Alan Jackson, one of the most respected singer-songwriters of country music is giving his fans the opportunity to fight for a free show. Using Eventful Inc., fans can go online, complete a couple simple steps and cast their vote for Jackson to play a free show in their hometown. But while this seemingly straightforward and generous gesture rewards his most loyal fans for their dedicated support, it benefits him in so many more ways.
Jackson already has a strong fan base, and he doesn’t have to give away this show, but he is more than willing to do so for a couple of reasons. First of all, happy fans are a great thing. When you make fans feel special, they are more likely to be lifelong supporters of your career, rather than fair-weather fans. But even more than this, the information provided to Jackson and his team in this giveaway is priceless. When fans go online to demand the show, they are required to submit information like email, gender and birth date which provides Jackson with an in-depth analysis of his fan base. This is SUCH a valuable marketing asset for Jackson (or any artist for that matter) and will more than make up for the revenue he’s giving up from the show. And, of course, he still has other streams of revenue from the show with merch and sales of his upcoming album.
It seems like more and more artists are catching onto this idea, from giving away a free track in return for an email address, to having competitions for fans to connect more directly with their favorite bands. The Red Hot Chili Peppers recently paired up with BBC Radio 1 to promote their album, I’m With You, which is set to be released August 30th. They are giving away around 500 pairs of tickets to an exclusive gig, using a random ticket ballot, to anyone who registers online on BBC Radio 1′s Web site.
Rather than holding on too tightly to the reigns, artists should be less preoccupied with the now, and more interested in the whole picture. It takes creativity and patience to make a musical career last these days, and oftentimes you need to give away a product in order to hook a new fan.