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  • Writer's pictureMartin Piskoric

Can Tech Transform Artist-Fan Relationships?

Guest: Andy Apple

Profile picture of Andy Apple, smiling, founder and CEO of "we are giant," featured in an interview about music industry innovation.

In this podcast episode, Andy Apple, founder and CEO of "We Are Giant," shared his vision for revolutionizing the music industry through technology. With a background that bridges music blogging, finance, and venture capital, Andy is uniquely equipped to tackle the long-standing challenge of artist monetization and fan engagement in the digital age. His journey from a music blogger to a tech innovator reveals a deep passion for music and a commitment to creating sustainable communities around artists.

The Problem with Current Artist-Fan Interactions

According to Andy, the music industry has long suffered from fragmented tools that fail to serve artists adequately in managing fan relationships.

"Today, they're cobbling together dozens of fragmented tools, none of which are aligned with each other, most of which aren't even built for music. And it's simply not working," he explains.

This disjointed approach hampers artists' ability to directly engage and monetize their relationships with fans, prompting Andy to envision a better way.

Building "We Are Giant"

The inception of "We Are Giant" stems from Andy’s realization during his tenure in the venture capital realm, specifically at Sound Ventures. Here, he observed firsthand the evolving creator economy and recognized a gap in the market for music-specific community-building tools. This realization came sharply into focus with the advent of COVID-19, which further strained artists' ability to connect with fans through traditional channels like touring.

Andy's approach is grounded in community:

"We believe that the most effective way to unlock the power of community and to really build healthy communities is to get members sharing experiences with each other," he states.

This philosophy has led to the development of innovative features such as audio-only listening parties, video live streams, and text-only chat rooms, designed to foster a sense of belonging among fans.

Innovative Solutions and Real-world Impact

The platform's standout feature, the listening parties, illustrates its unique capability. Artists can premiere music directly to fans, creating an intimate and monetizable experience that's distinct from traditional streaming services. Andy highlights the success of these events:

"We had an artist who made thousands of dollars last night just releasing a new single on our platform and asking fans to pay what they're able to, to support them."

Such innovations have rapidly expanded the platform's artist roster, showcasing a scalable model that benefits both well-known and independent artists. "We've grown from five artists to north of 100 artists on the platform today," Andy notes, emphasizing the diverse genres and global reach of "We Are Giant."

Looking Toward the Future

As the platform continues to grow, Andy envisions it becoming an essential part of every artist's toolkit, particularly as the number of music creators is projected to explode by 2030.

"Five years from now, my vision is that millions of artists will be able to be artists on their terms, build their own businesses because of we are giant," he predicts.

Key Takeaways

Andy Apple's journey is not just about building a business; it's about changing the paradigm of artist-fan interaction through technology. By focusing on community-building and direct engagement, the platform is poised to address the traditional challenges of the music industry in innovative ways. For artists looking to deepen fan relationships and enhance monetization, "We Are Giant" represents a promising solution.

Whether you're an artist, a fan, or an industry observer, the journey of "We Are Giant" is one to watch as they redefine what's possible in the music-tech landscape.


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