How do you assess the size of a fan base in the modern age?

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pre55ure
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How do you assess the size of a fan base in the modern age?

Post by pre55ure » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:27 pm

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.

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shabbyroad
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Post by shabbyroad » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:54 pm

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.

Futuresound

Post by Futuresound » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:26 pm

Image

:hide:

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Post by thevegasnerve » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:39 pm

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.. :bananaguitar:

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corpusjonsey
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Post by corpusjonsey » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:49 pm

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.

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subbasshead
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Post by subbasshead » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:37 pm

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....

nuromantix
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Post by nuromantix » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:23 am

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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joeTron
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Post by joeTron » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:53 pm

I just googled "user platform statistics" and got a ton of links of this subject. Add the keyword "music" and you get more specific of course. That might clarify a things a bit. However advertisers and broadcasters don't have like a traditional "Nielson's ratings" method for websites so they're wrestling with this stuff as well!

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Blingley
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Post by Blingley » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:27 pm

nuromantix wrote: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.
In attention economy, attention is currency. If you can get a good number of followers, you sure can turn that into some sponsorship deals or use it as leverage when negotiating pay for gigs - or even use it to get booked in the first place.

I'm not good at it either, but one's personal failure to capitalize on their followers should not be used as an argument to devalue them.

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Post by The_hitcher » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:08 pm

Futuresound wrote:Image

:hide:
This doesn't really help with the size of the fan base. Maybe about 6" x 4" ish?
:hihi:

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Joe.
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Post by Joe. » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:43 pm

How many limited edition tshirts you can sell. Figuring out how many wear shirts is easy, and you can make your fanbase estimate on that.

you also get data on what the average (shirt) size your fanbase is too :tu:

chromakey
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Post by chromakey » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:44 pm

My only observation here would be that, as far as I can tell, Spotify will only play thirty seconds of audio from a track unless you register. I find that policy coercive and so I refuse to register. Youtube and Soundcloud don't feel a compulsion to twist peoples' arms.

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wackelpeter
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Post by wackelpeter » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:11 pm

Futuresound wrote:Image

:hide:
:yay:

now i know what it means when a musician at a concert was blown away by the overwhelming response of his fan base.

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Moerder
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Post by Moerder » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:54 pm

rather lengthy read/listen but various interesting viewpoints here: https://www.residentadvisor.net/features/3511

if you're interested in data you might want to look into google analytics or similes that are offered by pretty much all online platforms. find out where the people that listen to your stuff are coming from, how many unique plays there are, etc.

I had a friend over the other day and I just randomly decided to bring up the Ciani Buchla Concert album on youtube. he's not really into electronic music but found it interesting that this kind of 'video' had over 300k views. I jokingly said that these 300k plays might well only be the same 300 people that have listened to this 1000 times each, rather than 300k individuals. point being, it's easy to get some numbers, but drilling down on what they actually mean/consist of is a different matter.

I never used Spotify so I can't speak to that specifically, but if they are indeed 200 different listeners, rather than 200 plays by a smaller number of 'consumers', then that's a pretty solid basis. things like instagram and other 'social' platforms could help with drawing in more people that might also like your stuff, but again, maybe your fan base isn't into instagram themselves and thus any efforts directed towards it won't translate into anything. worth finding out more there.

as to the random 50k view videos, chances are it might be one of those 'the one good song they have' type deals that somehow was spread around to some extent, whereas the rest of their catalog is mediocre at best and nobody bothers with it.

each platform has their own merits and drawbacks, and I don't think one is THE one. music business is and has been through weird ass stuff ever since it became a business. try to gauge what works for you (and your audience) and dig for more specifics on the ones you think might work well. that's different for everyone.

personally, I'd prefer people that are willing to actually support the artist, and yes, that means with money, whether that's for physical/digital records, merch or what have you. a share or repost or whatever on twitter *might* get you some more listeners down the line, true, but it doesn't actually pay the bills at that very moment. anyway, I hope there's something useful for you (and other interested parties) in my blathering. All the best!

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Post by ikkyu666 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:16 pm

i find it hard to judge these metrics. i might sell 100 copies of an album but then when I play a show there's 3 people there. in the former scenario I consider that a huge success, but in the latter, especially when its a few nights in a row, it really puts into perspective how relative 'fan' is and how huge these two worlds are: internet and 'real' life.

a friend of mine is a live drummer for a pop band that got huge sudden success on the internet. a few million plays from a single. when they toured, there was barely any turn out. does this mean they don't have fans? no, but it does mean they have a certain 'kind' of fan maybe, and i wonder if its sustainable. IMO they went about it wrong though - with that kind of success they could have gotten on as an opener for a bigger act and shouldn't have thought they had the pull yet.
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 wouldn't worry about it. just keep making music you're stoked on and keep making engaging posts on instagram and they'll both grow.
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.
my opinion: upload it to every major platform. you've got nothing to lose and like some people here have commented: they often use one but not the other. soundcloud is good because people can repost your tracks and you may end up on a playlist which can really bump your listens. some people are really fanatical about SC. for me personally, i put my stuff up everywhere but i primarily focus and drive all my traffic i can to bandcamp. its the most artist friendly and intuitive no-nonesense service. its SUPER easy for people to buy the product and for you to get the money.
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.
it defo could be payed plays. another good indicater are the plays vs the likes/comments. if there is a huge disparity there then you can almost bet its all been bought. there's also just the 'one hit wonder' factor that on the internet plays out usually on the platform it busted out on. that's just my observation. I had a track hit 10k+ on youtube pretty quickly, and I think i gained 2 spotify plays a month haha.

check out @mattbacon666 on instagram - he's a tour manager/a&r/keynote speaker who gives advice to aspiring bands.

my two cents: just keep making rad music and NETWORK. go to shows, talk to the bands, talk to people, be kind, get involved. that will open LOTS of doors for you!

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Post by johny_gtr » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:33 am

my personal experience with my latest release with limited vinyl run (it doesn't cost a ton).

1) facebook, instagram marketing with low budget - almost doesn't work. Many likes, almost zero buys. FB as itself is a very strange place in terms of UI. I don't know how people can find proper information in it.

2) magazines and blogs.
for my previous big release - i have about two dozen of reviews on small blogs - it's great to read but almost nothing to add in terms of sells your music.

for current - it's even worse - i didn't send vinyl for small reviewers and have very little amount of reviews, but it's good to read a review about your work.

i think if you have 1 contact with opinion leaders like popular blogs (he-he, popular blogs for non EDM electronic modular music), yt channels, podcasts - it will provide 10^6 more fans than big marketing campaign or 1000 reviews on small blogs. The main question - how to find these guys :) or do you really need to get this fans or just release according to the idea RELEASE-IT-ANYWAY

3) 0-budget marketing - this works. I send some mails to some distros and guys, who bought my music before -and have most of sales with it. It takes only your time

4) i don't know how to send a music to spotify/itunes popular experimental/noise/drone/ambient podcasts, but for previous time, my song was added to one of them (don't know which one) and provide me only for spotify about 15$ which is a lot because they pay about 0. ......... 1 per play

5) live performances are great - it's more fun, more money, more fans and more new connections.
my psychdelic ambient - http://ovod.bandcamp.com -new LP on vinyl here

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