Artists News Uncategorized

How much time & effort do you spend acquiring new fans?

Posted by Mike McCready | July 17th, 2012 | 6 Responses


How much time and money do you spend trying to acquire new fans online?  Think about it. Remember, while you’re doing it, you have to feed yourself and you have to pay rent. Time is money.


Now ask yourself, do you enjoy the process? Do you ever get the feeling people aren’t just waiting around for you to tell them about a new song you’ve recorded? It can be hard to break through all the noise just to get the attention of potential fans, right?


Identifying, engaging, and monetizing new fans is one of the hardest tasks musicians face and it’s why we’ve built a new service within Music Xray called Fan Match.


In short, it matches you and your music with likely fans.


Be one of the first to try this new service. We’ve got 150 slots open.


Thousands upon thousands of music fans are already part of Music Xray. We initially opened Music Xray to fans a couple years ago when we needed random music lovers to participate in focus groups. We know all about their tastes and a lot of their demographic information.



So, here’s how Fan Match works:


  1. You choose a song you’d like people to hear.

  3. For every dollar you pay us, we guarantee three potential fans will hear your track.

  5. Upon hearing your track they can decide if they want to become a direct fan of yours (in which case you get their email address and can establish a direct relationship with them just like all your other fans).

  7. Upon hearing your track, they can also decide to tip you.


How do you know if this is a good service and if it’s worth it?


Let’s say you spend $100 today to acquire new fans (via any method you choose). Can you guarantee that 300 new people will hear your music? Not just any new people; but people who are into your style and genre and who are open to hearing and discovering new songs and bands.


Can you do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next day? It takes a lot of work.

That’s why we thought someone should build a better way.


Look, if only 10% of the new people who hear your music decide they really like it enough to offer you their email address; well, that’s 30 new fans with whom you would then have a direct relationship. Divide that into $100 and it comes out to having cost you $3.33 per new fan.

If 20% decide to give you their email address, then it will have cost you only $1.66 per new fan.

So, logically, the more compelling your music is, the more fans you’ll convert from among the 300 we target for you. The more fans you acquire, the less it’s costing you per fan. Thus the correlation is that the better your music is, the more fans you’ll acquire for less money.

Plus, you might even inspire some of those fans to tell their friends and jump-start your own little organic unit. It’s a new product. We don’t want to oversell it. At the same time, we think itless it will cost you to acquire a new fan. And that doesn’t even consider the fact that some of those new fans will tell their friends and bring you even more fans, giving you more bang for your buck.

How much is each fan worth to you in the first year? What about over the lifetime of the relationship? How many CDs, downloads, t-shirts, and tickets to your gigs do you have to sell each one before you make back that $3.33 (assuming you only converted 10% of those who heard your music)? You would probably make that back plus a lot more fairly soon, wouldn’t you?  And some of those fans will last a lifetime and pay you again and again over the course of your career.


But then, let’s consider this… what if we can encourage one of every ten fans you acquire to give you a tip. Not much; maybe only a dollar.  So, for every 30 fans you acquire, you might make $3 in tips.  Lets do that math.


$100 cost to acquire 30 fans

minus $3 in tips

equals $97 (the true cost of acquiring the fans)


See how the tips offset your costs?  What if your music were so good it inspires fans to give you more than $100 in tips? Suddenly, your fan acquisition costs went down to nothing.


But, for the purposes of this exercise, let’s stick with a more probable reality and say it will cost $3 per each fan acquired. Remember, this will depend on how compelling your music is.


Can you do that for less anywhere else? If so, you should. If you can’t, it would be a bad decision not to use Fan Match and any other musicians who target the same audience as you would be getting an advantage over you by using Fan Match if you aren’t.


Here’s the kicker. If your music is really, really good you can acquire fans for less than other musicians. If it’s not as compelling as it could be, you won’t acquire as many fans per dollar spent. But you’ll never know your cost per fan until you try Fan Match and if you don’t know what it costs to acquire a fan, you don’t know if you can even make a living as a musician.


Fan Match can be an indicator of your viability as a business. It can predict your ability to make a living while at the same time helping you do so.


Be one of the first to try this new service. We’ve got 150 slots open.


See the video below for a succinct explanation of how Fan Match works.  And please help us get this information out there by clickingthe “like” button below the video or the “share” feature.






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: