What’s frustrating? That the people who are listening to you through unauthorized copies weren’t counted or that they were listening through unauthorized copies?
McKeown: It’s that they weren’t counted. It’s that their interaction and kind of additive presence to what my fanbase is is not able to be known in a system that wants to know that. I don’t agree with that system but that’s the system and it’s just been very frustrating for me over the years.
Then these social networks come along and all of the sudden here’s this new number that can be used. So for a while it was like MySpace views or number of friends on MySpace and then it turned into Facebook fans and Twitter followers and I have heard in the music industry “this is someone good to tour with because they have x number of followers” or you know ‘we’re interested in signing you because you’ve got x number of Facebook fans” and in some ways it’s replaced SoundScan.
But how does that translate into people in the room? I know people who have really lively online fanbases, many Facebook responses, lots of Twitter followers who draw the same amount of people that I draw in my rooms. There’s this sort of conversion that doesn’t necessarily happen, or you can’t draw a straight line between this artist has 5000 Facebook followers yet still is only drawing 30 people in this city.
In some ways I’ve begun to think of it as two different careers, you kind of have your online career where it’s like how do you communicate with those fans and what do you do for them and how do you cultivate that interaction and then there’s also do you give a good live show and when are you coming to this city?
I certainly as an artist feel a certain amount of pressure. I was resistant to this social media stuff at the time. I mean MySpace was less about status updates and more about just making music available in your player and kind of collecting friends. But the microblogging aspect of Twitter and Facebook demanded fresh personal content and I have certainly felt the pressure to keep up with that. And that is often at odds for me with the amount of things that I’m willing to talk about with the three or four thousand people who follow me online.
La situación parece ser "hay algo ahí afuera pero no sé bien qué es ni como manejarlo". De todos modos, también se vislumbra de las tantas explicaciones posibles. En tiempos de saturación y copia los fans buscan contenido "enriquecido" y la historia del propio artista surge como lo único definitivamente ireemplazable.
¿En el extremo los músicos deberían twitear más y componer menos para contentar a sus fans? Absurdo. Pero estas mismas herramientas ofrecen una oportunidad inédita de conexión con los amantes de la música de forma tal de poder entender o visualizar el impacto transformador del arte.
¿Habrá casos locales para testear esta hipótesis? Un show (Calamaro en el Luna Park o Puente Celeste en el Vinilo) podría convertirse en una interfase fenomenal de interacción con los fans y de horizontalización de esa relación. ¿Por qué no usar las redes sociales para calentar la previa desde un punto de vista más personal? ¿Por qué no aprovechar la instantaneidad de Twitter para plantear un concierto que incorpore los estados de ánimo u opiniones del público? ¿Por qué no ofrecer contenido enriquecido allí mismo, con la historia de los temas o realidad aumentada desde los celulares? ¿Por qué no consolidar la conexión post show montados en el potencial viralizador de los fans extasiados?
En On Twitter Emily White presenta una serie de ejemplos probablemente demasiado yanquis para nuestra mentalidad American Psycho Bolche pero útiles pensar su eventual adaptación a la realidad local.
Back in the day, albums were set up months in advance and of course they still are now, but, via Twitter, Imogen Heap can engage her audience in each step of the creative process. By the time the album is released, her audience is clamoring for it. Imogen's fans were actually a part of her most recent album: from the songwriting to the recording to even naming the songs. They witnessed and experienced the emotional highs and lows of creating music, making the final result that much more of a visceral experience. And they followed along when she launched a feed at The Grammys via her dress.
La clave es involucrar, entusiasmar y comprometer a los fans.
One of the most powerful aspects of Twitter is the search function. What better way to find out what is going on by searching real people's online chatter? We have interns search for our artists daily to find casual fans chatting about them. Then, they either ensure that the artist replies or the interns will reply and tag it as the artist’s team so as not to pose as the artist. When I say casual, I am talking about someone who posts "Making Thanksgiving dinner listening to Brendan Benson's Lapalco," who may not even know he's on Twitter, on tour or has a new album, nor are they the kind of fan that might seek that info out (especially since the aforementioned album is from 2002). When we took Brendan on late last year, we found hundreds of fans speaking about him daily in casual conversation. No one had been tweeting back at them with news of his tour and, as soon as we did, tickets spiked. For example, his NYC show's sales went up four times in as many days after we'd launched these basic internet marketing tactics. This information is free and available and should be a no brainer for an artist at any level or a team of any size.
Esto parece ultra sencillo pero dudo que algún artista local lo esté aprovechando. Hay que tener la oreja atenta para escuchar esas conversaciones y desarrollar desde ahí una nueva estrategia de vinculación.
Want to distribute a track exclusively to your Twitter followers? Check out CASH Music's open source code to do just that. Fans obviously love it.Looking to connect with other artists? At any level, re-tweet and publicly chat back and forth with the artists that you share camaraderie and bills with. Whether you're just getting started and gig-swapping with other artists in nearby cities or are Dave Matthews supporting The Rolling Stones, it's important to disseminate necessary promotional info and interesting to watch the dialog. I have also had industry folk come out to shows at the last minute based on seeing a reminder from my Twitter feed.
Todos administramos redes de contactos de manera más o menos intuitiva. De todos modos, es necesario reconocer su potencial y actuar en consecuencia. Los cruces deben provocarse, buscando puntos de encuentro no sólo con otros músicos sino también con el amplísimo espectro de la comunidad creativa. The Times They Are a-Changin'