“Okay, Set.fm,” some of you might be saying, “we can see that you’re clever people working hard on a good idea, but let’s get down to brass tacks: how much salad can I farm? How much cheddar can I render? How many jimmies can I rustle? In short, how much money can I make if I sign up?”
Well, it depends on a few factors:
- How big is your audience?
- How engaged are they?
- How high have you set your show purchase price?
- How much are you, the artist, willing to self promote?
Well, get out your pencil and your abacus, people, because we’re gonna talk business.
How big is your audience?
It’s our estimation, although this is not a guarantee, that an artist can expect to see around 14% buy in from an audience at a show. That means that if 50 people come out to see you, as many as seven could purchase the show afterwards. If ten people come out, you might get one buyer. If a million people come to your show, you should consider politics.
How engaged are they?
Having said that, the 14% figure assumes your fans are engaged. Single or married people just don’t enjoy music. Just kidding, not that kind of “engaged.” I mean engaged as in into it, digging it, picking up what you’re laying down.
Granted, it’s hard to imagine why people would come to see your show in the first place if they weren’t engaged, but it’s possible. Maybe you’re famous for some other reason, like you’re a reality TV show “star” and people want to see if your new band is any good. Or maybe they know you from your earlier work. Or maybe they just felt like being inside (or outside if that’s where the stage is) for a while.
How high have you set your show purchase price?
Fan engagement then gets measured against the purchase price for your show. If your show was awesome and people loved it, but you’ve set the purchase price of your shows at $1000, you will likely see less than 14% purchase rate. Who knows, though? Maybe your show is just that awesome. We hope it is!
Music is awesome. Comedy is awesome. Being entertained in any way is super-ultra-mega-turbo awesome wearing a bonus mustache of awesome. But money is still money. It takes time to earn it and people think hard before they spend it. You should think hard too. You want your purchase price to be high enough that you are compensated for your hard work, but not so high that people see the number and faint.
How willing are you to promote?
Last, but far from least, a big factor is how willing you, the artist, is to self promote. As artists we all want to create something, then have it instantly picked up and loved by our audience with no effort on our parts whatsoever to promote it. That just isn’t a reality. As soon as we begin asking for money for our art, we have entered the world of business, and in the business world we simply have to have things like sales, marketing, and customer service.
It is imperative in the current climate of the music industry that artists promote their shows with every bit as much energy as they hone their musical craft. That is true whether you intend to use Set.fm or not. There’s no shame in helping to guide people’s attention toward something you’ve worked very hard over. If you’re embarrassed to promote your art, maybe you need to go into the woodshed and work on it until you are so proud of it you are fit to burst, but if you know deep down in your heart of hearts that what you are doing on stage is the utmost of your talent directed with laser focus at the precise message you want to transmit, then by all means, tell the world!