There have been many, many social platforms built around offering fans rewards based on their engagement. There is Fanbase, which runs as a blockchain-powered rewards scheme. Then there is Via which weaves rewards into merchandise with a QR code. Then there is feature.fm’s Action Pages which wants fans to gain rewards for engaging with acts on Spotify or Apple Music. Even Björk was at it with crypto rewards for fans pre-ordering her Utopia album in 2017. Going back even further, there was Jamplify that rewarded fans for promoting them across social media. Which is all the long way around to say that there have been many music-centric rewards schemes in the past but none of them have turned marketing on its head.
Enter Sweet (from SocialSweet) that lets fans earn loyalty tokens (called Sugar) for doing different things to show their loyalty to acts. There are 130 (!) different actions that can earn them credits – such as going to gigs, streaming an act’s music or sharing their social media posts. The tokens (we are not that comfortable calling them “Sugar”, if we’re honest) can be redeemed against real-world products and experiences. There is also something called Sweet Spots (?) where fans are supposed to gather together to collect tokens (still not calling it “Sugar”) at concerts and retail stores.
“Fans are creating tremendous value as passionate supporters of the talent brands they love,” said Tom Mizzone, Sweet founder and CEO, in a press release. “Sweet has created the ultimate ‘give-back’ platform where everyone wins. Fans get incredible rewards, experiences and first-to-know content, while the artists and talent brands are able to activate their fan-base, reach new fans, and drive the most meaningful and valuable engagement.” It all seems, despite the questionable nomenclature, somewhat better thought out than previous rewards schemes, but we are still left with the cynical conclusion that none of them set the world on fire for a reason.
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