Some of these same rewards would also be great additions to a music crowdfunding campaign or just as thank-yous to any artists most active fans.
Guest post by Dave Cool of The Bandzoogle Blog
Once you've decided that you're going to start selling fan subscriptions or fan club memberships, the first thing you'll need to figure out is what rewards to offer your fans.
With crowdfunding, your fans make a single payment for a specific reward. But with subscriptions, it’s all about offering ongoing rewards for regular, monthly payments. So you’ll have to think of the content, perks, and rewards that you can deliver on a regular basis to your biggest fans.
Early vs. exclusive
Something to consider for your subscriber rewards is if you’re going to give early or exclusive access to new content. This is especially important when it comes to your music and videos.
For example, if you’ve recorded a new song, you’ll have to decide if it’s going to be something that is exclusive to your subscribers. This means that it won’t go up for sale on your website or be available on streaming services.
On the other hand, you could give your subscribers early access to new tracks and videos for a certain amount of time, then officially release them publicly.
There’s no right or wrong approach to this. It’s really a matter of how prolific you are with creating content, and what your goals are with each song, album, or video.
Structuring your rewards and tiers
It might be tempting to offer lots of rewards to encourage fans to subscribe. Keep in mind that you’ll have to manage the delivery of each reward every month. Plus, once you’ve decided what types of rewards to offer subscribers, you’re going to organize them into tiers, which you’ll also have to manage.
If you’re just starting out, keep things simple. You can always add rewards and tiers as you go. Start with a few rewards for the lowest tier that are easily scalable (like access to digital music), then add 1-2 bonus rewards for each higher tier.
For more info on how to set up your tiers with rewards, check out our guide: How to sell fan subscriptions on your music website
To help you decide which rewards to offer your subscribers, here are some ideas to get you started. You could pick and choose from each list, for a combination of rewards. Or you could focus on one area for your subscriptions (if you are a teacher, for example).
1. Exclusive unreleased songs
2. Early access to songs/albums
3. Access to full catalog (streams)
4. Access to full catalog (downloads)
5. Access to full catalog (FLAC & WAV)
6. Albums/EPs on CD
7. Albums/EPs on vinyl
8. Albums/EPs on cassette
10. Live recordings
11. Instrumental versions of songs
12. Handwritten lyrics
14. Discounts (can be a larger discount for higher tiers)
15. Let fans give feedback on songs in progress
16. Let fans vote on song direction
17. Let fans choose specific cover songs to record
18. Write custom songs for fans
19. Let fans vote on cover songs to record
20. Give fans producer credit on albums
21. Stem files
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22. Exclusive merch
23. Signed posters
24. Buttons, pins, stickers
26. Discounts on merch / store items (can be larger a discount for higher tiers)
27. Branded USB drive of all music, photos, or videos
28. Postcards (signed / handwritten)
29. Other art (paintings, photos, illustrations)
30. Let fans vote on merch design
31. Exclusive videos (behind the scenes, messages for fans, etc.)
32. Videos before they go public
33. Video downloads
34. Download of the audio from videos
35. Shout outs in videos
36. Thank yous in video descriptions
37. Personalized videos / covers
38. Let fans vote on songs for video releases
39. Happy birthday videos for fans
40. Guest list at shows
41. Signed set lists from shows
42. Meet & greets
43. Green room access
44. VIP seating
45. Dinner before the show
46. Exclusive online shows
47. Let fans vote on setlists
48. Let fans request songs for online concerts
49. Sheet music
50. Songbook (pdf)
51. Songbook (physical copy)
52. Song charts
54. Video lessons
55. Live lessons
56. Archived lessons & videos
58. Song requests
59. Let fans vote on songs to learn
60. Let fans choose the song to learn
61. Exclusive blog
62. Exclusive forum
63. Personal video calls
64. Livestream / video hangouts / listening parties
65. Promote the fan’s business
66. Follow fans on social media
67. Thanks/shout outs on social media
68. Feature fans on your website, on social media
70. Private / fan-only social media account (Instagram, Facebook Group, Snapchat)
71. Birthday shout-outs on your blog, on social media
As you can see, there’s no shortage of ways to reward your subscribers. It really comes down to what you think you can deliver and manage on an ongoing basis that your biggest fans will enjoy!