of the album. Quite innovative I thought.

Brent Quincy said...

There's still a gap at the moment between what some bands and labels think is reality and to what actually is reality. Very few people consume music the way they use to. So as a band you can either move with the times and embrace it or just get left behind.

Everyone is spoilt for choice these days too so it's not like we'll wait around waiting for them to get their shit together. We'll just move on to the next bit of music we like.

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Gotta love this place!


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[url=http://stephetteh.wordpress.com/]Barrater is my life[/url]