The value of fan remixes as part of artists’ content strategy

Putting fan remixes in the spotlight is a hundred thousand times more valuable than taking them down.

The scarcest good on the internet is attention. Any savvy artist, manager, or label employee knows this and develops strategies to sustain the attention of fans over long periods of time.

This comes in the form of content strategies, where the social media outlets of artists turn into media with frequent updates. It’s a pretty tiring process and can take a lot of focus away from other important activities.

Social media is so exciting…

But it’s necessary.

One way to sustain attention is to connect fans together and have them keep each other’s attention on you. It’s something I wrote about in 2011 and preceding years, and since then, a lot has changed. For the better.

We have powerful connected devices in our pockets at all times. Our web browsers have also grown more powerful, with the Web Audio APIs enabling a lot of new possibilities. And basically everyone is on social media now.

Throughout the last year, I’ve spoken to the founders of apps and platforms like Pacemaker, MetaPop, and 8Stem. All enabling people to take existing music and mix it, or remix it, and then publish it. Legally.

None of these would have been possible 5 years ago, but with current technology and in today’s landscape they make a lot of sense.

Remix culture is going mainstream and ‘listeners’ are increasingly being shifted from passenger to driver’s seat.

Instead of creating all of your own content, why not let fans do some?

As a matter of fact, they’re already doing it. Look at the fanbases of the Monstercat and Lapfox Trax labels. It seems exceptional, but it’s just about the culture you create around yourself as an artist or label.

Instead of taking down unauthorized remixes, give them a spotlight.

So what if there’s no immediate way to get those 5 cents of revenue from the 5,000 streams it’s going to garner? It’s a hundred thousand times more valuable having an inclusive culture in your fanbase, and a following of fans that actually participate in what you’re creating.

And when I say a hundred thousand times, I mean it.

Taking a fan remix down over a tiny bit of revenue can alienate a fan and stop them from spending money on you, but the value of a highly engaged fan that actually helps you seed your content strategy… Could it be $5,000? Sometimes, yes. Sometimes even more.

Gradually, a participative culture will emerge.

It takes time. There are no shortcuts. You are building.

But you’ll create something that ultimately doesn’t just save you time — you’ll create a fan culture with an output that can inspire you.