Why More Artists Are Going Direct-to-Superfans with Jon Mark

Why More Artists Are Going Direct-to-Superfans with Jon Mark

Unlocking the Power of Shopify for Your Fanbase

The traditional music industry model is outdated. Major retailers and streaming platforms have long sat between artists and fans, taking steep cuts while providing little value. But there's a better way to connect with your supporters and earn more revenue - by ditching the middlemen and going direct-to-fan.

We recently chatted with indie commerce pioneer Jon Mark about the massive potential of direct-to-fan sales and experiences. As someone who provided multi-track recording services during the early days of digital distribution, JM witnessed firsthand how this model empowers artists.

Now, through his company Rose City Works, Jon Mark is helping artists optimize their own online shops and branded ecosystems to forge closer connections with fans.

Watch our full conversation to learn why you should go direct-to-fan or read on for highlights.


Unpacking The Direct-to-Fan Opportunity

At its core, direct-to-fan (D2F) enables artists to sell directly through their own branded channels like online stores – bypassing traditional retail and streaming platforms. But for Jon Mark, the benefits go far beyond revenue.

Direct-to-fan enables artists to:

  • Collect valuable first-party data
  • Offer exclusive experiences that reward loyal fans
  • Understand your supporters on a deeper level
  • Provide creative connections that bring fans into their world

While merch is an obvious direct-to-fan offering, artists can also leverage exclusive content and events enabled by apps like Single integrated with Shopify.

"You are your own brand, so driving people to your own channel sets everyone up for success - especially your biggest supporters," Jon Mark says.


Serving Your Super Fans

Speaking of big fans, Jon Mark is adamant that D2F provides a prime opportunity to cultivate that passionate segment of your audience – the ones willing to spend far more than average on exclusives, product drops, and more from their favorite artists.

The key, he stresses, is making those diehards feel recognized and appreciated through:

  • Early access to new releases and tickets
  • Signed/numbered collectibles
  • VIP experiences and fan clubs
  • The coolest, most unique items debuted on your official channels first

    It's a win-win - fans get to go deeper with artists they're passionate about, while artists earn more revenue from the people who value them most.


    Start Small, Then Expand

    Of course, fully tapping into D2F'S superfan monetization potential can seem daunting for artists just getting started. Jon Mark's advice? Take it step-by-step.

    "If you can have one thing an artist can do every day to move towards a more cohesive, fully-engaged artist website for fans - one more unique product, one special offer, one cool insider experience - that's progress."

    He shared an example where we helped gospel artist Victory Boyd launch a last-minute, intimate rooftop performance streamed on her webstore while giving fans the chance to purchase signed CDs and merch during the show itself.

    Thanks to Single, making the virtual event possible was simple – and fans were able to directly support and connect with the artist in a way that wouldn't be possible through third-party platforms.


    Ready to Go Direct-to-Fan Yourself?

    For artists ready to fully embrace direct-to-fan, apps like Single integrated with Shopify make it easy to launch customizable storefronts to engage and monetize your fanbase - on your terms.


    Get started on your own:

    Install Single in your Shopify store.


    Thinking big?

    Want to start your own Fan Club or do a Live Shopping Stream? Our professional services team frequently partners with clients to help brainstorm ideas, build websites and more.

    Get in touch and let’s talk!