Direct To Fan versus Direct To Influencer
Noush Skaugen is beautiful, talented, and she has a over a million followers on Twitter. In 2012, Noush uploaded “Run Baby Run” to YouTube. At a minimum, her music video is well worth watching by every one of her fans, friends and followers. However, eighteen months later, Run Baby Run has accumulated 2,637 views, and seven of those were from me.
It doesn't matter what you think about Noush, the song, the video, or her promotion efforts, unless your name is Beyonce, promoting direct to fans is a bitch.
The average iTunes account only generates $12 in music revenue per year. It has also been said that paying music consumers are only worth $14 to $16 a year to a label. The average person probably only acquires 30-40 new songs a year. And, when it comes to falling in love with songs, most humans require numerous listens, social cues, and imprinting experiences. It’s no wonder that 91% of all artists remain undiscovered.
All this should tell you that the odds of selling songs via direct-to-fan strategies are extremely slim. Obtaining enough spins and mentions across all of your fans, friends, and followers to generate worthwhile revenue from music sales is a herculean task.
It breaks my heart when I see music promoters chasing social media dreams. Following to get followers, buying views, endless posting, and pointless inviting...are all strategies that suck. Unless you are trying to politely inform fans about upcoming shows, just about every other DTF activity is a wheel-spinning waste of human energy.
There really is a better way…
Ten years ago, there was radio. Today, there’s new radio. New radio is everywhere on the web. It’s anywhere and everywhere music is curated (selected) and posted or played by others. New radio can be heard in retail stores, at your dentist, in your car, on your phone, through your computer, and it can be found wherever influencers post music videos and audio widgets. Anyone with an audience is a new radio DJ. There are more influencers today curating, mentioning, spinning, streaming, and posting songs than ever.
New radio DJs include the guy posting music videos to his 3,000 friends on Facebook, the venture capitalist with 300,000 followers, music curators at streaming companies, music supervisors, music bloggers, and just about anyone with an audience (influence) and an inclination to promote songs he or she likes.
Self-promotion is noise. This is different. Influencers consciously or unconsciously consider their attention capital accounts every time they post, and nobody wants their audience to shrink over a bad recommendation. As a consequence, recommendations from respected influencers (any niche) are taken more seriously.
New radio DJs ( influencers) are relatively easy to find. You can use any one of the services/sites listed in my previous post on influencer engagement marketing.
However, engaging influencers is still hard work; it always was. You simply can't pitch your song, video, product, or service to strangers unless you make friends first. Alternatively, you could bypass the lengthy friend-making process by paying influencers for their time and attention. Consider fee-based services like MusicXray (i am a stockholder), Fluence, Clarity.FM, TapInfluence, or InMail from LinkedIn to reach influencers directly.
If you have an aversion to paying someone to listen to your music, then go back to extorting ‘likes’ out of your target audience. Paying for feedback and for the possibility of a mention, a spin, a placement, or inclusion in a rotation / playlist is FAR less draining (soul, energy, and money) than the DTF / social strategy dreams artists invest in now.
This post was written by @brucewarila
The average iTunes account generates just $12 in music revenue per year.
To one major label, the average streaming customer in the US is worth $16 a year, while the average buyer of digital downloads or physical music is worth about $14 a year.
To survive on noodles, an artist needs 'to sell' 37,000 streams per month.
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