Some may argue that the music industry only has itself to blame for it’s current ill health and lack of sustainable revenues. Clinging on to a past of the Sunday night Top 40 and the promise of wealth from the sale of singles to adoring teenage fans did nothing to future proof this industry that is now almost extinct on the high street at least.
Social networking sites have played a huge part in the discovery of new talent and the promotion of signed artists but the majority of labels still feel very uncomfortable about an environment that they can’t control and can’t directly commoditize. So, when news of the launch of FanTrail (www.fantrail.com) hit our screens we knew that this would make a lot of moguls very happy indeed.
FanTrail is an iPhone app that allows artists / bands and their fans to connect but crucially provides a space their management to track and understand fans behaviour, purchase patterns and demographic profiles. It’s free for both the artist / band and their fans.
FanTrail’s being launched at US music & entertainment gathering SXSW in Austin Texas next week and is a lovely piece of work. It allows bands and artists to control and better still, start making money from their social networking space. There are loads of cute innovations inside the app, but in short bands and their management can start of segment their fans by location, dedication and activism.
So what does this mean? If an artist is up and running on FanTrail and they have some new material to test out they can send out an invite for a private gig to only their most active fans (the ones that buy the most music say) in a specific location, rewarding these guys with a money can’t buy opportunity.
The app also has the ability to release short sound bites, interview, samples of tracks etc to fans and once again this can be targeted by activism or location. Fans score points by buying music through the app (& iTunes) and by checking in at gigs and concerts.
We think that there’s a rosy future for FanTrail. The labels will love it as it has the ability to make them money, the management will love it because it makes their life just a little bit easier and the artists themselves will love it as it’s a lovely little app that allows them creativity.
So all you wannabe rock stars get yourself over to FanTrail and tell us what you think. (www.fantrail.com)