This same approach needs to be taken to the music industry. Maybe not quite as far as offering up information on what Justin Timberlake had for breakfast, but deeper connections need to be built between music artists and their loyal fans. This is where platforms like GigRev come in.
What is the GigRev platform?
The GigRev platform, like others on the market such as Disciple Media, was designed with fan to artist connectivity as a central focus. Artists have used other platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and these are all brilliant platforms that go a long way in getting music artists and fans together. But they still create a wall between the two parties, with, as always, advertising fees to reach fans. GigRev isn't about any of that. The team comes from musical backgrounds, having been artist managers themselves. They know the struggle that music artists have to go through.
As well as living in the age of connectivity, we're also living in the age where it can be harder for the smaller fish to make a name for themselves in such a large pond, and it seems GigRev are doing what they can to change that. Speaking with Kevin Brown, founder at GigRev he said:
"We've created GigRev as a social platform that brings artists and fans together. We're going to give GigRev to the artists, and let the musical magic unfold for itself! We're not going to sit on artists' data, acting as gatekeepers and charge every time the artist wants to communicate their message to their fans. We give artists complete control over how they engage with their super fans, therefore taking connectivity to a whole new level."
"We're dealing with direct-to-fan marketing, but to a much greater degree. Our app allows artists to live stream to fans, gives exclusive access to new tracks, the chance to meet artists and most importantly, the opportunity for artists and fans to connect directly."
Why is a platform like GigRev needed?
Social platforms like Facebook own all the rights and the data to any of the users that are on the platform and follow a particular artist. That means that artists, no matter how many likes they have, have absolutely no way to interact with all of those fans without paying Facebook for every Post. This is alongside the fact that Facebook is too crowded for every post to appear in a user's feed.
A music artist is a business, dealing with inputs, outputs, and, ultimately, profit. How can a business operate without knowing who their customer base is or what they want? If a music artist can't engage with their fans, and has to pay a large amount of money just to put a status out, how can they tailor their music and merchandise to each fan? Businesses now have to engage with their customers on a greater level, and music artists must do the same. Kevin continues:
"We've created GigRev as a white labelled platform, and we're giving complete control to the artists. GigRev as a brand is not important in this equation. It's the artist's name that is the important factor. We'd just be getting in the way if we provided yet another branded social network with lots of artists within it! We are fully aware that platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube do a lot for artists and are great for exposure, and so we work in unison with these platforms and provide deeper connection for super fans."
What is the GigRev approach?
Many platforms and companies that have come before GigRev such as Mobile Roadie haven't been powerful enough or done enough for the artists. Others have had a top-down approach; attempting to tackle the large corporations and music labels, but platforms like GigRev believe that this is the wrong approach.
They're kicking off a second generation of social music apps. It needs to start with the people that really matter first; the music artists and the fans. And that's the GigRev approach; giving power back to the people that matter. If you're a music fan, who do you want to hear from? The music labels who sit back and count their millions, or the music artists; the ones who will be grinding every single day to make each and every fan happy?
It's easy to over generalise, but the music labels are more indifferent to this; as long as the money is coming in they aren't as bothered about the process of getting there. Of course not all music labels will be the same, but power needs to remain with the people who will work the hardest.
What's wrong with the current platforms?
Platforms like GigRev aren't trying to take down social platforms like Facebook or streaming platforms like Spotify. They are amazing platforms that have done great things in getting fans and music together. But that's the issue; they're designed for the fans.
GigRev is a social platform that is designed for the fans and the music artists. As it stands, fans probably have no problem with the current platforms. They have access to all the songs they need on streaming platforms like Spotify, can create their favourite playlists and can sit back and stream in great quality. What's not to love?
The returns to the music artists themselves is the issue. Platforms like Spotify pay artists less than a penny per play and an artist would need over a million plays of a track just to crack the minimum monthly wage in the US. This doesn't benefit any artist except for the superstars who can command millions of streams.
We want to help music artists have control over their own livelihood!
Music videos make up 30% of all viewed videos on YouTube, but artists get only 9% of the revenues returned to them. The way current platforms operate is unbalanced unfavourably for the music artists. But the biggest issue, money aside, is the issue of connectivity. You may 'like' an artist's Facebook page, but all you get is a sponsored status every now and again. Kevin concluded by saying:
"At GigRev we're trying to solve that issue by bringing you together closer with artists. We're talking exclusive access to tracks, live streaming directly from artists, access to pre-sales for tickets and anything else you can think of. We understand that not every fan will be as interested in this, but for the super fans this brings a new level of connection with the artists that they love. And the artist can, in return, continue to tailor their offering to appeal to their fans as much as possible."
"With the internet, musicians are finding better and more creative ways of connecting with their fans, such as this great peeping show experiment with Ed Sheeran, and we want to give artists the chance to do this on a greater and more consistent level."
"Let's be clear; we aren't a music app. We're a bespoke, tailor-made social platform that connects music artists and their fans in a way that simply hasn't been done before. We're not in this for the money; we're in this for the artists."
Image credits: Gratisography and Keith Wako