Your Fans are Anonymous.

Welcome, artists & builders.

Each week, I cover tools & strategies to form better audiences. Today, we dive into the value of owning fan relationships & building longevity.

Inside Issue #12

💡 Thoughts: Your fans are anonymous
🛠️ Tools: Harness your hype
🗒️ Good Advice: Artist longevity
🗞️ What You Missed: Artist tools, web3 & AI

Artists’ fans are anonymous.

You don't know:

→ who goes to your shows
→ who streams your music
→ or even who follows you on social

Not really.

Platforms horde it. They know that's the real value.

Your goal is to move fans off platform & own the relationship.

Be the platform.

That doesn’t mean abandon all others.

Everything has its role from discovery to retention to monetization. Spotify. TikTok. Instagram - these are powerful tools. Use them, but..

  1. Know where they sit in your stack.

  2. Know your goals & purpose for each.

This is why I push having north-star metrics that align more closely with your goals than streams, listeners or followers. It defines where you drive fans.

Community Members
Email Subscribers

Something with a higher long-term value for you.

Otherwise, you’re building someone else’s platform. Not your own.

Why is owning fan data valuable?

1. Raise Your Baseline Reach From 0 → X.

  • 0 = Starting over again & again, relying on algorithmic reach & paid marketing.

  • X = Reach X fans directly at virtually 0 cost.

Get to where you can sell 1,000 limited edition items with a single message. No playlisting. No press. No viral moments.

That’s a sustainable artist business.

2. If You Don’t Own It, You Rent It

Artists spent years growing Facebook pages.

One day → you had to pay to reach your audience.
The next → all the music fans had left.

Spotify now runs Discovery Mode, Marquee & other artist-facing ad products. See where this goes?

3. Make Better Decisions

The more you know about your fans, the better you can deliver for them.

→ Tour in the right places.
→ Create the right products.
→ Super-serve each fan segment.

How do you make fans non-anonymous?

I’ve put some tactics together for subscribers here: Capturing Fan Data

Plus, tools for the job below.


In web3, decentralized identity is central. Even if the technology & adoption is not fully there, the ethos is traveling. Giving artists some access to fan data is now table stakes for new platforms.


Harness Hype for All Your Drops

Laylo is a drop CRM that collects fan interest for upcoming events.

It makes the RSVP process simple, capturing data & driving follow-through from your fans. Tickets, music, merch & more.

How a drop works:

  1. Unique drop pages for each event

  2. Fans can sign-up by email or text

  3. Auto-messages hit on drop day

  4. The data is yours (or use Laylo’s CRM)

Integrations with Shopify, Spotify, Instagram & major ticket providers make the process easy.

Why we like it: Artists only have so many moments. You need to bottle the hype from each one. Laylo is a sleek product built for individual events & the psychology of it works well.

Example Drops → Tour | Single | Merch

3 more like this…

  1. Symphony smart-automates your marketing from superfan CRM to forever-saves to cross-platform tracking.

  2. Showtime is a new NFT-for-presave tool with gated community channels.

  3. FeatureFM is a suite of fanbase tools from smart links to landing pages.


How can artists maintain longevity?

Who: Dave Edwards - Head of Revenue at Audiomack, music producer & founder of Grove - a new cannabis marketplace. Dave is a wealth of knowledge for artists & builders on growth.

The Question: How can artists maintain longevity?

The Answer:

One constant artists & producers with longevity share is adapting their style & sound over time. You don't want to just chase the latest trends, but if you want music to be a career, you will need to refine & evolve over time.

Never assume you have it all figured out or there is nothing else to learn.

Max Martin is the canonical example of this in my book. He's an expert at working with up-and-coming producers who make new sounds he may not be as well-versed in, while lending his unmatched expertise as a songwriter to the process. As a result he's remained the most dominant pop producer for going on three decades, which is unheard of in music.

Dave Edwards (Twitter | Newsletter)

🗞️ What You Missed

Deezer says they can detect generative-AI music & create an AI Content ID system for the music industry.

→ Scans uploaded tracks
→ Tags AI-generated tracks publicly
→ Flags for infringed rights-owners who can remove or monetize

Much like Youtube’s Content ID system.

🌥️ It’s unclear how they can identify AI music or how generative music is defined, but we need systems that make artists the biggest winners in AI.

🤝 Web3
  • wavWRLD launches wavGAME, a digital trading card music game

  • Noel Gallagher releases new album in digital pressing format on Serenade

  • Sound launches on Layer 2 chain Optimism

  • John Legend co-founded OurSong launch token reward system

🤖 Music x AI
  • Meta releases MusicGen AI model trained on 20k hours of licensed music

  • The Beatles use AI to isolate & restore John Lennon’s voice for ‘final song’

  • Japan says AI models can train on public data without license

  • Tunecore & Grimes partner on AI-voice licensing system

  • Boomy limits number of AI songs free accounts can generate

⚒️ Artist Resources

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That’s all this week. See you on Twitter or LinkedIn.

- Rob