Reviving 90’s Street Teams With $ANGELZ And The Promote-To-Earn Model’s Place In The Modern Artist-Fan Relationship
If you’re reading this, you either minted a G CLUB pass for free on March 31st, got your first one from Magic Eden or you are simply curious about what we’re doing here.
For other questions, you can join the G CLUB’s Discord or you can send me (ANGELZ — the founder) a message on Twitter.
What Is The G CLUB?
On March 31st 2022, I randomly picked a moment of the day and made the singular announcement in my Discord that I was releasing an exclusive collection of 2222 passes to be minted at no cost.
Over the following day, the collection reached a market cap of over $200 000 USD with each pass trading at above $100 USD each.
Creating Value For Fans & Listeners — Not Only The Artists
This is the mission. To get to it, I need to explain the current situation.
Many of the problems of the modern starving artist come from a lack of listeners. No users mean no traction means no revenue. When no one is listening to the music, there is no monthly streaming payout and there is no demand for show bookings. Many amateur artists refuse to see the problem for what the genuine reasons could be such as lack of marketing, poor work ethic, lack of originality & many other things (all things one can improve, by the way!). No artist wants to look in the mirror and tell themselves they got zero fans and that they should do something drastic about it.
The music industry is a business and those thriving in it are aware of it.
I wish streaming payouts were higher just like anyone else and I have signed every petition that was sent to me. I have also had conversations with artists — who would still not make anything if payouts were $1 a stream — where they tell me low payouts are why they have not had traction.
Spotify Gonna Spotify
We are wasting energy fighting giants who do a great job at what they do. I enjoy listening to Spotify while I run and the algorithm knows what I like really well. For the free stuff, I use Audius mostly over SoundCloud. This behavior will ring true for most casual listeners — which usually accounts for almost all of an artist’s streams.
What If We’re Trying To Fix The Wrong Thing?
The profits of an artist are represented this simple way:
(Total Revenue)-(Total Expenses) = Net Profit
If there is no revenue (TR) the artist is operating at a loss since there are only expenses (TE). Expenses include many things and being a successful artist is a very cash hungry business. This leads to a scenario where any moment where an artist isn’t generating revenue, they are most likely operating at a loss.
We can represent Total Revenue this way:
(Merchandise Sales) + (Royalties) + (Misc. Revenue Streams — I.e. Cameo, Sample Packs, Memberships) + (Ticket Sales) + (Booking Fees) = Total Revenue
Artists who struggle at generating revenue have a vague innate idea of this equation. In a loss state, they will try to solve it by making merchandise and if it does not sell, it falls into the expenses category, compounding their losses. Making a Patreon to which no one signs up for does not help a defeated mindset either. When nothing worked — the last step is trying to do something about the royalties factor.
The way I present the revenue equation paints a much more optimistic picture about the path to success for independent artists. I break it down individually and I count every fan as a vital part of the equation, as not every fan contributes equal revenue to the system.
(Fans, Listeners & Members * How Much They Each Spend On Artist Related Things On Average) + (Centralized Income — I.e. Streaming Services Royalties) + (Booking Fees — Paid by the promoters and venues) = Total Revenue (TR)
This means the full equation for Net Profit (NP) is:
(Fans * Avg. Fan Spending) + (Streaming Services & Bookings Income)-(Total Expenses) = NP
(FLM * FLM$AVG) + (FEES)-(COSTS) = PROFIT
Fans come first. Any and every artist’s TR will scale as their Fans, Listeners & Members (FLM) grows. The lower that number is, the higher the chances the artist has of incurring a loss. When it’s 0 — the absolute worst i.e. nobody knows you — the artist is basically burning money and as the ratio changes constantly, this also means it can spike to huge numbers after a viral hit causing a huge peak in TR. If FLM grows too quick, there are chances that the artist will not have the funds to maintain the required TE and the viral hit might end up causing NP to drop — unless of course they sustain the level of FLM/FLM$AVG long enough with more viral hits (viral hit button goes brrrr). This is like when companies go pitch on Shark Tank and say they did not have the inventory to keep up with the demand. In music, this is just long enough for you to get knocked off — remember, we are still talking about an example where someone went viral. There are no patents in music and timing matters. I have seen an artist — let’s call him Rara — get a $100000 advance from a major label, following a huge TikTok hit everyone knew. He was dropped four songs later as the pressure was too high. It was too much at once and to the label the moment in time had run its course.
In Rara’s case, the FLM peaked and he could not replicate the ephemeral magic of his breakout hit. His FLM peaking catapulted him into a situation requiring high TE. Months later, his FLM dropped and his major label came knocking for more viral hits and to recoup their own expenses. He got dropped.
Getting dropped from a label is them fearing they will not make their money back and lose even more. The one-hit wonder list goes back to the 1950s. Major labels are music banks. Music advances are loans issued against the music as collateral and the future production of more intellectual property that will make money for the music bank via licensing and other uses of your compositions. Sometimes with 360-deals, the advances have bookings and merchandise and more added to the collateralized loan.
Who Makes Money In Music?
Established artists. Boring — but accurate answer.
The biggest music industry winners have had a steady growth of every factor over the years. From Taylor Swift, Kanye West to K-Pop Icons, etc. These artists have metrics that are through the roof. Huge FLM and even bigger revenues.
However — did you know how much they spend on fans and building their brand? Lady Gaga famously said she almost went bankrupt financing what was her biggest tour. And we will never forget the cultural moment when Ye asked Zuck to bail him out because he had gone 100x all-in financing projects that were really just him needing to keep up with the insane levels of TE his FLM and FLM$AVG requires.
These are extreme cases and we all know all the parties in my examples are doing great today. Music is hard but can be very lucrative if the business is managed properly as it scales.
There Is No Shortcut
The road is actually less bumpy than everyone thinks.
All an artist needs is steady growth and the motivation to play their part in their equation to profitability. If they do — everything else starts falling in place.
Make outstanding music (a product). Find fans (customers). Create content and products to sell them (upselling). And if you’re really lucky, eventually you can add booking fees and centralized services will pay you (the equivalent could be ‘speaking engagements’ in different disciplines). Pay the costs related to all of this and what remains is the profit.
The music comes first. This is true. But without FLM the system operates at a loss. Without fans, the artist is nothing and artists who hoard their Net Profit and do not bring value back to their fans never last long. If the fans are winning, the artist is too.
How Does One Find Fans — And Keep Fans?
The holy grail of art is very simple.
I got my first big career boost and visibility by giving out free music on SoundCloud. This sort of growth-hacked my success formula as suddenly my FLM was very high and my TE was very low — as it was all grassroots. This meant that from the start, most of the revenue coming in was profit.
I also targeted a very niche segment of the market with a simple strategy. If I made music for DJs to play out, it would have a network effect of increasing the audience listening to it. My tactic worked as my sound caught on and my songs made their way into popular sets and then to everyone’s ears. Then I started getting booking requests and eventually became truly profitable.
When you build and maintain a strong artist-fan relationship, your fanbase’s word-of-mouth promotion is a more potent marketing tool than any advertisement could ever be.
Reviving Street Teams
Every act had one.
Even the most hardcore underground artists — in fact, it was their bread and butter. They were huge during early web days. When I think about it, it reminds me of how WEB3 feels.
They fell out of fad for many random reasons, but if you look around, their variations are trending daily under the various #Kpop hashtags. They’re also what keeps Taylor Swift on top — and Nicki Minaj.
Many high-level artists successfully have been using community-based approaches — this is obviously nothing new — but the tools we have as of 2022 are going to revive this process in ways we could have never imagined were possible. These new tools are interesting techniques for artists to release art, but I’m most excited about the tools we — as creators — now have to interact with the humans who consume our art and build more meaningful artist-fan relationships. WEB3 is global.
How The G CLUB Fits
My free mint generated tremendous value for my holders.
The moment I picked to release the mint link was random, but the concept of a free mint happening was not. In fact, I had been warning every member for weeks. After posting an invitation link on my Twitter account, I created only one locked channel and posted the following messages:
For weeks, I politely asked for patience and attention from my community.
Which I rewarded with membership in my community. Their attention was the true price of entry. Members who caught the link in time were very active WEB3 users — and very savvy. The perfect candidates for a WEB3 street team. In the following days, I released a multitude of community perks, adding to the value the market had assigned the free mint.
The G CLUB’s mission is multi-faceted — just like the equation to success as an artist is.
My team and I have been working on tools for me to scale my career, community and network — at Solana speed — in a way how I think many artists will do it in the future. I am also working on how to make these tools useable for other artists.
I also have what I think is the first native social token ever deployed on Solana with $ANGELZ.
No one has any $ANGELZ yet and I am working with tokenomics experts on when and how to roll this out perfectly. The goal for the $ANGELZ price would be stability and for any organic growth to be sustainable above all — for this model to work perfectly, we need to tweak it until it is flawless. This needs to be something worth enough that users take the process seriously.
I see a future where artists reward the fans who are promoting their music with social tokens that can be sold for money or redeemed for priceless experiences and other benefits. This is what I coined Promote-To-Earn.
In this model, an artist can create even more incentives to attract Fans, Listeners & Members (FLM) and keep them. If an artist released a song — instead of paying a company $10000 to promote it for guaranteed metrics — they could back their token by $5000 and have their fans perform complex social tasks. Even IRL things (don’t make your fans climb on roofs). This gamifies the promotion process and involves the FLM even more than they usually would be. One could also hypothesize the FLM would spend their social token payout on other services offered, exclusive content or personalized experiences — which can make it deflationary — creating a fully native market.
One of my biggest personal pain points as an artist in WEB2 was: how do I — if Spotify will never let me access my listeners’ data — reach my FLM all over the planet in a way that meaningfully transcends language? WEB3 is now our space to figure it out!
The G CLUB is ANGELZ’s community and $ANGELZ is its currency and utility token.
When And How Will I Be Able To Get $ANGELZ?
Stay tuned, but it will definitely involve the G CLUB passes.
Disclaimer: The information provided shall not in any way constitute a recommendation as to whether you should invest in any product discussed. ANGELZ TOKEN and G CLUB’s team accept no liability for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material provided or published. ANGELZ TOKEN’s team, developers, and his fans created this as a fun community and social token only. The ownership of the $ANGELZ coin and/or token does not give any right of return, vote, management, or any other right. The G CLUB NFT was made free to mint to members of the G CLUB Discord and no money was ever requested at any moment. Users interacted with a smart contract and minted the free NFT from the minting contract. Any NFT sales happening in secondary markets are happening on a peer-to-peer basis and you are not buying from ANGELZ directly but from other holders — some who have minted their NFT for free. There is no current way to buy $ANGELZ. This is not an ICO and never will be. The $ANGELZ token is a SPL (Solana) utility-token and is already integrated for support in most Solana wallets. No one will contact you about a pre-sale, an IDO or anything else that would ask you for money and/or payment while claiming to be part of this project. The only official communications will come from my Twitter or from the G CLUB’s discord.