You better know your fans
Plus, TOBi's artist-owned platform & Spotify's new profiles
Welcome, artists & builders.
Each week, we navigate music’s future together. Today I’m sharing a story that helped me understand the power of knowing your fans.
Inside Issue #21
💡 Idea: Know your fans
🦁 In the Wild: An artist-owned platform
🔧 That Helps: Spotify revamps artist profiles
🗞️ Plus: The Sphere, fundraises & more
When I was 23, I learned the power of knowing your fans.
I was promoting a show for an artist in a 1,000 cap room. The manager sent the contract back signed, but crossed off the marketing budget.
Managers usually want more marketing, not less.
This guy wanted zero.
"Why?", I asked.
“Why waste money hoping to reach people who might be interested, when I can just directly message everyone I know cares?”
Simple. Obvious, even.
The show sold out & the artist pocketed 85% of that proposed marketing budget. The manager likely did this every show that tour, netting an extra $100k+ (and making every promoter love them).
I felt like I had just learned a cheat code.
It's not just that this artist had an email list (everyone better) - it's that they had done all the work to convert everyone into it & understood how to activate them.
They built their tribe and KNEW the power of it.
It's so simple, but when you know your fans, you have a superpower.
- you're not reliant on algorithms
- not constantly rediscovering & reselling
- not wasting money on inefficient ad dollars
Everything becomes repeatable.
There is no better marketing plan than having a direct relationship with your fans.
Building a tribe compounds.
Capturing Fan Data
Use every opportunity to upgrade your relationship. Both online & IRL.
Create moments for fans to join in
Onboard smoothly & effectively
Create fan segments (location, intent)
Set up welcome sequences
Nurture & stay engaged
Spend as much time on email, SMS & community as you do on social content.
PS: Here is a starter list for places to capture fan data.
📚️ My 3 Favorite Reads This Week
28 thoughts on seeing U2 at the Sphere, by Steven Hyden.
Why there’s never been a better time to be a creator, by Hunter Walk.
🦁 IN THE WILD
Bring Your Fans Closer
TOBi created his own corner of the internet.
Ahead of his 3rd album with Sony/RCA, TOBi felt the need for a space that was genuinely his - where he owned the relationship with his fans.
His own platform where fans can dive into TOBi’s universe. Experience the album & surrounding context in his full vision, with comic-style visualizers that bring the album’s narrative to life.
🎧️ 3 Listen Modes: Album. Demo. Stem.
💬 Chat: Connect with TOBi & other fans
📺️ Livestream: Release day listening party
🧔 Profiles: Customizable avatars
⛰️ Missions: Engage to unlock deeper layers
🎙️ Convos: Interviews with album collaborators
Plus, extra context, new releases & hidden artifacts from the record.
Tell Your Story: So much music experience happens with artist context ripped away. TOBi tells his story in his own aesthetic, letting fans go as deep as they want.
Intent: He created a place for deep, meaningful engagement that highlighted big fans & welcomed new ones. 32% of visitors completed 10+ missions.
🎨 Be your own platform & craft the experience you want your fans to have.
Spotify revamps artist profiles
Concerts & Merch finally get more focus.
3 new tabs across the top of artist profiles:
Testing showed a 15% jump in ticket purchases thru the app & 22% increase in users purchasing merch once visiting the merch tab.
👏 Convert listeners into fans at every opportunity.
🗞️ What You Missed
FTC propose rule to remove junk ticket fees (all-in ticket pricing)
KIT Plugins raises $1m for digital audio emulations of rare analog gear
Hook raises $3m to build licensed, fan-created remixes for social (smart)
Richie Hawtin’s new merch has discounts to anyone holding a POAP NFT that proves they’ve been to a show
🧰 Oh, That’s Helpful
Thanks for reading.