Here at EDMTunes, I had the pleasure of talking to Sam Feldt about his latest refinement to Fangage 2.0. Your favorite deep house Dutch producer tells all about his successful project. Read on to find out more and tell all your aspiring artist friends!
1. Hello Sam, it’s great to speak with you. How has your year during quarantine been?
Pretty good, actually. Obviously, I’ve not been able to tour but I’ve been able to focus on other projects even more. Like new music, launching my own record label Heartfeldt Records, and my start-up Fangage.com; which allows creators and fans to connect with each other directly.
2. It’s great that you want to provide the link between fans and their heroes. What inspired you to create Fangage 2.0 and what was the most exciting part about developing it?
Fangage originally launched back in 2016. In a short period of time, we signed up a lot of big artists and other creators to the platform. On the technical side, however, our software wasn’t scalable and therefore not ready to support our growth. That’s why in 2019 we launched a crowdfunding campaign; we successfully raised €300k that we used to build the new 2.0 system. The new system is completely scalable and every creator can now sign up to Fangage.com themselves and get started. The most exciting thing we’ve launched recently is our paid content & subscriptions feature. This allows creators to sell content, products and memberships directly to fans and keep 100% of the profits.
3. What do you typically see as a big challenge for artists and their fan base? What would an artist who is just starting out (or any artist really) need in order to be successful with using Fangage?
The big problem Fangage is solving for a lot of artists, is the fact that social media algorithms prevent them from actually reaching their very own fans. They are forced to pay up in order to boost their posts to reach the fans that they worked long and hard on getting in the first place. I think that’s ridiculous – the relationship between artists and their fans should be pure and transparent.
No middle man like Facebook or Instagram should stand in between that relationship and decide how much, or at what price, they are able to connect with each other. Fangage solves this problem by providing artists with a website, where fans can unlock content & experiences in exchange for their data. Artists can then reach fans directly via email, phone, or voice – and make money selling content & subscriptions to their fanbase. All you need to get started is a few fans, content, and a Fangage.com website.
4. It’s been quite a world where live shows and touring have been replaced by stay-at-home streams. Have you felt it’s been difficult to remain connected with fans prior to Fangage?
Definitely. All real-life forms of fan engagement have been non-existent for over a year already. Digital fan engagement is all we have at the moment. So artists need to start using the tools that allow them to stay top of mind and connected with the fans that make them who they are.
5. Congratulations on getting over 1 million fans signed up! So, what is your vision for Fangage and what does a more sustainable dance music industry look like to you?
Thanks a lot! More and more creators and fans are signing up every day, which proves to me that Fangage is solving a very important and relevant issue. The focus now is expanding to different industries outside of music – like events, esports, sports, and brands, that are dealing with the same social media issues. We’ve recently set up the first Fangage website of a top esports personality and an esports team, and are currently working on rolling out websites for two big festivals and events here in The Netherlands.
I think you need direct access to your fans in order to call your career or brand “sustainable” – in the sense that you are independent of third-party platforms and know that your fans are yours only. Look at what happened to MySpace – how many bands died out after the platform did? And what will happen if Instagram decides to block your page tomorrow? I think it’s time we start thinking about that. Start unchaining ourselves and our fans from third party platforms that ruin the relationship.
6. What about Fangage sets it apart from other social media platforms you’ve used in the past to market your brand?
Fangage is not a social media platform. It’s a tool for creators that focuses on data ownership, direct-to-fan engagement and monetization. The idea is to send people from your current social media channels to a platform that you own and control (which could be powered by Fangage, but it could also be a mailing list for example). As long as you’re converting as many of your followers (who aren’t actually yours) to owned fan data – you’re on the right track towards becoming a more independent artist. I’m not saying we should stop using social media altogether, I’m rather saying: let’s use it as a traffic source. Social media has stopped just being social a long time ago, when Facebook decided to push boosted posts and their ad network to the forefront.
7. It’s been said that fans can unlock exclusive content and experiences from their favorite creators and brands. From meet and greets to new music, contests, merch, and ticket sales, Fangage has it all! Is it easy to use?
I hope so, haha! Creators can sign up in under a minute via Fangage.com and set up their own website, add content and invite their fans. Fans sign up to their platforms with one single click, and enter their data in an easy to follow interactive chat wizard with their favorite creator. It’s a win-win. Fans get access to exclusive content & experiences, while at the same time creators have a way to stay in touch with them and keep them posted.
8. You’ve got Heartfeldt Records, a partnership with Spinnin’ Records, Fangage 2.0, and several philanthropic endeavors showcasing your entrepreneurial spirit, which we love! Got any other future projects in the pipeline?
I think COVID really showed the world that it’s time to change our lifestyles, since our current ones are simply not sustainable in the long term – especially looking at the damage it’s doing to mother earth. That’s why the Heartfeldt Foundation is a big priority for me going into 2021. I’m also working on launching an anti-hangover product, called Alwaysbright.me, when the parties start happening again 😉