The location-based social network Foursquare recently surprised showgoers at South by Southwest by rolling out a new feature that rewards fans for checking in at bands’ concerts and live events. Participation includes bonuses such as free song downloads, signed posters, special encores and exclusive meet-and-greets with musicians.
Foursquare’s new feature allow professional musicians to reward fans who check at shows with unique prizes, bonuses, giveaways and other loyalty rewards. Already utilized by acts including Counting Crows, Neon Trees and Gary Clark, as Billboard points out, configuring promotions merely requires artists to create a dedicated Foursquare page, link to their social media accounts and craft giveaway specifics. Setup uses a simple Web tool and is compatible with supporting smartphone apps.
These features could help acts boost attendance numbers and fan attention. With touring among today’s top money-making routes for artists (as their bottom lines continue to erode from declining album sales, falling ringtone sales and increasingly parsimonious record deals), enterprising artists can theoretically assemble eye-catching and cost-effective promotions for low cost. Check-ins and rewards may seem like an obvious and predictable extension of the live music experience, but in the hands of clever DIY acts and bands whose live presence exceeds major media buzz, they could prove a means to set Internet attention and build instant followings.
Not all acts will benefit equally from the Foursquare rewards system, nor are promotions guaranteed to draw a sizable audience. However, by offering fans a little something extra for their interest and loyalty – including another reason to justify premium ticket prices – these new features could become a win for everyone involved.