I rarely feel behind the curve, but when Nic Adler started talking about the social endeavors of the Roxy, my head started to spin, I felt as if the world was passing me by.
Marty Winsch said it was all about the music, that too many people are social-networking instead of practicing, and I believe that, then again Nic has no illusions, talent brings people through the door, but he believes he can account for an extra 20% in ticket sales if he does social properly.
The Roxy was running on fumes. All the action was on the east side, Echo Park and Silver Lake. Most of the potential audience didn’t even know it was a legendary venue. How did Nic make the Roxy hip again?
Via social media.
He started a Facebook page. He began to tweet. And he uses a service that has you follow those who tweet about you.
So you’re going to see Band X at the Roxy. This company sees this tweet and immediately has the Roxy follow you. Which feels cool, makes you feel you’re included.
And there’s a free newsletter every week. Not about what bands are playing at the venue, but music in general, what’s happening, the promotion only comes at the bottom, where the schedule is attached.
You see you’ve got to be someone’s friend. If you’re selling all the time, you’re screwed.
And you’ve got to be friends with your competitors. The Roxy welcomed the Viper Room to Twitter and told its followers to follow them. And then the Comedy Store got involved. And the hotels. And suddenly, the Sunset Strip gets a million and a half in federal redevelopment money because it’s got its act together.
You never know the results until you play.
And it’s about listening to your customers.
So Nic puts up a blog, feels really good about it, and the first comments have nothing to do with what’s posted, they’re just complaints.
And forget the ten percent who say you’re great and the ten percent who say you’re crap and in the middle you’ll find some truth. React to it.
Nic saw a tweet saying the gin and tonic being served in his club was overpriced and overwatered. So he did a bit of Web research, saw what the woman looked like online and then found her in the club, tapped her on the shoulder and gave her a brand new Tanqueray and tonic. Freaked her out, but she became a fan.
Kind of like charging. Nic needs his patrons to come ten or fifteen times a year. You can’t rip people off. It’s not like an arena show, one and done.
But the social networking goes on and on. There’s Instagram, so people can see photos from the gig.
And the Roxy’s got a Tumblr account.
And it’s all masterminded by a twentysomething and Nic himself, who stayed up from midnight to three for a year to figure it all out.
There’s no course you can take, you must immerse yourself.
Your audience lives this. Which is why the old music business is left behind. The old music business thinks it’s about golf and lunch. Whereas the new music business is wired and interacting 24/7.
Nic said something fascinating. That the best social networkers are social. If you’ve got no friends, don’t like people and don’t like to spread the word on multiple things, you’re the wrong person to run social at a venue.
And then Nic introduced this guy from Next Big Sound. For $79 a month, an act can get reams of data. Not only YouTube plays and Twitter followers, but iTunes purchases and Spotify and Rdio plays.
This is gold. This is what’s truly going on.
Data’s turning our business upside down. We can now see what’s really happening. And it’s not what we think. SoundScan is so last century. An isolated metric that means less and less. As is the case with radio spins.
Let me ask you, did radio predict the explosion of electronic music?
All the promoters in the room were testifying. Nic said that the electronic acts no longer start at the Roxy, but the Fonda, just that many people are interested.
It’s a brand new music business. The classic rock acts are going to expire and the slate will be wiped clean. New players will be promoting new acts whose success won’t be dependent on paying radio stations.
If you’re still talking radio, I hope you plan to be out of the business in five years. If you can’t see the sunset on radio, if you can’t see the evolution of our business, if you still think it’s about getting a ton of dough from the labels to blow up, then you’ve got no idea what’s going on.
Today’s acts start live. Agents and promoters bring them to a public who learn about them online, who are willing to support them in a burgeoning club scene.
We’re growing from the bottom up, not the top down.
Now, more than ever, it takes a team of people to succeed.
The labels fired most of those people.
But you can employ Next Big Sound and Topspin and a whole host of new services, the data is there to help you right now.
We’re in the midst of a revolution.
And it feels so good…
P.S. Go to Next Big Sound and enter a band’s name to see the public data. It’ll blow your mind. And if you pay, you get more.