Record label CEOs say “superfans” are the focus for 2024

Music labels have set their sights on cultivating and making money off their artists’ most diehard fans.

Metallica fans

Image: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

2024 looks to be the year of the “superfans”, with major record labels determined to tap into what they now describe as an ‘under-monetised’ area of the music business.

In an internal memo outlining the company’s strategy for the months ahead, UMG CEO Lucian Grainge and Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl both underscored an upcoming focus on cultivating and monetising “superfans”.

“We need to develop our direct artist-superfan products and experiences,” Kyncl told WMG staff, as part of his plan to ‘increase the value of music’. “Both artists and superfans want deeper relationships, and it’s an area that’s relatively untapped and under-monetised.”

The good news, said the executive, “is that we already have initiatives in flight against most of these areas, and specific projects with momentum behind them.”

For Grainge, the focus will be on giving artists the power to “create experiential, commerce and content offerings for their fans.”

“We first focused on a fairer way to allocate the streaming pie among real artists by addressing fraud and other aspects that deprive artists of their just compensation,” he explained in his memo, referencing UMG’s recent launch of a new ‘artist-centric’ music streaming loyalty model in partnership with Deezer.

“The next focus of our strategy will be to grow the pie for all artists, by strengthening the artist-fan relationship through superfan experiences and products.”

Grainge also shared that UMG is “already in advanced discussions with [its] platform partners regarding this phase and will have more to announce in the coming months.”

While making money off passionate people who are the most willing to spend their money doesn’t sound like the most groundbreaking of ideas, Goldman Sach has projected that the segment could add an impressive $4 billion in revenue to the industry.

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