The Missing Link In Connect-with-Fans

There are some issues about connect-with-fans strategies which are hard to solve. I’ve mentioned it a few times – to find the ones that fit you and your image (authenticity), to find the time for marketing and music (responsibility), and of course how to discover and develop new ideas in marketing (creativity). Plus, there are more like timing, choice of tools, the transition from connect-with-fans to reason-to-buy etc.

But, just recently, I realised that there is another one. It’s not yet another issue. Actually, it is a crucial gap. It is what keeps DIY artists from managing the next step towards future technologies and therefore, towards new business models.

There has been what is referred to as static Web 1.0. Simple websites, with content difficult to maintain.

Then there is Web 2.0. A term that no serious web developer is eager to hear about his brand new design in 2010. Dynamical content, usually presented along a design with light and shaded colours, rounded edges. Web 2.0 is what brought us blogs – a kind of easy to handle web presence for everyone. Almost easy to handle.

The next wave in internet technology – what is it going to look like? What’s the benefit for music business in particular? This was (and still is) a matter I’m very much interested to hear about. That’s why I set up a panel on this matter for all2gethernow 2010. I knew Eliot Van Buskirk would be interested too, but it turned out that a whole phalanx of big names crushed the gates to get on the panel. Apart from Eliot Van Buskirk (formerly with Wired, now The Echo Nest/, paticipants included Jean Littolff (CEO – The Nielsen Company/Europe), Kevin Arnold (CEO / founder of IODA), Peter Sunde (formerly with The Pirate Bay; now founder of Flattr), Scott Cohen (CEO / founder of The Orchard), and Panos Panay (CEO / founder of SonicBids) taking the role of the moderator.

Whoah. I hit it.

Allegedly, the big thing about Web 3.0 is real-time content. But it’s more than that. And it has launched already. The main enabler is Apple – iPod, iPhone and iPad are the required hardware ingrediences. Go for any platform you like, Android, Windows, iOS. The core of it all is – apps. It’s not about websites but small applications carrying the content.

Bingo. Wherever you are, werever your fans are – the mobile device is at your side. You don’t need to wait for your fans to come to your site. Just send them a new message via an app. It’s kind of a subscription service.

An app is a brilliant platform to feature new content, teasers, lyrics, links to the shop and a hell lot more. Combine that with social media and there you are.

But, erm, wait…

Recently looked at your local app store (sorry, couldn’t resist)? Let’s see, how many artists are there… I swear, I didn’t come across more than 20 apps for artists. I remember some obscure Italian artist, Take That, Britney (I think so). Oh yeah, NIN of course. See, I can’t even remember more than 5.

Unfortunately, to develop an app that runs on any of the usual platforms easily costs you a fortune of $25k bucks plus. Talking about DIY.

You know of any suitable (or less suitable) options to build your own app? Please tell me. I’m really curious to know.

This text has been published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 Unported licence. If you would like to make use of the text or parts of it in a way that goes beyond the scope please ask me.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

2010-12-15 at 21:20

Manuel from 5thDime pointed me to this great article. I guess you touched some sensitive issues. songpier ( believes it is key even for DIY artists getting exposure on mobile devices. Cost is always *THE* issue. That’s why songpier is establishing a freemium model featuring a free starter package plus additional plans with yet extended functionality.
With songpier you avoid awkward app store experience. Latest roar “Apple rejects radio apps”. Worth mentioning: songpier is cross platform versus an app that has to be individually ported for listing on each platform’s app store. By the way songpier is among the finalists at MidemNet Lab Meet you in Cannes…

2010-12-16 at 06:55

Hey, thanks for hinting me at Songpier… just had a look at your website. Truely promising. Now, if THAT’s available on a freemium basis – meaning a free app for artists to start with – this is right what I’m looking for.

Is there any chance you can tell me when you are going to launch Songpier? Since you are shortlisted for MidemLab (congrats on that!) I guess are about to launch sometime around Midem, right?

2010-12-16 at 12:32

Hey, yes you are right. We are working (coding) our fingers to the bone to fulfill the imperious and high aiming criteria’s of the *FAI-BAIA* (*F*irst *A*lmost *I*ndependent *B*eta *’A*pproval *I*nspection *A*uthority). songpier is in a good position to receive FAI-BAIA’s *BETA APPROVAL* by end of January as the first platform worldwide ever. ?