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Delivering Music To Fans: The Options

SdOnce you've spent the time and energy to create your music, getting into the hands and ears of your fans is the next step. This article looks at several different content delivery systems from more conventional techniques like email, to more innovative tech like the digital wallet.

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Guest Post by Jack Kelly of Adva Mobile

After working with fire and steel to create the end result of your musicianship craft, the next challenge is to get your content into the hands of your fans. The digital world offers lots of options, however not all are created equal.

As a result of a new experiment from Boston based NPR station WBUR, we can now add the Digital Wallet to the mix of options. For the past 11 years, the popular New York Times column, “Modern Love,” has featured essays submitted by readers about contemporary romance. At the end of January, WBUR began a weekly series of podcasts with celebrities reading the essays.

Blog-Pic-mobilepayments-2-1024x941WBUR and The New York Times released a digital wallet card with automatic, linked reminders about the podcasts. Once a user installs the podcast application as part of their digital wallet, listeners receive notification about, and a link to, each week’s podcast.

The upside to this notification service is that every iPhone and Android Phone has a digital wallet, and why not use it as a marketing channel, in addition to its original mobile payments purchase?

The downside- and this is echoed in some of the options described below – is that, at the end of the day, it’s another App your fans have to subscribe to. And Artists will need an app provider to offer a digital wallet marketing app. Urban Airship, a mobile engagement company out of Portland OR, custom built the WBUR wallet App.

What else is out there to help Artists deliver content to fans and notify them that there’s new content for Fans to consume?

  • Email – Tested and relatively reliable. However email requires the fan to sift through all their emails to find yours, which is a chore on a smartphone. And, you’re likely to be limited to the open rate performance of the most successful email campaigns, only around 20 percent.
  • Apps – An App requires the Fan to download, install, and manage yet another App. Plus, you’ll have to have one built for you, not an inexpensive solution.
  • Social – Tell your Fans, and link to your content (YouTube, your web page, etc.) on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Your Fans have to actually SEE your post to get to your link. You can always hope for that.
  • QR Codes – Sure. When was the last time you scanned a QR Code. Same answer from your Fans.
  • Text – This is where it gets interesting. Before the Fan can receive a Text from you with a link to your content, they have to give you their mobile phone number. That’s not a disadvantage. That’s called building a fan database.

Texts are most commonly associated with peer-to-peer communications between family and friends. There has been commercial success with Text by the bigger brands, mostly sending coupons. It hasn’t generally been used for content distribution.

That could change. Notifying Fans of new content via Text is perfectly suited to a mobile phone environment. A link embedded within a Text can be automatically opened and consumed on a mobile phone. And, the open rate of Text is over 96%. When was the last time a text notification pinged on your phone and you didn’t immediately check your phone? Text is compulsive.

Another advantage to linking content distribution via Text: once the Fan is consuming the content, you now have an opportunity to engage them with more content. Links to voicemail like messages and other audio and special content, links to news and upcoming shows and tickets, links to products for sale, and other music, videos, web content, marketing messages, ads or services.

Musicians are the poster children for “content marketing” – after all, it’s content that Artists create! Getting that content into the hands of your Fans is your next challenge. Text is an effective option when considering your choices for delivering branded content to your Fans.

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