The Allman Brothers Band Gets in Tune With Its Fans


Fans of the Allman Brothers Band have something to celebrate. They can watch the band that helped to shape rock 'n' roll in the 1970s celebrate its 40th anniversary with a concert series this month at the Beacon Theater in New York City.

But the concerts aren't just for local fans. People everywhere can catch the band perform favorites like "Midnight Rider," "Ramblin' Man," or "Melissa" thanks to a social media platform that will stream the concert live to viewers' desktops.

With the help of social media and technology company Wyndstorm, The Allman Brothers launched a social campaign in January on, website focused on streaming concert videos and building fan interaction. For a fee of $125, fans can subscribe to receive unlimited access to live streaming video of the Beacon Theater concerts, as well as past concerts. Subscribers can also interact with each other during the show via chats and message boards as the shows take place. "You can experience the live show even though you're not there," says Marian Sabety, president and CEO of Wyndstorm.

The goal of the program was to drive 1,000 subscribers by the end of February. Instead the site captured 1,500 subscribers. "Getting 1,500 $125 card swipes in three weeks is a phenomenal success," Sabety says.

The success was no accident. The secret was driving the right kinds of fans through relevant channels. In addition to building the platform, Wyndstorm conducted a tightly integrated marketing campaign that crossed social media efforts with traditional channels like Rolling Stone to get the word out. The campaign primarily reached out to people who fit the social profile of the typical Allman Brothers fan.

Before launching the campaign, the Wyndstorm team conducted demographic and psychographic analysis on a number of Allman Brothers fans, as well as analyzed where they go online and the words they use when they interact together online.

The team discovered that, despite some online use, the typical fan is not someone who is comfortable in the social media space. "That's the reason why we had to take the strategy we did around the campaign," Sabety says. "A typical Allman Brothers fan is not social media savvy."

For the online components, a link to subscribe was added to the Allman Brothers Band official website, and Sabety and her team created a YouTube video featuring concert footage with a link to join. They've also added videos of each concert so far this year to continue the promotion. Additionally, they published a blog post on the band's MySpace page that featured interviews with band members on the idea and details on how to join. The company also used Twitter to share the program details as an example of the power of social media.

Offline, the company reached out to print music publications with press releases and advertisements. "We focused entirely on the publications that already focus on the genre that the Allman Brothers represent," such as Rolling Stone, Sabety says. The team also posted to magazine message boards and blogged on music sites. In turn, the magazines published the information gleaned from the social campaigns within their publications.

In addition to the band netting 1,500 subscribers during February, received 44,000 visits, 268,000 page views, an average time on site of 5:31 minutes (the industry average is between 1:30 and 2:35), and sales of $118,125. The campaign uncovered loyal customers, too. Of the total number of visitors, 15.5 percent have returned between nine and 50 times in less than a month, 25 percent returned between six and 19 times; and 32 percent stay on the site up to 30 minutes.

Sabety attributes the success to the campaign's ability to integrate various online and traditional channels. " is proof that the right blend of social media, advertising, and engaging content can significantly increase visibility among a specific target audience and positively impact sales goals," she says.