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Social Media Activation For Performing Artists

By November 3, 2013February 25th, 2021


Jerry Garcia must be looking down and smiling at the socially driven marketplace that we’re now in. Jerry was social media, before there was a social media.

The Grateful Dead broke almost every rule in the music industry book. They encouraged their fans to record shows and trade tapes; they built a mailing list and sold concert tickets directly to fans; and they built their business model on live concerts, not album sales.

By cultivating a dedicated, active community, collaborating with their audience to co-create the Deadhead lifestyle, and giving away “freemium” content, the Dead pioneered many social media and inbound marketing concepts successfully used by businesses across all industries today.

That description of the Dead’s business model is what social media is for today’s performing artists. It’s just MUCH bigger in scale with the integration of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, YouTube and Google+. If you’re a band and you’re not integrating these networks into your business model, then you’re leaving a lot of potential revenue on the table.

As The Wall Street Journal put it…

losing money on touring, merchandising, and radio didn’t matter if your album was selling. Now, once superfluous activities are raking in the big bucks and album sales are becoming less indicative of success.

The traditional business model for performing artists has forever changed. An artist’s biggest asset is their accessibility.

Today’s fans want access. They want interaction and engagement and they’re willing to pay for it. The problem that most touring acts don’t realize is that the fans just don’t want access, they demand it.

An artist’s audience is no longer simply a fan with a ticket. We’re all the media now. Every person in the audience is a critic, journalist and most importantly, a consumer.

How big is social media for bands and artists? As of today, 7 out of the top 10 most followed accounts on Twitter are all performing artists.

Social media provides musicians with the ability to monetize their audience via sponsorships and brand partnerships. By having a very well defined social media plan, artists can enjoy the benefits of the new business model and differentiate themselves from other acts. Ignoring conventional wisdom is the key to creating uncontested marketing spaces.

If artists are still carrying the flag of anti-commercialism, then monetizing an audience via social media probably isn’t going to be their cup of tea. But then if that’s true, why are they selling tickets and albums?

The graphic below is meant to serve as a snapshot of the social concept. If what you see below is of some interest to you, please give me a call at 954-806-8373 or email me and I’ll work with you to design a fully customized, socially driven marketing initiative that will allow you to monetize your social audience and I’ll show you how to align with brand partners and products that won’t compromise your integrity.

If you’re a talent agent, record company exec, or a part of an artist’s management team, I’m sure that I can develop a socially interactive, experiential opportunity to truly activate your audience for your benefit and your prospective brand partners as well.


Barry Cunningham

Author Barry Cunningham

Barry Cunningham is an antagonist of conventional wisdom. Check out our case studies. They will give you an idea how we help brands & businesses amplify their conversion and lead gen campaigns by deploying digital advertising campaigns at scale. And I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter.

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