Last week Tunezy announced the introduction of Fan Wishlists that provide a structured means for musicians to identify fan experiences, i.e. direct interactions between fan and artist, that can then be monetized based on the actual desires of fans. Tunezy has done an excellent job of entering the direct to fan service space and refining their offering to fit the actual needs of fans and musicians.
At least that's what I get from my current reading of Ash Maurya's "Running Lean." Honestly I'm still sorting this stuff out but Chu confirmed my guess that Tunezy has been applying tactics and strategies from lean software development to the development of their services.
Tunezy's Fan Wishlists in Action
More importantly for musicians seeking to find a productive way forward through a confusing maze of options towards the goal of earning a decent living, Tunezy has focused on the area in which they believe they can add the most value.
Their pricing decision to only monetize fan experiences and to remove their fees from both merch transactions and direct delivery of digital goods clearly reflects their "Pricing Values":
Only make money together.
Be fair. Charge only where we bring value.
Support artists by keeping costs low.
Though artists still need to cover the PayPal transaction fees that arise from fans' direct payments to their accounts, Tunezy decided to remove their fee for merch sales (artists provide fulfillment of physical goods) and sales and delivery of digital goods such as MP3s. They take a 15% rev share of sales of fan experiences.
Chu also pointed out that such services as MP3 delivery is becoming commodified with increasing downward pricing pressure. Chu revealed that it cost Tunezy around $1 in server costs to deliver 10,000 MP3s. In essence, they've gotten ahead of the curve by removing those costs and focusing on this thing they call fan experiences.
So what are "fan experiences" and how do these "Fan Wishlists" work?
Chu explained to me that Wishlists allow fans to tell artists what kind of experiences they'd like to have while gathering such information as what the experience would mean to the fan, more specific details regarding the requested experience and what price fans might be willing to pay.
Artists can then choose which wishes to offer for fulfillment on Tunezy without obligating fans until they respond to specific offers.
As Chu described in a blog post about Fan Wishlists:
"We built Wishlists because we observed that lots of fans were using comments to make their dreams heard on an artist’s Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. The problem was that the artist didn’t know what to do with those requests; they wanted to engage with their fans, but without a platform to get the right information from fans and actually carry out those experiences, they hit a road block."
"With Wishlists, Tunezy now let’s artists get experience requests from their fans and seamlessly lets them turn it into an awesome, customized experience."
I could say more but basically Tunezy's focused on a key area that any artist who's built an interested fanbase should consider. In so doing they've developed an effective approach to connecting artists and fans without getting in the way of that connection.