Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How many Facebook fans do you need to make a living out of your "product"?

Photo by Toni Rosado [toni@scannerfm.com]

I recently read a great article on "What The Number Of Facebook Likes Says About Musicians".

Even though musicians may not be comfortable with comparing their music to a product, it is interesting to see the correlation between the number of likes on their fan page and their success.

The above article orders numbers of like with success of the band. Here is how it is split with real-life examples:

  • less than 1000 fans: "Unless someone comes along to shake them up and makes them pay attention to their business, they will not be going anywhere anytime soon." That's the case for most amateur bands (like mine with 319 fans) who plays for fun.
  • 2k-5k:"They’re a local band who care enough to put some effort into their career." Like for the parisian band "The Parisians" who is at 3k and has recently ceased to exist as they didn't make it through.
  • 5k-10k:"They’re a touring band or have had some licensing or YouTube success". Right now, no bands in that scale comes into mind
  • 10k-50k:"Either they have been beating the road touring for YEARS or are starting to kill it somewhere on the interwebs." For example, the french band, Deportivo with 12.5k comes here but they are still far from making it a real success.
  • 50k-100k:"This band can headline national tours and bring a few hundred to every city they visit." For example, the french band, Plastiscines has had several successes and press coverage. I am still not sure they can be considered successful.
  • 100k-500k:"They’ve had a big hit. Either radio or YouTube, but their numbers are strong. They have YouTube views in the millions. They are touring internationally. They can pack theaters wherever they go. They are on the brink of mainstream. Their fans are hard core." Most of the indie bands I like seem to be in that range (The Dandy Warhols with 120k, The Vines with 250k and the Libertines with 505k). The "brink of mainstream" seems to be the reason why I like them ;)
  • 500k-1M:"Multiple hits. Die hard fans. Life is good. Touring internationally and they have it figured out."The french band Air with 700k falls into that category, yes they seem successful.
  • 1-5M:"The superstars of the industry. Label support. They’ve either had their day or on the up and up fast. They’re on the brink of mainstream or were hot last decade." I can think of Jack White with 1.5M and the Strokes with 4.5M. 

From what I know of these different bands, it appears that to start making a decent living out of your "product", you need to go over the 100k fans milestone.

Before that, you are just one in a million and this is a struggle.

What would be interesting is to see whether the same ranges apply for other types of product.

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