Being a rather passionate consumer of music, I thought I would briefly share with you some of the things that I would eagerly pay money for as a fan.
I have several bands in mind here that I eagerly follow like a hawk. Some are small, lesser known; some are more popular. The popularity of the group is irrelevant because I’m part of what each those bands would consider their core community - if they got up out of bed this morning, I want to know about it (not really, but you get my drift).
I’ve identified with their craft and therefore want to be let into their “inner circle” so that I can get to know the musicians as people, deepening my appreciation for both the artist and their craft.
That is really what selling access is all about: satisfying your fans’ desire to get to know you better.
I’d like to just clarify that I realize most artists will need to reach a certain level of critical mass (will be different for every artist) before they could viably sell access to fans. There’s nothing wrong with being small, but clearly you need to generate a certain level of interest before people are willing to open their wallets.
That being said, let me throw some ideas your way. These are 18 things I would eagerly pay money for if my favorite artists offered them:
- Live video streams from the recording studio
- Access to unreleased demos
- Access to works in progress
- Cover art turned fine art (i.e. Gallery prints of album cover art)
- Meet & Greets (could be formal or “Let’s Grab a Beer”)
- Home videos (I’m thinking along the lines of funny here)
- A personal blog (about their life, not their music)
- An exclusive CD or Vinyl (only sold to members)
- Live video chats/Q&A
- Side projects (artwork, experimental songs, etc.)
- Hand-made things (how about a handmade cd sleeve?)
- Videos talking about the inspiration for individual songs
- Recording information (i.e. How specific songs were recorded, including mics, mic position, instruments, tone settings, ProTools plug-ins, outboard gear, etc.)
- Sheet music/Tablature or even better:
- Instructional videos on how to play a song (e.g. The picking pattern for this guitar part)
- Streaming video from live shows
- Live recordings
- ProTools sessions/Garageband files
I could really go on and on - there are so many possibilities! I would envision these things being offered as more of a ‘package’ rather than paying for them individually, but how many things are offered and how really is dependent on the artist.
Of course, you can always provide these types of things to your fans for free - for some artists that will make a lot of sense; for others, this list represents things other than your CD that fans would love to pay you for because it fulfills their desire to understand you and your art on a deeper level.
Andrew Goodrich is currently studying business and music industry at Loyola University New Orleans. He’s an aspiring music business entrepreneur, casual musician and photographer, and an avid supporter of artists.
He has interned at Alan Ett Creative Group and 20th Century Fox’s Newman Scoring Stage and Post Production Department. In the future, he hopes to find himself where film and music meet.