Building engaged audiences on a social platform is one thing; but keeping them there when you are at the mercy of each platform’s algorithms is another thing entirely. What can you do with thousands of fans on, for example, Facebook or Instagram if a simple change in the algorithm pulls the brakes on you effectively reaching all of those same fans?
Founded in early 2016, Amsterdam-based Fangage was initially built by DJ Sam Feldt who wanted to create a website as a social destination that would allow him to reach and engage his fanbase.
At the core of Fangage is the idea that fans should be able to receive content and messages from their favourite artists without having to spend extra money on running sponsored posts. At the same time, artists should get deeper insights into what motivates their fans to listen while completely being in control of their fans’ data.
By looking at how Sam Feldt is using the platform we can understand the opportunities Fangage present users with.
On Sam Feldt’s heartfeldt.me domain we can see various tabs – i.e. radio shows, mixtapes, contests, free tracks, videos, merchandise and pictures. Fans can sign in to this website using their Facebook, Spotify or Google accounts and will then be able to enjoy the exclusive content the artist shares.
Some of this content will be locked until a user has completed a certain percentage of their profile, such as providing the artist with their full name, date of birth, email, gender, chosen language and a verified phone number. Each artist can choose for themselves how much each piece of information is worth for them and can also remove individual fields if they wish.
In order to attract fans to a Fangage website, though, it is vital to use social media platforms in the first place. Fangage highlights that artists should share on their socials when they made new content available on their Fangage website in order to channel the traffic to their fan portal.
At the moment, every website is custom built by Fangage. Fangage’s GM Michelle Rademakers explains, “Every portal that we build right now, you can call it a separate island. When we build a new feature we then implement it in every island.”
Features already available on Fangage include a Fan Manager, which the platform says is like a CRM but for fans, through which each fan that has signed up can be managed. The Unlockable Manager allows artists to manage and lock content to encourage fans to share additional data with them. Moreover, the portal can also be used to accelerate growth on socials and DSPs via “follow to…” actions. By following the artist on Spotify, Instagram or Twitter, fans are able to unlock more content.
Fangage also boasts an integrated email solution so that artists don’t need to spend extra money on a third-party mailing list platform. Personalised email campaigns can be directly created, scheduled and sent within Fangage. It’s not only emails that Fangage can send; artists also have the option to send text messages which have an open rate of over 90% and are becoming increasingly important for artist marketing (see platforms like Community, SuperPhone or Veeps).
Both email and text messages can be segmented, of course. For instance, you can send targeted messages to all of your fans in a certain city, in a certain age group, of a certain gender or in a preferred language. The advanced Fan Insights panel will also provide you with the most crucial segmentation information about your fans, such as their previous Shopify or WooCommerce orders. It can be incredibly powerful for artists to understand who their most passionate merchandise buyers are, so that they can target exactly those fans with exclusive and higher-priced merchandise items or special promotions.
Finally, the Activity/Interaction Insights tab provides insights into an artist’s most popular content on the platform so that they can tap into these trends and continue to produce and post the content that their audiences crave the most. In the Admin Account Manager, teams can give other users access to the portal.
The company currently offers three different tiers. The basic one costs €75 a month for a maximum of 2k subscribers; for up to 10k subscribers, you’ll be paying €175 a month; and for more than that you can get a custom solution. Additionally, there’s a set-up fee for launching your portal.
All tiers allow for custom design and styling, unlimited hosting storage, a custom domain and in-app chat support. For the upper two tiers, artists can also add e-commerce integrations, tour dates integration, custom pages and community submissions. By customising your portal with these add-ons and modules, Fangage wants to ensure that artists and their teams never pay for unwanted options. Fangage connects with lots of third-party apps such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Ticketmaster and more.
Fangage is very well positioned in the DJ and EDM community, thanks to its founders’ network. As such, the platform is currently hosting portals for around 30 artists and labels such as Armada Music, Theracords and Future House Music. However, the company is keen to start working with artists and labels in many different genres.
sandbox readers can launch a Fangage portal without any set-up costs and with a 50% discount on the basic monthly fee for six months. Simply get in touch with the Fangage team email@example.com referring to this article and offer.
Feature-wise, Fangage seems to offer similar action-to-unlock tools like its competitors ToneDen or Feature.fm, but its strength lies in integrating these tools into a fully fledged website rather than a generic landing page. By also capturing rich data from an artist’s most loyal fans, the integrated email and SMS functions (similar to Veeps but not as live focused) allow for personalised messaging creating a modern hybrid of a website, CRM and fan engagement tool.
Michelle Rademakers tells music:)ally that the team has plans to further develop the platform, coming as it does on the heels of successfully having closed a crowdfunding campaign at the end of the summer. Some examples include:
• Sending out push messages
• Templating for the front end, so the platform becomes more like WordPress where artists can get their own colours, change the place of the content etc.
• More possibilities to make social connections
• Delivering the system in more languages (currently it’s only in English)
• Make communication channels – for example, send out a message automatically on a fan’s birthday
• Expanding their demo drop with a range of features
• The option for fans to comment on content or like it
Rademakers further reveals that Fangage will soon be available as SaaS (software as a service), enabling artist teams to sign up themselves, which will also make the product cheaper in the future
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