Fans and artists alike are now in the age of the independent. This period is marked by scores of artists who are not only opting to not accept lucrative major labor deals, but are eager to do more of their own promotions and brand monetization.
In fact, with tumbling album sales, much of the value an artist can get out of their own popularity comes from tickets sold for live performances, the selling of merchandise and the licensing and publishing of their music.
In order to better reach fans and sell directly to them, a new application and platform, Disruptive Multimedia (DMM) has been used by major and independent artists such as 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, Lil Wayne and Andy Mineo.
What Disruptive Multimedia Does?
Founded by Ryan Leslie and lauded by Ben Horowitz of the industry-leading venture capital firm, Andreesen Horowitz, Disruptive Multimedia has created a system wherein an artist is just two clicks from fans who join their members club or who have made a purchase from their Disruptive Multimedia account.
Designed first and primarily for mobile, the platform works to give the on-the-go artist and professional an understanding of who is buying and from what part of the country or the world they are purchasing from. The app also allows artists to segment their buying fans by purchase amounts, type of purchase, etc.
Very importantly, artists can quickly click on the name of a fan who has just made a purchase and send them a quick thank you tweet or an email.
What's so Disruptive?
Currently, the process for managing your own aritistic operation is very clunky and disjointed. With iTunes, much of the customer data that would give artists valuable insights stays with Apple. Apple also takes about 30-40% of every song purchase which is earned by an artist.
With DMM, artists simply pay a flat yearly fee for using the software.
Moreover, instead of having to be constantly logged into an ecommerce platform (that often isn't built well for mobile) to check on orders and then use a bunch of other apps to handle your social media tools, and your customer service messaging, DMM let's you handle it all from one mobile dashboard.
Artists who are using Disruptive Multimedia, big and indie names alike
What this Means?
The integration provided to artists by DMM allows them an incredible level of independence and self-management. This is huge for artists who have historically been clueless as to how much revenue they are generating, what they are actually getting paid, and from which geographical regions they are earning.
Just think- if you are an artists from Brooklyn who has generally relied on show line ups on the American East Coast and in other metro hubs, you can, in real time learn that you have a huge fan base in Central America and the Caribbean, prompting a lucrative, un-expected and much appreciated tour.
DMM can tell you all of that.
Disruptive Multimedia's leadership by Ryan Leslie is a great slice of encouragement to thinkers and creatives, especially those of color (given their historical and current underrepresentation in tech), to make something that is game changing.
With Jay Z's Tidal seeming to have crashed and burned, it's important that we celebrate that failure. With that failure, Urban/Black and Latino innovators, collectively, are now one step closer to the eventual achievements in innovation will make life more efficient, pleasant and prosperous.
Medvis Jackson is a web designer at Hindsite, curator at Kulchah and avid cricket fan. You can follow him @medvisjackson for his random thoughts.