Why You Need Your Own Fan Ecosystem
For today's artists, breaking through the noise and connecting with fans is a significant challenge. Streaming platforms often withhold crucial data about top listeners from the artists they love.
The secret? Balancing third-party platforms with your own space. We caught up with Grant Gelt, CEO of Masscult, who shared excellent advice on authentically engaging fans using the latest tech and data.
You watch the full conversation here, or read on for some key insights!
Make Your Artist Site the Home Base for Your Fans
"I'm a big believer that you have to control your data and your relationship with your fans," said Grant. He emphasized the importance of funneling fans to owned platforms, such as your artist site or online merch store.
"If you don’t leverage the place you really control, that’s a huge missed opportunity." - Grant Gelt
Social media is great for discovery, but your site is where you can build deeper fan relationships. It's this that ecosystem allows you to reward loyal fans with exclusives and cultivate lasting bonds.
Pick the Right Platform to Capture Fan Data
To that end, Grant stresses using Shopify for directing fans to an owned platform. Shopify stores empower collecting crucial fan data retailers don't provide - like emails, locations, purchase history, streaming habits, and more. Having these next-level insights lets you tailor offerings specifically to your most dedicated supporters.
"It's not to monetize them, it's to identify them," said Grant. Fan data should be used to build relevant rewards and strengthen connections by personalizing their experience. For example, you can host listening parties for fans who buy your music or even send early merch access to frequent buyers.
Balance Widespread Reach With Owned Experiences
While platforms like Spotify drive discovery, Grant suggests directing fans to owned channels by offering exclusive experiences. This satisfies superfans and builds loyalty while driving traffic to your space.
He also shared a hard truth: "We're all just products on these platforms." It's easy to overlook that social media and streaming services use our data and attention for profit. Grant reminds us that having our own space is vital — that's where genuine, fan-first relationships happen.
Get Creative with Driving Traffic to Your Merch Store
Live streaming became vital for artists during the pandemic. But beyond entertainment, hosting these fan experiences in a place you completely control can provide behavioral data through metrics like view time, chat activity and purchases.
Plus, if Single powers your livestream, you can analyze that intel to shape relevant experiences for your biggest supporters. Notice engaged fans in the chat? Invite them to a private Q&A. See a cluster of viewers in one city? Plan a pop-up show there. There's tons more you can do with your fan data.
When building a fan base, Grant advises quality over quantity interactions and playing the long game. "It takes time to build a fan base - it's not a sprint," he wisely stated. Staying genuine and consistently showing up is what earns true loyalty. Grant believes that if fans know you see them, that matters most.
Get started on your own:
Install Single in your Shopify store.
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.