Size matters. Numbers matter. Last week I told a
manager friend about a new band he had to
check out. The first thing he did was pull out his
phone and went to their Facebook Page.
Facebook Likes are a quick, one glance indicator
of status. It’s not the be all and certainly doesn’t
translate directly to downloads, streams or ticket
sales, but it’s the first stat anyone will seek out.
Of course Likes can be bought (or, ahem,
advertised for). Everyone knows this. But it looks
pretty dumb if you have 50,000 Likes and no one
commenting on your Timeline.
Unfortunately musicians’ reach via the Page has
plummeted (unless, of course, you’re willing to
pay for it via a Boost). So, is it worth it to invest
money to obtain Likes? It’s the quick way to get
people to go one layer deeper with you and invest
a bit more time checking out your project, but if
you don’t have the actual fan base to back it up
(or the music, video, stage chops) then, no, it’s
not worth it. Get your act together, work your
ground game, build a loyal base, and if you need
to jump a tier of notoriety or recognition, then
maybe run a couple promotions to attract some
new, true fans.
What does the number of Likes say about bands?
Less than 1,000
Not worth paying attention to. They don’t care
enough to even get their friends to Like their Page
(or probably come to their concerts). Their only
goal is to be “discovered.” By whom? They don’t
know. They think “the music” is enough. Sadly,
they are lost in the last century. Unless someone
comes along to shake them up and makes them
pay attention to their business, they will not be
going anywhere anytime soon.
They’re a local band who care enough to put
some effort into their career. They’ve played
around town a lot and probably have a couple
EPs or albums out. Enough for someone to head
on over to Twitter or YouTube to check some
more stats and content.
They’ve toured. Either very successfully regionally
or done a few national tours. They have multiple
albums out, probably a music video or two and
are moving forward. A listen is in order.
Impressive. I need to look deeper and find their
story. They’re a touring band or have had some
licensing or YouTube success. I’ll watch a
YouTube video or two and definitely check out the
These numbers compete. Either they have been
beating the road touring for YEARS or are starting
to kill it somewhere on the interwebs. Most likely
YouTube. They’ve probably opened for some
bigger artists on a few tours and have definitely
put out some pretty high quality music videos.
They have albums out and can pack shows
regionally. They are their fans’ favorite “I have to
show you this band,” band. Word of mouth to the
max. They’re growing and are getting little
victories here and there like TV placements,
opening tours or a viral YouTube video.
Who reps them? Nobody? Damn, these cats are
onto something. I need to get as much
information about them as I can. I’ll spend some
time on their profile, head over to their website,
Twitter, YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, everything.
This band can headline national tours and bring a
few hundred to every city they visit. They’ve been
at the music game for awhile or have had some
decent YouTube success. Maybe even a hit a few
years back on Triple A, Country or College radio.
They tour frequently as an opener and a
headliner. They have multiple albums, EPs, live
albums and singles out. And their music videos
are high production.
They’re most likely repped by an indie label or
great management. Definitely have a booking
agent behind them. No representation means they
have figured out how to make it work and should
not give up any more of their career than they
have to. People are a-knockin. They can keep the
chain on the door for a bit longer.
They’ve had a big hit. Either radio or YouTube,
but their numbers are strong. They have YouTube
views in the millions. They are touring
internationally. They can pack theaters wherever
they go. They are on the brink of mainstream.
Their fans are hard core. They can sell VIP
exclusives at their shows and can get very
creative on montization efforts.
They probably have a major label behind them. Or
an established indie. If they are still DIY, then by
god, STAY THAT WAY. You’ve beat the system
and the industry is scratching its head.
Multiple hits. Die hard fans. Life is good. Touring
internationally and they have it figured out. Their
manager is kicking ass and has “the team” under
control. Consistent music, videos and live show.
They haven’t quite broken mainstream, but are
known in the music industry. Respected.
1,000,000 – 5,000,000
The superstars of the industry. Label support.
They’ve either had their day or on the up and up
fast. They’re on the brink of mainstream or were
hot last decade. They are very wealthy and, if still
on tour, play arenas or large theaters.
Beyonce et al. Mainstream. Your mom’s heard of
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