A Membership Program is a subscription service that fans sign up for and pay a monthly fee in exchange for perks or rewards provided by you. We are partnering up with a platform that provides you with a series of tools to coordinate the payments, memberships and rewards. Chaos will also be available to help you plan out and set up your Membership Program.
Creating the program is easy, the first step is to create a free account with our partner platform PayHip. The free account has all the same tools as the paid accounts, but paid accounts take a smaller transaction fee so they may be worth looking at in the future. But for now the free account gives you everything you need.
Once you create your profile you can create products. The cool thing is you can sell individual products as well as set up a Membership Program. So if you want to sell digital products like your music or physical products like CDs or merch you can. You will also need to use a payment processor such as Stripe. Stripe is free and required for selling Membership Programs. If you do not have a Stripe account, PayHip will walk you through it and takes maybe 10 minutes at most. If you decide to just use PayHip to sell individual products you can use PayPal if you wish.
You have the option to have multiple Plans for your Membership Program. Think of Plans like tiers (Silver, Gold and Platinum), the more they pay the more rewards they get. You can create as many Plans as you want, but too many can be too complicated, try to keep it to no more than 3. You also can determine the interval, monthly, every 3 months, every 6 months, etc. If you don't feel you can provide enough rewards to do monthly this is something to consider.
The core of a Membership Program is the rewards that subscribers will receive. It is important to not over or under promise. Over promise and you risk creating too much work or worse, not being able to deliver at all. Under promise and you aren't giving your fans value for what they are paying for.
Here is a list of possible rewards you can offer. Not all of these will be relevant but it will give you an idea of what you can do.
- Exclusive Music (unreleased tracks for example)
- Music before official release
- Early drafts or versions of tracks as you are working on them
- Alternate or extended versions of existing tracks
- Exclusive video (behind the scenes)
- Shout out to subscribers on your CD, video, website, social media or streams
- Personalized videos
- Personalized message such as a phone outgoing message
- Physical merch like shirts, posters, stickers or buttons
- Autographed pictures or posters
- Exclusive subscriber only live streams (performance, chat or Q&A)
- 1 on 1 live stream or chat
- Early access news and information that subscribers get first
- Access to your personal Spotify playlists with the music that inspired you and current artists you like
- Inside info about yourself or your personal thoughts
- Photos (home, studio, gigs, friends, family)
- Private subscriber only community (forum, subreddit, Discord or Facebook group)
- Input from subscribers such as focus groups on upcoming music or polls
- Plugs for subscribers who do their own music or have businesses
- Discounts on live performances or merch
We Will Help
I know this might sound overwhelming and very different to how you might have been dealing with your music until now but if done properly can be a strong new avenue for revenue. And we will help.
You can email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org for ideas and help writing up your Membership Program, pricing, rewards, anything you need. PayHip also has a strong Help and Support section to help you deal with the logistics of their platform. A lot of the tools on there will help with keeping your subscribers organized, delivery of Rewards, communicating with your subscribers, etc.
In addition, you can create coupons to provide discounts to your Membership Program. Coupons give a specified percentage off and can be good for a single month, multiple months or for the life of the subscription. We are encouraging artists to offer discount coupons to fans interested in subscribing to more than one of you. So if someone wants to subscribe to 2 artists, each artist creates a coupon giving that fan a 20% discount for their entire subscription. For 3 artists, say a 25% discount. This would create an incentive for artists to promote each other and for fans to sign up for multiple programs.
If you are interested but do not feel you alone have enough content for a Membership Program you might want to consider joining with one or more other artists who meshes well with your music and do a joint Program so subscribers would get Rewards from each artist. We will help coordinate artists and might even create some form of online forum or community for you all to collaborate.
I am working on obtaining additional benefits and rewards from third parties for you to offer to your subscribers and will make them available to you as they happen.
Disclosure Notice: Chaos and PayHip have a partnership agreement in place where Chaos earns revenue from this program. This revenue comes from the transaction fees charged when you make a product or membership sale on their platform and does not affect your earnings at all. I just felt it was important to disclose that to you up front.