Simple launch plan for a new music app community


To complete the marketing challenge of coming up with a June-December launch plan for a music community with a target of 500K users I would need access to customer segmentation data, and the current customer personas. But let’s just have some fun without that standard data and have a look at comparing Facebook vs Extole, following yesterday’s blog post on the social referral platform.

Given the challenge of finding 500K subscribers over 6 months it’s an interesting fact that 478K Facebook users aged 18-55 in the UK currently list the Apple iPod as an interest. You could therefore work backwards from this figure, and breakdown the demographics into their component parts, thanks to the Facebook ads tool, and in fact 373K of that group are 18-year-olds.

To deliver the core community base you need at least one core ‘killer’ channel which will deliver the kind of numbers you want, at a cost you can afford. The options that spring to mind are:

(1) Facebook adverts – e.g. ads for a 1 month’s free subscription offer incentive.

(2) A social referral campaign – a gift in return for a subscriber using a top class platform like Extole which will track the metrics. You’ll see from the attached deck that music is on average the top performing social referral sector.

There are plenty of great supporting ideas such as partnering with National Express who have already run a music festivals comp’, running affiliate ads, or working with a mobile company at festivals to save on costs while promoting your new music app. But the bottom line is that there needs to be one central channel for delivery so I’ve focused on that.

A top level view of the big numbers, based solely on the 373K 18-year-olds as a way of exploring the options:


  • Users: 373,620 x 0.94 cost per click = £351,202.8 (frequency and duration determined by ppc budget)
  • Cost of 1 month’s music app free subscription at £1 a pop = £373,620
  • Total cost = £724,822.8
Social referral using Extole
  • Platform cost: $5k implementation to build and launch the program. $3k monthly subscription for management and optimization with a 12 month contract, total = $41,000/£25,870 – costs may vary for a June – Dec time frame though as a rule of thumb the longer these social referral campaigns run the more effective they are.
  • Incentive cost: 1 month’s free subscription to both referrers and sign-ups = £373,620.
  • Total cost: £399,490

This is without the benefit of your market segmentation, but I trust it is shows what the core acquisition channel might look like. There is of course the connected issue of retention of the ‘1 month subscribers’ to consider too.

On a qualitative level I believe a good foundation of the online marketing strategy retention would be to follow the GiffGaff community-led model where you would take the ‘bull by the horns’ and make the product feedback very open to customers to build advocacy and loyalty, as well as build a community peer-to-peer playlist swapping etc.

Famous musical connections


By coincidence yesterday a couple of famous musical coincidences cropped up. First the death of Ike Turner, who by way of v.dry humour I took Lucy, who’d had an unhappy family life, to see on St Valentine’s Day a few years ago at Ronnie Scott’s in Soho. Secondly, I caught the BBC documentary on Pink Floyd, and caught sight of their former manager Pete Jenner, who I met v.briefly once through Red Pepper magazine back in the mid-90’s. Who knows maybe I’ll actually get to hear some music soon?

What connects Cornershop, Oasis, Pulp & Black Grape?


Watching the BBC programme on women with troublesome big breasts and serious issues about health and self-esteem; and then I remembered the line from the Cornershop track ‘

)': “Everybody Needs A Bosom For A Pillow” not least ’cause back in 1993 I’d booked them to appear at some very very small event at Manchester Town Hall and a really nice lady had gobe out to buy them pizza as payment but was mugged for the pizza!

Which in turn leads me to recall another Manchester lad, Shaun Ryder, and in Feb 1996 on the night of the Canary Wharf IRA bomb going up to him at the Black Grape backstage party and for a dare telling him he had a big nose and he smelt. I managed to get into the after-concert party after some guy said his girlfriend was backstage so I talked out way in by saying I knew ‘Chris’. I later had a nice chat with his manager, and a great out-of-it one with the taxi driver speeding back to north London after the bombing, that was some night. (And even bumping ex-Beauchamp ladies, including Carole Orbell, at the concert which was well not expected.)

And a few months later even walking past Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker on Liverpool Road and pulling a face ’cause I wasn’t happy to see a celeb; and later outside Victoria Station walking past Noel Gallagher; so hey maybe I bring some musical luck to these guys, who knows?

James Brown now dead


OK, so I just found out James Brown died on Xmas day. Day-way to go James. Not surprisingly this news did not make it to the Black Forest where I was staying. New’s today is that there moving his body to a final resting place. Apparently he recently appeared in London at the BBC Electric Proms at the newly opened Roundhouse venue, which I walked past on Sunday. Sorry I didn’t chance to see him perform.

Roots & Samba podcast


Another in the podcast series from DJ Gilles Peterson in Brazil. While these are available free from Brahma to save you the time and trouble here’s the one on Roots and Samba. It’s an wma around 30mb so it takes a while to download – enojy!

The download function from the site doesn’t work at present, so I had to open in Windows Media Play and save from there. I did contact Brahma’s new Belgium owners to point this out, but no reply not surprisingly. However, it’s odd that the blog which supports the podcasts starts and stops after only a few entries, go figure!

My bands confession


Anyhow, just to confess my own nerdish behaviour, with a few bands I have seen including:

  • Gary Glitter
  • The Last Poets (Toxteth, Liverpool)
  • Hair Cut 100 (Leicester)
  • Nina Simone (Albert Hall)
  • Showaddwaddy (De Montfort Hall, Leicester)
  • Ike Turner (Ronnie Scott’s)
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Edwin Starr (Stratford)
  • Downset (LA2)
  • Public Enemy (The Dome)
  • Black Grape (Brixton Academy)
  • Erasure (MK Bowl)
  • The Swinging Laurels (the Horsefair: also from Leicester; appeared on TOTP’s with Fun Boy Three)
  • The Buzzcocks
  • John Cage (at the Sydney Opera House)
  • Cornershop (pre-‘brim full of asha’ I booked them for Manchester Town Hall)
  • The Magic Numbers (Summer Sundae 2005)
  • The Dandy Warhols (Princess Charlotte, Leicester)
  • Plus numerous indie bands, most recently the Mile High Penguins (12 Bar Club)!

    Of course each of these comes with its own special anecdote, and thus so to the blogger’s dilemma. Whether to wax lyrical to an audience of 1 (including themself) or to move on to the next day’s rant?

    Gilles Peterson podcast on Brazilian music


    Was lucky enough to pick up Jungle Drums magazine and spotted it was the last day of the Pele exhibition at Getty Images, coinciding with a new book about his life. Great exhibition, and I was wearing my ‘negroblue‘ T-shirt from Pil, which suited to a ‘t’.

    Also spotted in the magazine British DJ Gilles Peterson’s six-part podcast series on Brazillian music. Each podcast is 30 minutes long and devoted to a different theme, with interviews and live sessions. Covered are Baile Funk, Roots & Samba, Bossa Nova, The Rodrigues Family, Hip Hop and Electronica.

    While these are available free from Brahma (with a different one is released every two weeks from June 13th, so sorry about my delay..) but to save you the time and trouble

    (mp3 – 28mb).

    This is the Bossa Nova podcast from DJ Gilles Peterson from the series. It’s an

    so it takes a while to download but the interviews are good – so let’s do the ‘bossa nova’.