How Billy Van Went From 2,000 To 100,000 Fans [CASE STUDY] - hypebot

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Serf

Very cool. But it leads me to wonder if this is truly applicable to other genres. Sounds like DJs do well. How did the Counting Crows fare?

Couple Thoughts

A few things to ponder:

1. I'm sure the Topspin signups appreciate you sharing a screenshot of their email addresses.

2. Can't help but notice that 2 of the leading 3 countries are India and Russia. This screams of gaming the system.

3. TOS (time on site) for US is 33 seconds. Is that good??

4. You're only getting 7% of your visitors to return to your site. Why?

5. You have 7mm downloads and only 12k Facebook fans & 4,500 Twitter followers. Why are they not converting?

6. What did you spend on the Grooveshark campaign?

@mfiebach

Good points.:

1. I'm sure the Topspin signups appreciate you sharing a screenshot of their email addresses.

We own the data. But good point, maybe we will blur it out.

2. Can't help but notice that 2 of the leading 3 countries are India and Russia. This screams of gaming the system.
Nope. They are legit people that like Billy's music. Open rates on the first email blast to the full list was pretty good too. I can get back on #s. Bittorrent has a big use base in India and Russia. Legit people are legit people. Gaming the system would be if these were fake accounts which they are not.

3. TOS (time on site) for US is 33 seconds. Is that good??

Not great, but all that was up during this time was widget to download some fee music, so there wasn't much for people to do. The more importantmetric is the traffic's correlation to streams and downloads, which was significant.

4. You're only getting 7% of your visitors to return to your site. Why?
That # is up drastically now, this was a short time frame.

5. You have 7mm downloads and only 12k Facebook fans & 4,500 Twitter followers. Why are they not converting?
The focus was downloads and site traffic. I would say a legitimate 10,000 new FB fans is converting REALLY well. IT is all organic on FB and Twitter. NO ADS (at least not yet).

6. What did you spend on the Grooveshark campaign?
$0. We have a relationship with them to do collaborations such as these.

Jason Spitz

EXCELLENT case study. Thank you for being so open and thorough. My questions: can an artist replicate this (even on a smaller scale) without a huge partnership like a BitTorrent/uTorrent feature? And what about artists that don't appeal as much to the BitTorrent user base (like more adult-oriented artists along the lines of Feist/Adele/etc)?

Wilkinsky

As you note, "Billy now has a career as an artist, much quicker than he would have had this promotion not occurred." I'm not certain this is doing anything different than any Major would with their marketing/partnerships. This entire study was possible because of your position/relationships. Affording the BitTorrent and Grooveshark promotion would likely be unobtainable to [most if not all] independent artists. Personally, I think it's a well crafted study and I certainly appreciate the data, but not many indie artists/labels will have the sophistication, bankroll, and ability to handle this. New Hypebot series: Marketing for the Big Little Majors 101?

MusicGeekSvcs

This is a great case study and story. Curious what your plans are in terms of optimizing his web site to capitalize on all this attention.

@mfiebach

@willinsky part of the point is- to pull something like this off- you don't need a major, you just need a smart manager/marketing team with some pull. That said, I think you can do A LOT on your own. A LOT. Also, a good digital campaign can be done without any outside marketing budget, as long as you have some skills with basic HTML and utilizing free tools like Cash Music, Facebook, and Twitter.

Cris is Bliss

6 million downloads, 700% increase --- All very interesting. But how much money was made?

Jason Spitz

@Cris is Bliss: You're missing the point. Every campaign does not have to be about making money. Sometimes getting exposure and fan data is the goal. Then you leverage this attention and information down the road, when you have a product to sell.

@mfiebach

Thanks Spitz.. That said- He has actually made some nice $ pursuant to this campaign. But that is a + right now. The focus was awareness and growth.

Mike B

Really appreciate the post - thanks! Also appreciated your response to @willinsky...but I don't think you really addressed the main thrust of his comment.

As you note, the tools and the action steps are available to anyone willing to learn a little bit about HTML/CSS/PHP and social media. However, it's clear that your relationships with BitTorrent and Grooveshark are really what opened the door and created a context where all the DIY-style elbow grease you put into this could have an effect.

I'm sure there's a portion of Hypebot's audience - pr pros, management, etc. - for whom this case study is directly applicable as-is. However, what would really be illuminating for all the independent musicians reading this is more detail on how you established those relationships with BitTorrent and Grooveshark in the first place, and how indie musicians operating on a smaller scale might make contacts that could potentially have a similar impact. Any info on that?

Chancius

We still live in a world that even if you're hard working, talented, smart, and forward thinking it won't matter unless you meet the right person at the right time....

Nicklynagh

@mfiebach - Great case study. Thanks kindly. I manage a new artist with a small but growing fan base and debut release coming up.

Part of the my digital strategy is below and would like to know your thoughts.

Goal is to increase fan base and drive people to sign up to the mailing list.

1 - We have filmed and tracked a live acoustic version of the single.

2 - We dont have any relationships quiet like Grooveshark ;) but there have been a few local (Australian) blogs who have been supportive of the band. So I plan to offer the clip to one of these blogs exclusively, embedding topspin player, linking with email for mp3 download of the acoustic version, exclusively available when joining the mailing list.

Do you think we're on the right track?

Any suggestions on how to improve on this?

Thanks for your time and for sharing the case study

Nick

Reality Checker

Dispatch. They credit their career to Napster, timing, and p2p file sharing. Anybody remember their Boston farewell show in 2004 100,000 people showed up?

No label, no radio, No Facebook, No Twitter, Only Myspace (ironically enough).
barely any social networking to speak of. No analytics.

Sold out 3 Madison Sq. Garden shows 3 years later, all the money went to charity.

They are the real deal.

After a decade of being away they are back stronger than ever.

They make good music, are good people, good to their fans and to the world. That's the way you do business if you ask me.

Rick Sanchez

"Creative marketing for exceptional content is king. The money will come when the attention is there."

That is sort of an amusing statement. This has been the case for artists for the last 70 years. The only thing that has changed is how you get the attention.

One of the advantages of new media marketing is that you can measure success fairly easily and accurately.

Some efforts are very long tail (earning money) and some are the process of finding your audience and having them assist in spreading the word about your music.

Jason Spitz

Nick, I'd suggest you have the blog embed the Topspin email-for-media widget instead of (or in addition to) the streaming player. You'll get a LOT more sign-ups if the email widget is in the blog post, than if you make people click over to your site to sign up.

Nicklynagh

Yeah great idea Jason. I'll do that for sure. Thanks mate.

juan

"21-year old from Indiana who produces high-quality music"... you have got to be kidding. this music is extremely bad, nothing new, cheesy, forgettable, just a pathetic trend. it's a money making machine, but don't say it's quality music.

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