Fan clubs have historically represented the ultimate level of fandom in music; a group of people brought together by their shared love of one artist. For the artists, these fan clubs represent a connection point to their most loyal followers, an opportunity to strengthen their bond. Yet over time, we’ve seen the notion of a fan community change into something where the idea of engaging and rewarding fans has been deprioritized in favor of more direct monetization strategies. Evolution in the music industry and the advent of new intermediaries brought about this transition where the “necessary evil” became the expected norm. But now, new technology is allowing for the artist & fan relationship to change again… back to its truest roots.
Looking at the current landscape, today’s fan clubs fall into two categories: paid and unpaid. Unpaid include the use of mailing lists or social networks as free communities for fans, but these tactics lack elements of control and in the case of social networks, allow third parties to monetize fan relationships without giving back to the artist. The second approach has been an owned & operated fan club or a paid membership platform that rely on subscriptions. While these approaches offer more control, they’re focused on monetizing a fanbase via a one-way cash flow and are largely limited to just one platform or destination.
Rally can offer a third way, where social tokens serve as the connective tissue that builds the fan club of the future.
When applied to a fan community, this blockchain technology allows:
- Value to be shared with the entire fan community, instead of extracting it from them.
- Easy implementation into existing communities regardless as to their location (IRL or digital).
- Authentication for fans to unlock content, offers, experiences, & more.
- Transactions to drive sales without incurring merchant fees.
- Flexibility to be implemented into existing music marketing strategies.
Below are some of the key music marketing strategies that exist today and show how social tokens can improve upon them.
Presale Tickets: Because social tokens are recorded on a blockchain, artists easily see who holds their social token, how many tokens they have, and how long they’ve held them. Using tokens, artists can decide which fans hit the threshold for presale access and generate unique presale codes applicable to any ticketing platform.
VIP Upgrades: We’ve seen Rally artists sell meet & greets as part of their upgrade experiences. These experiences can be purchased in advance and some artists will include a free NFT for fans. After the show, this NFT can be used to unlock post-tour content.
Merch Booth: Using coins as a currency for transactions allows artists to avoid costly merchant fees and allows artists to identify their fans directly. They can sell all merch items via their social token and Rally tools make it easy to show currency (USD) equivalents. Artists can even sell fan-club exclusive items at merch booths by confirming community membership via the blockchain.
Coin & NFT Redemptions: Rally has seen creators offer show-specific NFTs or social tokens as a redeemable perk that allow fans to access their communities. These digital assets can be used after the show to continue telling the artists’ story. This redemption system can be implemented through on-screen QR codes, in-venue airdrops, or visuals that are part of the performance.
Gated Content: Since Rally isn’t a platform, the tools can work with any platform or an artist’s own site to gate access based upon coin ownership quantities or the ownership of an NFT. Artists can gate “added value” content such as b-sides, remixes, archives, exclusive video content, and more. This content can elevate the primary content around an album release.
Discord: Gate specific channels on Discord to ensure only fans that hold a specific quantity of coins or an NFT are able to access those channels & its content. What happens in the gated channel is an exclusive experience for superfans.
DSP Presaves: Social tokens can serve as an easy tool to incentivize fan activity & CTAs. Artists can reward a subset of fans who presave new music by offering them tokens that hold value and unlock fan community access, driving further participation.
Fan Amplification & Evangelism: Creators can use tools to reward fans for retweeting or further boosting artists updates. Rally’s network partners have reward mechanisms that can apply to current social strategies in a turn-key process.
Livestreams: Rally can integrate into established livestreaming platforms to allow gated access for superfans or to enable discounted pricing. Artists can host a private pre-stream Q&A that is accessible to all token-holders ahead of the primary broadcast.
Twitch & YouTube: Social tokens can be connected to streams to allow unique badging for superfans & additional customization bespoke to coin-holders. Purchases of different items or actions can trigger activity on the stream to highlight fan participation.
Listening Parties: Rally artists do private listening parties through platforms like Zoom or in gated Discord channels. Rally tools allow artists to connect the coin to an outside platform or wherever it’s needed.
Traditional Merch: Rally allows merch items to be sold via using social tokens without taking any transaction or merchant fees. Additionally, the artist’s page on Rally’s site allows for individual merch campaigns.
Exclusive Merch Drops: If an artist is looking to issue a limited edition item that they want to reserve for their superfans (eg. limited vinyl variant, brand collab, etc), they can make ownership of the token a prerequisite for any item purchase. This allows them to make sure that only your true fans are able to purchase specific items.
Experiences & Digital Offerings: Rally has seen creators who want to get a little bit more creative use their social tokens to sell direct interactions. Some creators have sold video shout outs (a la Cameo) while others have sold custom songs. Some artists even sell experiences such as access to their fantasy football league.
UGC Contests & Leaderboard: To support contesting Rally built a leaderboard tool that allows fans to upload submissions and vote on different entries. Fans can use the token to “superlike” and boost their favorites.
Raffles & Contests: Using Rally tools and features, artists can easily set up raffles and contests through Rally. The blockchain is transparent, so creators can connect with fans to offer rewards around current priorities. One of the great things about this technology is that it can be applied to various initiatives on different platforms.