Knowing who your fans are may be the most important information that any artist or music marketer can posses. If you know the fans, then you know where to find them to share news, sell tickets, downloads, etc. Where they hang out on and offline is also the most likely place to find new fans.
But all too often artists and music marketers are not capturing who the fans are or that information is being controlled by gatekeepers.
When your fans sign up for your email list, you own the data. When they become your friend on MySpace, MySpace owns the data. When they buy a ticket through Ticketmaster, they own the data. When they but through your fan club or fan ticketing site, you own the information. This is how the band Mobile was blindsided when MySpace took back their URL. This is why EMI is about to launch its own download and fan hub to gather data.
Can you imagine Apple...
Coca Cola or any smart brand helping to build someone else's marketing list? Yet artists and the music industry do it every day.
Nurturing your own web site and email list are the best defense. Is your email sign up on your front page of? Make signing up for emails and joining your fan club or street team easy. Start selling tickets from your web site. Spend most of your energy building traffic to places where you control the data. Social networking and other sites that control your data need to become conduits funneling fans to your site; not their final destination. - Bruce Houghton