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The power of a simple click: an underdog story

August 30, 2017 – Carlsbad, CA

At Fan & Fuel, we love music, and we love a good underdog story. If you walked into our office at any given moment, you’d hear music playing from the boss’s office. Whenever we discover a new artist, we usually take a minute to talk about what makes their sound unique, who they remind us of, then we get back to work.

This time was different.

Last Friday as I was on my way home from work, I stumbled across a new song on the Discover page of my Soundcloud that really caught my attention. I rarely ever listen to anything on my Discover page, simply because it’s a shot in the dark, but when I scrolled to this song on my feed I noticed something unusual.

“I don’t wanna do this anymore (JAMESIK remix)”

JAMESIK, a relatively obscure producer, remixes a popular rap song and, somehow, it gets reposted by The Chainsmokers, a worldwide EDM sensation with over 981,000 followers. Once a song is reposted on Soundcloud, it’s instantly launched onto your profile, where all of your followers now have access to a song they may have never heard otherwise. It had only been reposted a couple minutes before I stumbled upon it, so the stats on the song were basically untouched from The Chainsmokers’ massive circle of influence. One click initiated a landslide of exposure for the young artist, leading another prominent artist, Kill Paris, to repost another one of JAMESIK’s songs, “you should try it”. After getting in touch with James Edmund, the man behind the JAMESIK moniker, I gained some valuable insight into the domino-effect that transpired following the initial repost of his track.

“You should try it (JAMESIK & J-MO remix)

What makes this case study so interesting is that, before the Chainsmokers got their hands on this track, it only had 1300 views and about 150 likes. Less than a week after it was reposted, it skyrocketed to over 44,000 views and 1,430 likes. Let me help put this in perspective. A guy producing music at his home in San Jose gets a quick head nod from a titan in the music industry, and his circle of influence expands by over 3300% with a click.

When I brought this up at the office on Monday, we quickly realized that there’s a lesson to be learned from this phenomenon. No matter how obscure an artist or brand might be at first, the right promotion on the right platform can give anybody the exposure they need to reach their target audience. In Logic’s song ’44 Bars’, he sheds light on a known truth in the industry, “People don’t buy music in this day and age, they buy the brand.” In other words, the product itself is less of a driving force than the consumer’s personal relationship with that product. Essentially, marketing is all about getting peoples attention, initiating a process which then builds familiarity over time. The relationship that’s forged in the process, whether it’s with a brand or an artist, is the lifeblood driving the product, the force of attraction uniting producers with consumers.

In our eyes, what sets Soundcloud apart as a platform for music distribution is the ability to transfer momentum from one artist to the next, all with a single click of the repost button. While platforms vary from site to site, certain themes still ring true regardless of the product being pushed. Brand and identity are every bit as essential in music as they are in business, and at Fan & Fuel, we look at every case study as an opportunity to hone our craft and further our vision moving forward.

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