Fan Intent

Plus, Bandcamp sold again

Welcome, artists & builders.

Each week, we navigate music’s future together. Today I’m sharing my framework for thinking about all fan interactions.

Inside Issue #20

💡 Idea: It’s all about intent
📊 In Numbers: Streaming growth
🤔 Breakdown: Bandcamp sold again
🗞️ Plus: BlackPink, Bob Boilen, Web3 Grants & more

You don’t (just) need more fans.

You need people who care.

How do you measure who cares?

With intent:

Most of the ways people interact with music is low-intent.

  • In the background

  • Selected for them

  • Costs nothing

And most strategies are to increase the volume of these interactions.

Going after low-intent people in low-intent places, hoping they funnel down to something more valuable.

But that’s a hard journey:

  1. You need to play the reach game

  2. You need to find out who they are

  3. You need to convert them into fans

Because your monthly listeners don’t care.

They’re not your fans.

You need people who care.

You need high-intent fans with high-intent actions.

High-intent doesn’t necessarily require money. Time, effort, and energy all matter.

  • Buying

  • Joining

  • Interacting

Anything that shows they care.

Because caring is sticky.

When you give people high-intent ways to interact, they’re more likely to stick to you long-term, and attract more high-intent people.

Fans have new ways to show intent.

They’re more interactive.

Social listening.

Lean into these wherever you can.

It may feel small - like it’s one by one - but each relationship has far more value.

You want out of the hits game.

Where nothing is repeatable & you’re starting over every time.

→ Radio was the old hits game.
→ Playlisting was the next.
→ TikTok is the newest.

This doesn’t mean you don’t need discovery, it means you need people who stick around regardless if the next single or TikTok goes viral.

Without intent, you’ll always be playing the hits game.

You need fans.
You need connections.
You need people that actually care.

That’s repeatable.


Use intent to analyze opportunities, audience, and purpose. Volume x Intent = Value.

📚️ My 3 Favorite Reads This Week

  1. The future of the DAW: deep-dive on how DAWs will cope with AI & new tech, by Declan McGlynn

  2. Most of the creator economy is doing fine, it’s musicians who need help, by Adam Singer

  3. We can’t compete with AI girlfriends: eye-opening look at where AI chatbots are going.


Streaming growth is slowing in mature markets.

This is why we’re (finally) seeing price rises, which are good, but won’t be enough. We need new growth from interactivity, engagement & creation itself.


Bandcamp Sold….Again

Bandcamp has been sold to Songtradr.

Bandcamp is THE artist-friendly home for direct sales for over 5 million growing artists & labels.

It’s now been sold 2x in 18 months.

→ Mar 2022 to Epic Games
→ Sep 2023 to Songtradr

Songtradr is a B2B sync licensing platform:

  • Sells inexpensive syncs to brands & creators

  • Offers distro to the longtail of artists

  • Bandcamp artists can tap into this

Fine. But Bandcamp is far more central to artist's than an automated sync platform they could easily sign up for anyway.

I hate to see it ping-pong to the highest bidder.

🤔 Hopefully Songtradr gives it the love it deserves. If not, there’s many new platforms vying to capture this superfan & D2F moment.

🗞️ What You Missed

🧰 Oh, That’s Helpful

Thanks for reading.

Catch you next time. And see you on Twitter or LinkedIn.

- Rob