Going to concerts is both a privilege and a fun part of my job. Recently, I was able to attend a Kina Grannis show in Paris with my youngest child, 13-year-old Penelope. I found myself taking in the crowd around me, turning my head and watching as the audience reacted, and witnessing casual fans turn into loyal fans — or “fidelisés,” as the French expression goes — as the show went on. Occasionally, I too am so taken by an artist’s show that I become a fan myself. I find this is especially the case when I bring one of my kids with me. At this show, my daughter’s enchantment enthralled me. In fact, I think Penelope could probably write a more convincing post about the concert than me. She was so captured by Kina Grannis’s singing and songwriting talent and presence on stage, which you can see in this video she took during the show (the photo above is also hers).
As professionals in digital music distribution here at The Orchard, we have witnessed many artists develop their fan base through YouTube videos and Internet marketing. In my opinion, Kina Grannis and her management have brought this concept to a very high level, taking on projects most could never even imagine. If you haven’t seen the incredibly sweet music video for her song “In Your Arms,” you will be shocked to learn how much creativity and time was put into it in this Making of “In Your Arms” (Stop Motion Animation) video. It is projects like this that captivate online viewers enough to come back and keep watching.
The pivotal moment, however, comes when you turn your virtual following into something that can actually make you money. In France, and in many other places, we’ve done this for Kina by tapping into our retail connections and securing prime placement across digital storefronts, like iTunes, pictured below.
Beyond this, time permitting, we can also contribute to more ‘out of the box’ connections aimed at facilitating further recognition and supporting upcoming events. In this case, it could be via one-on-one meetings with key local bloggers and industry figures, such as Virginie Berger from Don’t Believe The Hype (DBTH) Agency or Isabelle Wekstein, a very important legal representative for artists and labels within the French Cultural Industry.
I actually experienced part of this effect at my own personal “expense,” but that expenditure was a positive sign of the possible growth of an artist and the music business in general. There was no way that Penelope, new fan of Kina Grannis, would leave that concert hall without a really cool t-shirt, a poster signed by a very nice woman, and the promise of a signed CD, even if she can — and will — listen to that same music for close to free on various streaming sites. Live shows offer an opportunity to bring in revenue via tickets and merchandise; but, more importantly, they allow artists to connect with fans in a way that makes them more committed to supporting that artist for years to come.
So I’m a bit out of pocket, but really happy to have helped facilitate musical discovery. Thanks Kina and Jonathan, Philippe Giard from The Orchard, and Penelope, of course. And to everyone who helped make this feeling happen, you know who you are…