Everyone is talking about the importance of music superfans to propel and monetize an artist’s career. But what is a superfan, and why do the CEOs of UMG and WMG, along with almost everyone else in the music business, suddenly care so much?
The article from Hypebot, penned by Bruce Houghton, delves into the burgeoning significance of music superfans in the industry. It begins by questioning the essence of a superfan and why major industry players like UMG and WMG are placing such high stakes on this group.
The concept of superfans isn’t new. It traces back to Kevin Kelly’s 2008 notion of “1000 True Fans,” suggesting that creators don’t need millions of fans to succeed but rather a smaller, dedicated group willing to significantly support their work.
Goldman Sachs’ “Music in the Air Report” quantifies this, highlighting superfans as a “$4.2 billion opportunity,” with these individuals spending substantially more on music and related merchandise compared to casual listeners.
The article breaks down the spending habits of superfans, showing they spend 68% more on music monthly, 126% more on artist merchandise, and 76% more on physical music than average fans. It also notes a genre and demographic-specific willingness among superfans to financially support artists through direct funding platforms.
The piece then shifts focus to why major labels are increasingly interested in superfans.
Lucien Grainge of UMG emphasizes the shift towards artist-centric royalties and the need to enhance the artist-fan relationship through unique superfan experiences.
Robert Kyncl of WMG discusses leveraging data to deepen these relationships and explore untapped monetization avenues.
Michael Nash of UMG speaks on the potential of a ‘super premium’ tier in subscription services, aimed at superfans willing to pay more for exclusive content and experiences.
In conclusion, the article underscores the mutual benefit for labels and artists in nurturing superfans.
For labels, it’s a cost-effective strategy to grow revenue from existing artists. For artists, it’s about maximizing earnings from streaming and sustaining their careers.