The creator economy booms
During the pandemic, the global creator economy has expanded massively, as musicians, artists and influencers found new ways to monetise their craft throughout lockdowns and shutdowns. According to Bloomberg, the space is now worth more than $20 billion and is growing rapidly.
“Recording artists know a lot more about their fans than they did before the Covid-19 lockdowns, and they want to use that information to get closer to them,” the Wall Street Journal wrote in December.
“Newly armed with these granular fan insights, artists are beginning to tailor marketing messages, communicate with fans in more direct ways, and create new experiences for their die-hard followers.”
This has led to big changes in the way creators and brands engage with their customers. It’s no longer about selling a product. It’s about developing a relationship and a community.
Musicians don’t just record music and distribute it to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music any more – they actively engage their superfans with the kind of content they want to see.
A few examples:
- Aussie musician Alex Cameron and his backing band used Patreon to perform skits and behind-the-scenes content for their superfans while the world was in lockdown and live shows weren’t an option.
- Musicians like Cardi B and Swae Lee are increasingly using OnlyFans — no, it’s not just for X-rated material — to engage their fans on a deeper level with exclusive content.
- More than any other creative industry, musicians are embracing NFTs as a way to directly engage with their supporters and allow them to express ownership over their output. This is shaking up the usual artist/label distribution model and charting a new course for the industry.
The same goes for brands. The rise of the ‘microinfluencer’ has shifted focus onto smaller, more intimate social networks.
The stats back it up. 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influence in their purchasing decisions, according to Ogilvy Cannes, while Nielsen found two-thirds of customers trust online opinions from other consumers.
The takeaway? Engaging and delighting your biggest fans isn’t just a nice bonus – it’s essential to running a creative business in 2022.