Fan Clubs – And Why They Are Just As Important Today As In The Past.

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I used to work with fan clubs back in the 90s when they were a key source of income for a lot of bands. I think the biggest one I worked with was the official Take That fan club with over a 100,000 subscribers paying (from memory) £10 a year. That’s a lot of revenue that artists are now missing out on. Digital fan clubs are the way forward.

What seems to have happened since then is, fan clubs turned into websites, some of them began to be controlled by record labels and the artist was left with using MySpace and later, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram etc. The problem with these sites is that you don’t own anything that happens on them and it seems the measurement of success has become the number of “Likes” or “Views”, which just don’t convert into cash for an artist.  They only generate money for networks you post content on (aside from PRS/ASCAP etc. revenue).
This is what FanCircles is fighting against! Big internet companies who make money from advertising using your brand to make themselves rich and returning little or nothing to you the artist.

Fan clubs used to not only be a key reason why an artist got signed in the first place but also the key communications driver between the artist and fan.

So what happened to them? Websites – That’s what happened. And websites are expected to be free, which of course they have to be.
Apps, on the other hand, have changed this perception and fans are prepared to pay to access Digital Fan Clubs with premium material included. The problem with most artist apps to date is that they are just not good enough.

Have you ever seen a good artist app?

Little thought has really gone into them, and they tend to be a one-way channel. This is probably because either the company providing them is a tech company with little music industry experience, or a music industry company with little tech experience. We have both. (Check out our founder Kevin Brown on Linkedin here)

To date, they have tendered to be simple apps with one of two problems;

  1. They have no interaction with the artist and are based around sending people back to social networks and streaming services hence offering no value
  2. They are “all in one” branded apps that artists simply have a page within. Try getting your artist to promote that!

So with this in mind we have developed a social network where every fan registers within their own platform and owns the relationship with their fan directly.

The app itself allows the artist to post, just like they would on Facebook, and fans to comment on posts. It also lets the artist stream live video to fans, list gigs and pre-sales links as well as VIP packages, stream complete gig DVD’s and stream songs and albums, just like Spotify.

All content can then be made available to subscribers of the digital fan club or to all app users. Pick the right material to make premium and your fans will support you with subscriptions. It works, and if you want to see how well, fill out the form on this page and we’ll send you some case studies to show you how well.

The most important thing to remember is your super fans are your key to success. Look after them well, and they will look after you.

Kevin Brown
Author: Kevin Brown

Kevin, the CEO of FanCircles, is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in both the tech and music industries. He has managed arena-level artists and founded Affiliate Window (, which he successfully exited in 2012 after its acquisition by Axel Springer. Recognizing the needs of artists and labels to connect directly with fans, he embarked on the journey of establishing FanCircles.

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