✖️ Flipping the funnel: building your fanbase one fan at a time
And: Digital ownership?; Obliterate label investments?'; WAW MUZIK relaunch; YouTube's 2021 top music videos; Every inch of culture will be monetized; Daniel Ek and music as a weapon
When you're a successful creator on YouTube, Twitch, or TikTok you need to post regularly. If you take two weeks off you break your business model. Some musicians are playing this game, others are holding on to single-album release strategies. They think about album years and work towards tours. This isn't strange, since touring has been the biggest revenue-generating activity for artists in the past two decades. Part of the creator economy, though, is a move towards direct-to-fan, or perhaps more apt is to speak of direct-to-audience, monetization models. We've gone from crowdfunding to subscription and from just music to music experiences, or music that comes with perks that might have nothing to do with the music and everything to do with the personality behind the music. But what's actually happening when you start monetizing your fans directly? Can you scale intimacy? And which communities should you cater to in order to find your 100 superfans? Let's explore.
📒 Digital ownership, the birth of a new concept (Sophie Goossens)
I could quote the entire piece, but let me just say that this is a must-read if you’re interested in Web3, NFTs, or ownership models. And let me just quote a part of the conclusion:
“An NFT does not confer a monopoly over a work, nor does it permit its holder to decide how the work will be used, distributed or shown. By displacing the once enjoyed monopoly of an art collector, from the object itself to that exercised over a certificate, it is our entire understanding of the concept of ownership which may be changing. What this shift is saying about our human values is both fascinating and ominous.”
📈 2021’s top trending videos and creators (Madeline Buxton)
“And in music, artists who reflected culture and tapped into the language of the Internet — with songs that inspired dance challenges, memes and so much more — saw chart-topping wins.”
An expansion of ways to monetize viewers on TikTok here. Tipping, buying virtual gifts, and video gifts - which fans can give for non-live videos. It’s great that this becomes available on TikTok, but it would’ve been nice if they had gone further than what’s already possible on other video services, such as Twitch.
👔 Twitter Has a New CEO; What About a New Business Model? (Ben Thompson)
Considering the topic my article today it’s interesting to read how a massive platform faces a similar problem to any musician out there: how to deal with the funnel of potential users verses those you can monetize. I wonder what it would mean if Twitter started to flip that funnel and begin with a userbase of those people who want to pay and work it’s way up from that community?
🪙 Money for Everything: A Future Where Every Inch of Culture Is Monetized (Will Gottsegen)
This is a fun article to read as a companion to the piece by Sophie Goossens above.
“In the crypto community, it’s a no-brainer that this digital paper trail amounts to a new form of “real” ownership. But if we accept that idea, we accept that the logic of digital markets will come to infiltrate the way we already live our lives online. Using the so-called “platform internet” isn’t always an investment, in an explicit monetary sense. Crypto can turn some of those passive efforts – scrolling, exploring, socializing – into financial transactions. What would it mean to live in a world where every single image, song, health record, Twitter “like” and blog post has a discrete token attached?
🎰 Former EMI boss says Kevin Brennan MP’s proposed copyright reforms will “obliterate” the label investment model (Chris Cooke, Tony Wadsworth)
“The big question is: if all or any of Brennan’s proposals became law, what impact would they have on the ability of labels to offer all that support to new artists? How big a catalogue and how big a cut of the digital pie do labels need to retain their position as key investors in new artist businesses?”
🔫 'Music is being used as a weapon': Spotify users and artists react to CEO's €100 million investment in AI defence tech (Anu Shukla)
“The €100-million deal, which arrives via Ek's €1 billion Prima Materia investment company, has angered some Spotify users, who responded to Ek's tweet by closing accounts and jumping ship to competitors like Bandcamp and Tidal. Some supported the hashtag campaign to #BoycottSpotify. Ambient dub fusion music producer Darren Sangita was among them.”
🚶🏾♀️ The Ones Who Keep Walking (Amarachi Nwosu)
“A film about born boundary-pushers, taking bold steps, refusing to stand still, and shaping Africa on new terms. Featuring: Ckay, Sampa The Great, Jefferson Osei (Daily Paper), Stephen Tayo, Kamo Mphela, Nana Danso, Loza Maléombho, Urban Pitchaz, Yeni Kuti, James Barnor, Rakeb Sile, Mesai Haileleul, Bose Ogulu (Mama Burna), Gouled Ahmed, Nandele, Waf, Turkana, Lindiwe Mngxitama.”
❓ Meet the first class of LinkedIn’s Creator Accelerator Program (Andrei Santalo)
LinkedIn has joined in on the creator vibe and among their first cohort are a few musicians. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops and whether LinkedIn can become a platform where musicians can thrive and find revenue.
▪️ Tuned Global Announces ‘Major Relaunch’ of Ivory Coast-Based Streaming Service WAW MUZIK (Dylan Smith)
First of all, the whole continent of Africa is such an exciting place when it comes to innovation in the the streaming economy. Secondly, why can the micropayments inherent in WAW MUZIK not be replicated to all major DSPs globally?
I love SUNN O))), they make loud and uncompromising music, but always have a strong ear for melody. A while back they performed for Mary Anne Hobbs and they’ve now released that music. For the band, the performance felt so good they wanted to share it more broadly. It’s brilliant, have a listen.