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How do you assess the size of a fan base in the modern age?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author How do you assess the size of a fan base in the modern age?
Sorry if this seems like a weird place to post this, but I couldn't find anywhere else that seemed more appropriate... Also - posted this on Reddit a week ago, but basically got zero discussion.

Also - just a disclaimer - I am NOT trying to make any connection between the quality of subjective art (music) and it's popularity. I am just trying to understand data.

That being said, for those of you who release music to the public in some form - what sort of metrics do you use to get an idea of how well you are doing.

Spotify monthly listens? Youtube views? Soundcloud likes? Instagram followers? Something else?

I have not released any music for a while (over 5 years) and I have no idea how to assess these things any more. I’m basically back to newb status as far as understanding a lot of aspects of this.

The project that I am currently working on has basically sat dormant for a long time, and our Spotify monthly listeners have steadily increased over this time, but no one has really put any effort into an instagram account, so we have something like 10% the amount of instagram followers as we do monthly Spotify listeners. Is this bad? When I look at the instagram accounts of other similar artists it seems like they usually have more followers than monthly listeners… Should I care?

I’m not sure if we even have a soundcloud account. Is this an important thing? We have all of our catalog on Spotify, so soundcloud seems redundant, but maybe thats just my own bias. What about bandcamp? Same questions as soundcloud.

I’m also confused about the bands/artists that have 50k views of some random video on youtube, but then have less than 200 monthly Spotify listeners. Are they just paying for views somewhere? That seems like a weird disparity. I don’t get it.

Would love to hear any thoughts on this stuff, or if there is a source of this info or somewhere I can do deeper reading that you can direct me to I’d appreciate it. I have found a bunch of blogs/websites/videos on marketing music, but they all tend to be "10 things every artist must do!!!" crap and don't really offer any insight into these type of questions.
I measure by how quickly I can recoup my costs and then by number of physical sales

Streaming means nothing to me. It’s just a shop window for selected tracks to promote current releases. I only add sold out physical product to streaming platforms.

If I get 10 sales on Bandcamp for my latest release as of 10 days ago, I will consider it a big success.. I think if you can move 20 units, most consider it successful. SoundCloud I hope for a couple likes a week...Don’t use Spotify at the moment.. Rockin' Banana!
As a consumer of music, I don't do streaming at all. I never go on spotify. I usually buy music on bandcamp and preferably physical releases that I get a download code for. I will use soundcloud to listen if there are no bandcamp offerings, but I don't usually follow or subscribe to things. I do use instagram and twitter to get information on releases of things.
Appreciate I am answering a slightly different question
but should you be on XYZ platform?

I like this David Lynch quote: "Fish where the fish are"

But never forget, when you use someone elses platform you are renting your relationships....
I know it seems like a smartarse comment but the answer is to look at your bank statement.

Internet "likes" are worth nothing unless you have a very fragile self-image. People who look at Instagram but don't actually support you to live your life are not fans.

What matters is how many records / downloads you sell, how often you are booked to play shows and how much you get paid per show. Promoters have a very good feeling for how popular artists are and will make their offers accordingly, look up "hard ticket value."
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