Technology is as much a blessing as it it is a curse for today’s musician. Toronto-based software firm Volu.me is fast becoming the dominant fan-engagement app for musicians because it does a lot of the heavy lifting for them in messaging fans, plus it is simple to use, is priced affordably, works on all mobile operating systems (including BlackBerry) and is effective in generating additional ticket, merch and music dollars. “It pays for itself,” says co-founder (Shawn) Cooper, who spent 10 years as a software developer before teaming up with Cordova Bay Entertainment Group’s Michael Burke to create the Volu.me app.
Client confidentiality prevents concrete examples being listed, but he references a variety of acts of acts that have demonstratively boosted merch and ticket sales using the Volu.me app.“Think of this as the new fan club that’s always available, always up-to-date and always in your pocket,” Burke says from his Vancouver Island home-base. It has been a slow process. Burke was quietly promoting a beta version of the app at last year’s Canadian Music Week. The front-end costs are in the six-figures and the development has been done in consultation with bands and record companies to get it right, and make it simple.
Now, a year later, Volu.me is up, running and proving to be an essential road tool. “If I had to describe what the app does in a simple sentence I’d say ‘Volu.me’ boosts sales and increases engagement with fans,’” Burke says with pride. Instead of shelling out between thousands of dollars to reinvent the wheel, and quite possibly get it wrong, Volu.me is available to acts for a flat $50 monthly fee.More than 60 acts have signed up so far, including Tegan and Sara, the Sheep Dogs, Wake Owl, Goo Goo Dolls, Cancer Bats, Hedley, Silverstein and David Gogo.
– A new digital track or album release? With the push of a button the app lets you push out 30-second sound samples or lets you buy directly
– It’s close to show time and you need to boost ticket sales. The app lets you push out a message within specified geographic boundaries, and even offer fan discounts to boost interest in your event.
– The app pulls in data from YouTube, Vevo, Vimeo so all the videos are visible for display in one place.
– Puts the band’s message on autopilot, pulling in data from Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Soundcloud, SongKick and internal websites and blogs.
– Direct engagement with the fan with exclusive material: photos, music, soundbites, including news, tour updates and special events – and the fan has immediate feedback through all social media facilities directly from your app.