Recently, electronic music heavyweight Moby released a package with some songs, raw music files and videos for free via bittorrent. Today, he released his latest single on the collaborative music platform blend.io. In this new approach to spreading his music, we recognised a lot of key lessons to follow through if you want to build and maintain a close relationship with your audience – be it fans of your music your brand’s consumers.
1. Value your fan base
It should be a no-brainer to recognise the importance of your fan base. However, the music industry is still having a hard time grasping the idea that the business model has moved on from traditional record sales to music downloads and streaming services. And while it is a fact that a lot of fans illegally download music, they don’t do it to hurt their favourite musicians, they do it because it is convenient and they actually love the music. Moby does recognise this and instead of fighting this development embraces it and actually trusts his fans enough to give something away for free in order to gain something in the long run.
2. Take a (small) risk
How many others have done what you are doing? We constantly have companies tell us that they want to repeat something for the umpteenth time or even copy a competitor’s idea (even though they rarely admit this openly). Moby does what hardly any other pop musician has done: He gives the public access to his raw music files. While the risks involved were manageable (after all, many of his fans would have downloaded the album illegally anyhow) the benefits are enormous: He became the most-downloaded artist on bittorrent in 2013 and found a new way to connect with his audience.
3. Find new ways to connect with your audience
At the risk of beating a dead horse: The relationship to consumers has moved on from a one-way communication to a dialogue. Through social media consumers can connect with your brand, interact with it, and even collaborate on creating the goods. Moby unterstands this and does exactly this: Offer a new way for his audience to be involved in the creative process.
4. Believe in long-term success
All of the above will put you ahead of the curve, but it won’t always generate immediate success. Change takes time, and so does connecting with your audience. And if you spread the word in a positive, engaging way, we believe that you do what matters most: create fans that will go out and happily tell the story of your brand.