The GigRev digital fan club app and set of website plug-ins allows you to build a fan base that you own again. I used to work with fan clubs back in the 80s when they were a key source of income for a lot of bands. I think the biggest one I worked with was the official Take That fan club with over a 100,000 subscribers paying (from memory) £10 a year. That’s a lot of revenue that artists are now missing out on. Digital fan communities are the way forward.

What seems to have happened since then is, fan clubs turned in to websites, some of them began to be controlled by record labels and the artist was left with using mySpace and later, Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and Instagram etc. The problem with these sites is that you don’t own anything that happens on them and it seems the measurement of success has become the number of “Likes” or “Views”, which just don’t convert into cash for an artist.  They only generate money for networks you post content on (aside from PRS/ASCAP etc. revenue). This is what GigRev is fighting against – other brands, using your brand to make themselves rich and returning little or nothing to artists.

Streaming services are (almost) equally as bad at returning money back to artists to the point that financially it’s not worth being on Spotify or Apple Music and any other streaming service. It’s even questionable whether being on these services makes any PR impact positively or negatively.

Fan clubs used to not only be the way artist’s got signed in the first place but also the key communications driver between the artist and fan. So what happened to them? Websites. That’s what happened. And websites are expected to be free, which of course they have to be.

Apps on the other hand, have changed this perception and fans are prepared to pay to access Digital Fan Clubs with premium material included. The problem with most artist apps to date is that they are rubbish. Have you ever seen a good artist app? No thought has really gone in to them and they tend to be a one way channel. A way to tell fans where to buy music (iTunes) and links to social networks (Facebook and Twitter) that the artist doesn’t control, but no way to communicate with fans.

So with this is mind we have developed a social network where every fan registers within the app and the artist gets the fan contact details and data. It’s also an app that is specific to the artist, not one app that is a “GigRev” app that then allows access to multiple artists.

The app itself allows the artist to post, just like they would on Facebook, and fans to comment on posts. It also lets the artist stream live video to fans, list gigs and presales links as well as VIP packages, stream complete gig DVD’s and stream songs and albums, just like Spotify.

Music, live video, live gig DVD’s and other content can then be set as available to subscribers of the digital fan club only.

The fan gets a 30 day free trial of premium content before they begin to be charged and together we decide the price per month for fans to access everything. If the fan doesn’t subscribe you still get the fan data, they can still access the app, they can still read wall posts and more, and we still help convert free fans to fan club members.

In order to launch your direct to fan platform we normally recommend you have an exclusive video, whether that’s a new single or live performance within the app that isn’t available anywhere else (for a period of time at least) and then message your Facebook users and Twitter followers a link to download the app for exclusive footage. This generates the initial interest in the app. It’s then up to the artist to Live Broadcast to fans and post to their Wall and keep interactive with fans. Posts can be shared on Facebook and Twitter but video will only play when the fan installs the app. With a back catalogue of music and video in the app, live broadcast from your iPhone camera and posts to the wall, a monthly fee of £4.99 is easily justified and warranted.

Apple TV is launched later this month so the app on your phone will also become a TV channel on your TV – all branded as you. Not GigRev.

So, with GigRev, it really is all about the artist or band. It’s the Band that is the Brand. Not Spotify or YouTube or Instagram and I believe that it’s those brands that need you. Not the other way around.

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