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Published on July 10th, 2024 | by Dr. Jerry Doby

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Is the Fan Club a Dated Concept?

Before the digital era, the fan club was a real badge of honor. People paid a subscription to be in the inner circle of a band, getting newsletters, gifts, and access to tickets before anyone else. Yet in the modern era, the fan club has changed its rules. With access to social media, the age of the superfan is now here. So, how are musicians and bands rewarding their inner circle, and is the traditional fan club a dated concept?

Do Fan Clubs Still Exist?

You may be surprised to know that fan clubs do still exist, and many of them now put out some quite lucrative rewards. Metallica, while charging a high price for fan club membership, often provides special areas and pits for club members at concerts. U2 sent their fans a live CD not available in stores. Bands have even been known to do small acoustic gigs that can only be accessed by fan club members. 
 
In many ways, the concept of the reward and bonus is stronger than ever. Rewards and bonuses have been extremely popular in gaming, where skins and special gifts are given to the most dedicated players, and now even gambled. This also carries on into the realm of gaming, where people play cash games such as slots. Bonuses are used to attract new customers, often matching the amounts people put in. Casinoalpha’s article offers fine examples of the most claimed wagering bonuses. However, they also offer VIP schemes to create a feeling of exclusivity, and that is where the key lies.  

Because the truth is that, really, none of these clubs are about the physical rewards at all. It is about being part of an inner circle, a loyal follower or fan. In an age where information is the most powerful item of all, having this experience is unique. 

Fandom

Source: Unsplash

The fan club in its former glory does still exist. Websites such as Patreon have been set up exclusively to facilitate them and let the creators manage them. However, the modern equivalent is now known as fandom. It is often free to join and encompasses a network of forums, social media accounts, and media outlets. It is all of these that build the community around an artist.
  
Fandom brings a lot more opportunities. It allows artists to become global, spreading their news from Japan to Johannesburg with ease. This increases revenues and opportunity. This can be further enhanced by looking at the data provided by web traffic and social media. Where fan clubs would have taken individual letters to see what people like, artists can now see what their fanbase wants in real-time.

However, there are downsides to the concept of fandom. The desire for information can be voracious, often invading the privacy of the artist. In many ways, this has come to be expected. People want to know everything about their artists, and labels and managers may be tempted to push artists into giving that. There was a benefit to having these fan groups at arm’s length. Now, it can have serious repercussions on the artist and their mental health.
 
Fandoms will always be around, and no doubt they will come to evolve again. You may be part of one yourself, or be considering creating your own. Do your research and most of all, enjoy the music your favorite artist creates.  





About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.


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