Nothing beats the experience of seeing your favorite artist live – except maybe that moment when you look next to you to see that others are feeling the music just as much as you are. Musical communities are a truly special bond that aren’t location specific. Perhaps that’s why fan engagement platforms, such as Patreon and Memberful, are so successful in cultivating online fanbases.
An app in the fandom world that has been making cutting-edge headway in the COVID-19 concert-less era is Nashville-based With the Band. The fan engagement platform, which connects artists with fans and fans with each other, has found itself in a pivotal position – how can they expand engagement to fill the growing needs during quarantine?
Before COVID, the app was used primarily to empower music fans and artists to create and participate in fan projects and meet ups. Perhaps the most notable example of a With the Band moment was September of 2019, where fans organized for 16,000 signs to be distributed at a Jonas Brothers concert in Nashville.
Since COVID-19, however, the platform has had to adjust to a live concert-less world. How are they doing? Pretty good in my opinion
With the Band has a new (and exciting!) feature called Fan Crews, which is a modern day, virtual version of a fan club that even Dr. Fauci could get behind.
With Fan Crews, artists will be able to engage with their fan bases (and monetize their brand) through:
- Private messaging
- Virtual meet & greets
- Live streams (the modern-day concert?)
- Exclusive content
- Special giveaways
- & much more
The most helpful feature of Fan Crews is that artists and artists teams will have access to an analytic dashboard, where they can see data pertaining to their fan base – all at a zero start-up cost to the artist!
Founder and CEO Sarah Beth Perry – a boyband fangirl – began the With the Band venture from her dorm room in 2017. Now, just three short years and a global pandemic later With the Band has grown in size and scale, and just might be the best thing to happen to fandom since everything went virtual.
Coronavirus has threatened the music industry from all angles – live concerts must abide by CDC guidelines, which means decreased profit for everyone. Fan meet ups and events have had to go mostly digital, putting the onus on tech features that allow for online fan engagement. Artists are losing money during this time, and fans are not able to engage with the artists and each other in the capacity they crave.
If the COVID-induced crumbling live concert industry is a call, With the Band’s Fan Crews is one hell of a response. I’m excited to see what artists and fans do with their new, full-integrated platform.