Study Says Connect With Your Fans To Counteract Illegal Downloading
An academic research paper by Kalika N. Doloswal and Ann Dadich on "using policy to curb illegal downloading" provides some interesting insights into the strength of efforts to connect musicians and fans via social media. Participation in services like Sellaband is said to help build a psychological contract between fan and musician that has the potential to affect downloading activities.
Amanda Palmer's music marketing and monetization model is given as a successful example of connecting with fans followed by Richie Hawtin's CUBE effort.
The Accidental Criminal: Using Policy to Curb Illegal Downloading proposes that, since legislation isn't counteracting illegal downloads of music and other media, perhaps applying a bit of attribution theory and building psychological contracts between fans and musician will do the trick. I think that's an interesting idea for public policy but I found it particularly interesting to see academics choosing the same kinds of examples of new approaches to music industry business models as would many music industry bloggers.
The researchers use music industry examples to make their point regarding new possibilities for fan/musician interaction by musicians who, "rather than rely primarily on tours, releases, and promotional activities…have harnessed the Internet as a way to communicate directly with their following, and in turn close the proximal distance."
- SellaBand is put forth as one example that actually draws musicians and funders into a very real contract.
- Amanda Palmer appears as an example of monetizing connections and communication via social media with fans.
- Canadian artist Richie Hawtin also appears with his experiments in engaging audiences more fully using mobile devices.
Examples from recent Hypebot coverage might include Shin-B's use of a QR code in a music video, Kaiser Chief's create your own album campaign, Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble concerts, Michelle Shaprow's personal touch or Odd Future's disturbing embrace.
Perhaps the diy executive takeaway is that building strong relationships with fans encourages them to support your work and social media is useful in building those relationships.
See also From Pirates to Fans.