Show4me calls itself a “music interaction network”, with the promise of allowing fans to interact with artists in a sort of social media fanclub. Having raised a total of $13.5m in investment, the company aims to help artists launch sustainable careers by integrating a series of specialised tools for music monetisation: music and concert crowdfunding campaigns; sales of music; direct-to-fan interaction; and, most interestingly, a $1-per-year fan membership model.
These premium memberships make fans part of a dedicated Artist Club, providing full access to an artist’s music, exclusive content, getting news first and access to live events. The comparison to streaming revenues are inevitable: in order to generate $1 for an artist, a fan needs to stream a song 300 times, says Show4me CEO Karen Chiftalaryan.
Of course, the global music industry has been discussing for some time how artist subscriptions could elevate streaming’s potential for many artists, but so far only non-music-focused platforms like Facebook and Twitch offer such a functionality in Western markets.
Besides their innovative artist subscription feature, Show4me wants to offer a solution to the fact that artists today have their fanbases split across several digital platforms and it is therefore hard to get a sense of the amount of true fans versus casual followers there are out there.
This dilemma can also certainly be applied to streaming platforms, where a huge number of streams generated via playlist placements can sometimes be misinterpreted for having a healthy fanbase.
The company’s goal is to aggregate an artist’s fanbase on a single platform where they’ll be able to communicate directly without any algorithmic restrictions.
Though an ambitious goal, Show4me provides a unique combination of crowdfunding, subscription and analytics. Fans can pledge to tours, single events or the creation of an album. The premium memberships will further give artists the ability to differentiate between true fans and casual followers.