No band today has a larger, more rabid fan base than K-Pop band BTS. The BTS ARMY has been a major factor in driving the band’s international popularity, and now the band and its label, Big Hit, are poised to take advantage of that popularity in a new way.
Although designed to also support Big Hits various acts, BTS stands to benefit the most from the label’s Weverse community app. Weverse is a way to converse with the bands via a translation into different languages, but it also features a store for buying merch. The app reportedly has 1.4 million daily active users while the store has 1.8 million users in over 200 countries. When it comes to BTS though, there is a premium subscription tier that costs $30 per year to become an ARMY member. There are no reports yet as to the number of subscribers, but it’s no doubt huge since BTS is the major driver of the label’s success.
Then there’s Cardi B, who’s reportedly already making $8 million month on OnlyFans. While OnlyFans is primarily a platform for middle class sex workers, Cardi states explicitly that she won’t be flashing her fans and instead will use the space to get closer to them and address criticism of her music. The subscription price is $4.99 per month, and it looks like Cardi is only scraping the surface as to what she can earn there. The OnlyFans earnings calculator predicts that she could make as much as $18 million a month based on her 70 million Instagram followers.
If you want an example of a classic rocker who’s also gone the subscription route, look no further than the Neil Young Archives. The paid level of the tier provides access to the high-resolution recordings of the complete Neil Young catalog as well as well as a host of other features for $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. There are no reports on the number of subscribers, but you get the feeling like this is something that Neil would do for free to protect his legacy. It’s working.
While it’s true that many less successful artists are doing well using a service like Patreon for fan subscriptions, artists in the A+-tier are taking the idea to the next level. The three examples above show that there are multiple strategies that can succeed. The biggest question is, will other artists follow suit?
This article was written by Bobby Owsinski from Forbes and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]