We’ve been thinking for some time now about the potential for marrying the massive data generated by streaming music services with the world of direct-to-fan sales and crowdfunding.

Or, in short, how streaming services can identify superfans (or new fans who’ve truly fallen for an artist) and help direct them to other ways to support that artist’s career – by spending money on them directly.

BandPage is one of the companies thinking along similar lines, and it’s now stepping up its partnership with US streaming service Rhapsody to investigate further.

It basically involves Rhapsody identifying the right fans to push ticket news and “special opportunities” to about individual artists. “The biggest fans – those who listen and engage the most – will be treated as VIPs and be directly notified of special opportunities such as private shows, custom recordings and more,” claimed the companies.

Wiz Khalifa is one of the early guinea pigs. “Musicians have been looking for ways that streaming services can help them drive more revenue; this is it,” said his VP of digital strategy Tim Hunkele. “I see this as a major part of what will drive our revenue moving forward.”

But will it spread to Rhapsody’s rivals now? Spotify has its own BandPage and Songkick partnerships for merch, experiences and ticketing, but they’re more low-key – the former two are restricted to artist profile pages, rather than pushed to individual fans.

If Spotify, with its 60 million active users, can find a non-spammy way to do more, it could be meaningful for artists. And Apple? The same applies. Rhapsody deserves credit for being early to expand on its partnership with BandPage, but we hope it’s the start of a bigger wave.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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