Featured images by With the Band
The company With the Band has created a platform for artists to directly interact with their fan base. This creation was put into action by a fan herself due to the growing concerns about current fan base initiatives that included limited and expensive access for fans. In her dorm room just three years ago, Sarah Beth Perry (Founder and CEO of With the Band) created an idea that developed into major fan projects at big artists’ shows. Her most known projects were done at Kacey Musgrave’s “Oh What a World Tour” and The Jonas Brother’s “Happiness Begins Tour”. A photo from the Kacey Musgraves fan crew project can be seen below.
The new initiative created by With the Band is fan crews. These fan crews act as modern-day fan clubs so that fans can not only interact with each other but also their favorite artists. Joining a fan crew allows artists to interact with fans via private messaging, virtual meet and greets, live streams, exclusive giveaways, etc. This is a much-needed community in the current times where live in-person shows have been put on hold indefinitely. Along with all the various ways to connect, the artist will also have a live dashboard that allows them to see the demographics of their fan base including where they are from, the fans’ engagement, subscriber counts, and earnings from the fan crew.
Joining a fan crew has never been easier. While artists can sign up for a fan crew completely free of charge, fans will have to pay a small monthly fee. The artist will have complete control over the pricing and benefits included in their packages. With the Band has provided pricing and benefit examples of three different package options that show what could be available to fans. The first is a charge of $3.99 a month. This package includes access to downloaded songs, early access to new releases, and more extras provided by the artist themselves. The second package is a charge of $6.99 a month and includes all the incentives from the first package as well as an archive of demos and exclusive interviews. The third and final package has a cost of $9.99 a month and includes everything from the previous tiers as well as access to monthly live stream shows, a 20% discount on merchandise, and handwritten lyrics after three months. While the above fan packages are outlines, the artist will be able to specialize the fan crews for their individual fan base. Revenues will be split between the artist and With the Band.
I had the opportunity to interview the founder and CEO of With the Band herself:
What brought you to the conclusion that the gap between artists and fans was such a large issue?
I was a huge music fan, and my sister and I were the typical fangirls of the popular boy bands. I remember seeing other fans create fan projects and meet ups and never knew how I could get involved. Then I went to Belmont, and during my freshman year, I learned about all these jobs I never knew existed within the music. That is when I realized that fan engagement was a job. I began researching fan engagement companies and found none. I started toying around with the idea of With the Band the end of my freshman year. This is when I realized there was a big gap in the market, and I really wanted to create a solution to help artists better engage with their fanbases.
How much of your inspiration for With the Band came from you yourself being a fan and wanting to connect with the artist?
I met so many of my best friends through music, and I mainly wanted to build With the Band to help other fans do the same. Yes, being a part of a fandom means loving an artist, but it also offers a community of like-minded people. We see that Gen Z feels more depressed and socially isolated than any generation before, and I wanted to help these young fans create positive friendships with other music fans.
What led to the creation of fan crews? Were fan crews always something you wanted to create or did COVID have a factor in the creation of fan crews?
When I started With the Band, I knew I eventually wanted to create a new modern-day version of a fan club. I was in the Jonas Brothers fan club in my younger years, and I remember feeling a part of such a great community. If you asked me a year ago, I would have said we will create a fan club like platform in two or three years. But when COVID hit and live events were canceled, we knew we had to pivot.
When do you plan on officially launching fan crews to the public?
We plan on launching the new Fan Crew platform early 2021!