Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Breaking a band’s fans down to €s, £s and $s

A new survey attempts to work out how much a fan of a band is worth

Sigur Ros: you can pay your $10.91 at the door

Fri, Nov 29, 2013, 09:45


Even with followers and fans, it all comes down to money. Every time a social media giant like Facebook or Twitter heads to market to flog their shares, the calculators come out in an effort to establish how much the person using the service is worth to the service.

Of course, the calculations can be flipped to show how much the user is owed too. Without users, free services wouldn’t have any value, which is where that slightly worn and threadbare “if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product” saw comes into play. But there’s also a value to be had for the consumer from how they use a free service, something which is often overlooked in the discussions about valuations.

When it comes to bands and fans, though, there’s a much clearer bottom line to the relationship because that fan will go to shows, buy merchandise and occasionally pay for a record. Music marketing service Topspin crunched the data from the 70,000 artists it works with to arrive at figures like a value of $3.78 for a fan who swaps an email address for a track. Naturally, the actual value of that email address varies from act to act. For instance, Topspin reckon that an Arcade Fire fan will buy $6.26 of stuff directly from the band, while Sigur Ros fans are more likely to spend $10.91.

While it’s worth noting that all of this is based on Topspin’s own data, the survey does demonstrate the value of cultivating and maintaining the relationship between band and fan.

The figures may point to a direct cash value for a fan’s email address, but there’s also the cumulative effect of thousands and millions of retweets and likes which help to grow and develop a band’s profile. The old formula of 1,000 true fans certainly has merit, but so too have the sometimes harder-to-quantify actions of the bigger fan mass.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email for the activation code.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 10 days from the date of publication.