The Artist Websites Of The Future

As Doug at AVFL mentions in his latest post, a lot of what he and Mickey Gamble, on his Gospeleer blog, have been talking about  with regard to the dramatic shift in the music industry and the idea of “tribal” marketing coming to the forefront.  There are two sites that I believe are early examples and prototypes of what will become of artist websites.  One is The Dills, and the other (and just released to the world) is Lauren Talley’s site.

There is a basic, fundamental difference between these two sites and most other artist websites.  This difference is in the personal connection with the audience.  Most artist sites are somewhat distanced from the viewer, here is Group X, here are their tour dates, here is a short bio on the members, and oh yeah, buy their stuff in the store.  If you look at the Dills site and Lauren Talley’s site, you will see that the approach is much more personal with the fans.  The main page of the site is the artist blog where the artist posts thoughts, announcements, whatever they feel like sharing, and the viewer has the opportunity, and is in fact encouraged, to leave comments or questions for the artist.  The artist can and will occasionally then respond to the comments or questions left by the fans.  The Dills, instead of just putting a link to their twitter pages somewhere on the site, actually have their latest twitter posts showing up on the main page.  Yes, the signup for the newsletters are there, but in Talley’s case, the standard offer (as opposed to a special, limited time offer seen elsewhere) is made of a free mp3 download for signing up.  The standard website fare is there, tour dates, store, etc., but it all feels like it is coming straight from the artist, not from an impersonal webmaster.

It’s taking what was begun with the Talley Tree-o site that Crossroads did, with the site having great success, and instead of making that an afterthought community site, it’s now the main place to go for all things by the artist.  It’s their main web presence…more communication, less presentation.  I think these two sites are a great window into what is coming down the road from the industry as a whole.

About Wes Burke
I'm a .NET developer and Southern Gospel music fan. Married with a wonderful family.

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