I recall years ago attending the Rolling Stones concert in San Francisco, and taking photos and videos of Mick Jagger and crew with my tiny Treo. Unfortunately, they're lost in that old phone, but that's another story. These days, fans are doing more than taking grainy, illegible pictures while at a concert. They're receiving text updates via Mozes, like this one from Rascal Flats: "Which song should we play for you all. Thanks for your input! Reply with: a(Winner at a Losing Game) b (My Wish) C (I'm Moving on)."
Now that's productive. Of course, it loses the effect of a band member shouting out to the crowd and the roar of passionate fans, screaming to be heard.
Nonetheless, it gets the job done. Fans are also texting the artists to win backstage promotions, or they're using them to show their appreciation and excitement. "The phone is the new lighter," said Dorian Porter, CEO of Mozes, in this second-part interview on how consumers are changing their online behavior. Specifically in this interview, Dorian and I discuss how bands are keeping up with their fans, or building up their fan base. (See my earlier interview with Dorian.)
And, it's not just about selling ringtones. Even guys like Grammy Award winning rap artist Chamillionaire, who sold 4 million ringtones for his single, Ridin Dirty, told me he's looking for more ways to stay connected with his fans. See: Chamillionaire on his digital strategy beyond ringtones.
Indeed, ringtones may keep the branding up, but this online generation expects constant communication. It's not dissimilar to what journalists do to keep up or gain more readers. Check out Robert Scobel's recent column where he says that he left 2,356 comments on FriendFeed as a way to get FriendFeed followers.
Teen bands know this all too well. A band called Push Play is using Mozes to let its fans know where they'll be. For anyone texting Push Play, they'd receive a text: "Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 10 am on ticketmaster at The Gramercy Theatre! Who's coming?" This band knows how to market itself. Check out its MySpace profile.
Rascal Flats has 140,000 people who've opted in to receive text messages from this country music group. This brings up another interesting point about how consumers are changing their behavior when it comes to keeping up with their bands, said Dorian. "The phone and text messaging is an interruption medium," he said. "In fact, they [musicians] can interrupt 140,000 conversations and insert themselves into a fan’s life."
Talk about a souvenir. Like I said, it's not about just taking a grainy photo anymore. Once you text a band, get ready to feel their presence - always.
For a great report on mobile penetration, check out this just-released Nielsen Mobile report.
Nielsen Mobile doc - Get more Information Technology