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Fan Appeal: How do you stack up against major artists? It’s easy to know.

Posted by Mike McCready | November 29th, 2012 | 2 Responses

Today we looked at a few of the recent singles released this week by major artists and stacked them up against some Music Xray artists. You can compare yourself too, as we’ll explain below.

The major artist songs are ones that are likely to be hits within their genres in the coming weeks but currently haven’t been heard by a massive audience. So, we ran a small Fan Match campaign for each of them to see how potential fans within each target audience will react.

Think of a Fan Match campaign as a highly sophisticated Focus Group. But in this kind of focus group, we’re actually trying to turn the participants into genuine fans of the music we play for them.

We send each song to an audience of 45 to 60 people (a sub group of our large fan pool), different audiences for each song. Each audience is targeted based on their taste. In other words, they like similar artists to the one they are hearing.

After hearing the song, the audience member has the choice to do nothing, in which case they just go away. They heard the song and weren’t impressed enough to engage. Or, they can choose to click a button that indicates they like the song enough to want to join that artist’s mailing list. In that case, they are considered an “acquired fan”.

We calculate the ratio of people who heard the song and did nothing vs people who heard the song and joined the artist as an official fan.

Music Xray charges the artist $0.33 for each potential fan who hears the song.

So, if the artist acquires one of every two potential fans, the cost per fan acquisition would be $0.66. That would be an excellent result, by the way.

In other words, for the 66 cents, the artist is getting the email address of the fan and a link to the fan’s own Facebook profile. The artist’s “cost per fan acquisition” is $0.66.

So, when we play your new song to your intended audience and you acquire fans more cheaply than Toby Keith acquires fans when he plays his new song to his intended audience… that says something.

That information should have weight when artists and labels make decisions about which music to promote. This kind of test enables very different artists to be compared as apples to apples and may provide important information about which songs / artists are able to penetrate their intended markets with less resistance.

In other words, which artist / songs are better investments?

(Learn how to launch your own Fan Match campaign here).

We ran a campaign for the new 50 Cent single that features Adam Levine and Eminem. We targeted already existing fans of 50 Cent, Eminem, and Maroon 5 (in a Fan Match campaign, you get to target fans of other acts – so if you think Barry Manilow’s fans would really dig you, then you can target people who like Barry Manilow). The result? 50 Cent’s name is about 21 cents shy. He should consider changing his name to 71 Cent because that’s what each fan is costing him. That’s a pretty good rate but we’ve seen better.

Then, we ran Toby Keith’s new single, “Hope On The Rocks” and we targeted fans of Toby Keith, Keith Urban, and Garth Brooks. Toby’s new single acquired fans at $0.73 per fan. Not bad at all.

Granted, both of those campaigns are stil in progress so the results are still preliminary but we know from experience that these numbers will likely be very similar when the campaign completes and has been heard by all 60 targeted people. But let’s compare those results that to a few completed campaigns for independent artists. Check this out; this Music Xray artist targeted fans of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones with his song “Shoebox Full of God” which acquired fans at $0.48.

In other words, Paul Turner is more compelling to his target audience than either 50 Cent or Toby Keith are to theirs!

Our Fan Match product is off the hook!

Every few weeks we’ll post the results of some major artist singles so you can calibrate gauge and compare your market appeal against major artists.

Here are some other acts on the site with completed campaigns who have fared quite well compared to the two superstar acts at the top of this post.

The important thing to note; not all of these songs are exceptionally remarkable. But, they resonate with their intended audiences and through Fan Match, you can reach the intended audience and engage the fans.

Mike McCready is an entrepreneur at the crossroads of music and technology. He pioneered the introduction of Hit Song Science into the music industry and followed up with Music Xray, the company he co-founded and serves as CEO. His companies have been the subject of case studies at Harvard Business School, IESE and he frequently guest speaks at many of the top business schools around the world. He helps the music industry identify high potential songs and talent and helps musicians get deals, get fans, & get better: