Fandom Is Entertainment’s Next Digital Currency

Industry Folk’s Research Into How Social Integrations Will Benefit Artists And Fuel Fandoms Within The Online World

Industry Folk, a music business news platform, has researched into “if streaming monetises consumption, social can monetise fandom” and how “current music consumption is individualistic & the social element is very limited”. They understood that how Western music companies drive fandom differs significantly from its counterparts, which needs to change, according to MIDia analyst Mark Mulligan.

While researching the Chinese streaming market, Industry Folk came across an article that explained Beyonce’s streaming strategy on how she utilises different platforms to segment her fanbase. Tidal is for the super fans, Spotify for her engaged fans and Netflix for her latent fans. Additionally, they came across another article about a breakdown of UX teardown of Xiami Music. They recognised from both of these articles that they included two sides of the same coin, fandom.

Industry Folk have made it a priority to research into fandoms and keep it a central theme. They recently identified it as one of the next five growth drivers for the music business.

Their research considered how to segment the music consumption journey and how Western companies can participate.

Music Consumption should be seen in three key steps:

  1. The song
  2. The (artist) story
  3. The fan

[Image Creds: MIDiA]

Industry Folk were able to compare how Xiami Music differs from Western companies. The Chinese streaming services own all three steps in the music journey. However, in Western companies, the streaming site owns the song, social is doing an okay job in presenting the artist story. But, no one digitally owns the fandom; they are the ones who have to connect the dots and do it for themselves.

Xiami Music delivers more than just the song. They help provide music videos, lyrics, reviews, news virtual tipping, news, lyric posters, and you can even grow your own Tamagotchi. Xiami Music – as with other Chinese streaming apps- uses a white background to make it easier for their users to read and interact with loads of content. In contrast, Western companies use black backgrounds and work based on: finding your playlist, press play, close screen.

[Image Creds: Siew]

Fundamentally there are different UX ethos:

  1. Western apps: sit back and relax with minimal friction
  2. Chinese apps: dive in, interact and collaborate

The hope here is that streaming services will create unique ideas and identities online to create an interaction for fandoms. Which will make it easier for record labels to follow, let’s say Beyonce’s approach of segmenting their audiences across different platforms.

It may be a long time until Western companies take on the Chinese method of interacting with fans. TikTok may be the best place as they act fast to own step 3 (fandom). Radio companies should see this as an opportunity as they could incorporate step two (artist storytelling).

Furthermore, indicated below, Industry Folks demonstrate how Western companies are conforming to a social-centric model.







[Image Creds: Industry Folk]

Finally, for our previous #SocialShort, click here.