Apr 7, 2020
For Creatives

Remote Musician's Handbook: Part 1

Dan Servantes

This Handbook Is Your Guide

We are living in a time of unprecedented disruption for touring musicians. All business has gone remote, and artists are forced to come up with new business models to sustain their careers. Fortunately, audiences are also looking for new forms of entertainment to replace the experience of a night out.

Much like the adoption of streaming by major labels, the music industry fully adopts new technology only when there is no other choice. This time, it’s live streaming and subscription-based revenue. Both have been used successfully by creators in other mediums. Now, artists have their opportunity to catch up and build these models into their existing marketing and business plans.

This handbook explains how the different live streaming platforms can be used to generate awareness and revenue, and create a subscription model to generate recurring revenue.

The Music Marketing Funnel

Marketing is like music theory. It takes creativity and math to make it work. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so here’s the math.

To understand the best way to use these new tools, it can be helpful to consider them as part of the marketing funnel. For those unfamiliar with the marketing funnel, the funnel is a visualization of the different stages of potential fans becoming super fans. People go through this funnel in what is called the “customer journey.” A well- thought- out marketing plan takes all of these different stages into account and creates specific campaigns that guide people further down the funnel.



People in the awareness stage are unfamiliar with your music and are likely being introduced to it for the first time. This is the largest group of people in your funnel. The more people you can reach in the awareness stage, the more people that will filter down through the next stages.

Metrics to watch: Reach, Impressions

Passive Consumers

Passive consumers are people that have listened to your music or viewed your content, but don’t seek it out. They don’t follow your social media pages and aren’t on your email list, yet. The thesis is that with the right call to action, these consumers will become fans.

Metrics to watch: Stream count, video views, monthly listeners

Passive Fans

Passive fans are fans that are not yet spending money on or promoting your music, but have indicated that they enjoy your music and want more of it. They have followed your social media pages, engaged with your content, and connected with your music but haven’t experienced the “hook” that will turn them into active fans.

Metrics to watch: Social media followers/page likes, email list or text subscription (such as SuperPhone) sign ups, Spotify followers, website visits

Active Fans

Active fans are the fans that are listening to your music and consuming your content with regularity. They purchase merch, go to shows, comment on your social media posts, and embrace opportunities to support you. The ARPF (average revenue per fan) is significantly higher than that of a passive fan, and your goal should be to attract and retain as many people into this group as possible. Generally, this means providing them so much emotional and entertainment value via your music and content that they feel compelled to support your music financially.

Metrics to watch: Ticket sales, merch sales, user-generated content featuring your music, recipients with a high email open percentage, regular social media post engagers/commenters

Advocates / Super Fans

Advocates or super fans are an important subset of Active Fans. These are the fans that take on the burden of promotion. This concept is called “Customer as a Teacher.” These fans tell their friends, bring people to shows, and consider your music part of their identity. Importantly, when someone learns of your music via a super fan, they are much more likely to go through the funnel without friction.

Metrics to watch: Harder to quantify via metrics, but shares are an obvious metric to monitor

Understanding where the different live streaming and subscription platforms fit into the funnel is an important part of utilizing these tools correctly and having them compliment your existing business.

Dan Servantes

Dan Servantes is a marketing consultant at GHStrategic and author of the Remote Musician’s Handbook. You can follow him on Twitter (@DRServantes), on Medium, or via Entrepreneurship & Art.