Performing Artists Engage in More Direct- to- Consumer Marketing

Musicians and other performing artists once had limited engagement with fans and that often centered on backstage visits and fan mail. concertThese interactions were typicall controlled by studios who produced the recordings and managed the musicians.  The disintermediation of the traditional business model for musicians means that they’re doing more of their own outreach.  A recent Wall Street Journal article written by Hannah Karp shows how this outreach, in the form of email and social media, is bringing in new revenue and new opportunities from other business partners.

Industry statistics from Topspin, a media company specializing in helping musicians, shows that obtaining a fan’s email will lead to lifetime sales of $3.78. One way to obtain these email addresses is to offer a free song in exchange for the personal information. Such a transaction drastically increases the chances that a fan will purchase future releases from the musician.

Another way for musicians to generate revenue is to demonstrate a solid fan base on social media. An active social site is now necessary in order to convince potential corporate sponsors that a musician is popular. From there, deals for commercials and videogames can soon follow. Musicians have also found that once they have established a solid fan base, they can begin to engage in e‑commerce and sell branded goods or even personal meetings that center around concerts.

The average performing artist typically earns only 10% of total music revenue through direct sales to fans. The balance of revenue must come other strategies that are driven by successfully using digital marketing tools.

To learn more about concert attendees, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.