By Richard Lee, Co-Founder FENIX
As we have said all along – Its all about having a product that is irresistible for all key stakeholders. While Allan has been taking huge strides in China, I have been working with our team of developers over the last six weeks to transform the FENIX ecosystem from good to great.
When we first introduced FENIX, our starting point was very simple – Streaming music wasn’t paying enough. Our aim was to make it easier for artists to make money. We know first hand how difficult it is to change an entrenched structure like the current royalty regime, and therefore we figured we needed to come at things from somewhere completely different.
So, we looked at how upcoming artists were actually making money and sought to make that better for them. V1.0 of the FENIX App was all about creating a platform by which artists could better sell merchandise (and experiences) to their fans, and could control how they did so and who got paid.
We built it and we thought it was a really good start, but weren’t convinced that it was enough. So we stepped back and said that making money was an issue for artists but it was actually more than that – there was really very little infrastructure at all for unsigned artists.
There wasn’t a ready solution for artists to look after their existing fans, find new ones, make money and access the things they needed simply and cheaply. As a result, artists made do with what they had access to – sort of worked, but wasn’t great.
And that’s where FENIX v2.0 comes in – we have broadened the scope of the FENIX ecosystem around the artist, and have done so in a way that also looks after fans and service providers to the artist. If you look after all three, you have an ecosystem that every side can buy into – A simple proposition, but a very complicated solution.
And we’ve only gone and done it…
EVERYTHING – ALL IN ONE PLACE
We have looked at all of the tools that artists and fans actually use in their daily lives and sought to build the FENIX ecosystem as the only place that they need to be able to take care of business. With that in mind, we have significantly broadened the scope of the FENIX ecosystem:
In each case, we have considered whether the best solution should be based on the blockchain or on traditional technologies and have chosen what which delivers the best user experience that we can provide today.
We believe that the technology that we use should be secondary to the overall user experience. With this in mind, we have designed the FENIX ecosystem with a simple user interface, behind which we can seamlessly change or adapt any given module as technology improves.
We do this with a particular focus on the speed at which blockchain and its supporting infrastructure is developing – scalability, speed, convenience are all changing rapidly and over the coming months and years, we anticipate clear winners becoming apparent. FENIX will be able to adopt the best solution for users as each becomes viable and to do so in a way that is not disruptive to the user experience, which should always be fast, secure and convenient.
V2.0 of the FENIX App brings much of this aggregation of services to users into being. Where we haven’t yet introduced certain modules, we have brought in interim solutions or markers, which will allow us to introduce new and improved services in the coming weeks.
SIMPLE AND FAST TO USE
Our Artist Dashboard is really simple to use. It allows artists to build their presence on FENIX in minutes in a way that looks professional and which they absolutely control:
- An album with artwork attached uploads in less than a minute;
- Gig information shows location maps and ticketing information, again almost instantly;
- Social media aggregation is as simple as putting in your personal social media URLs.
We have worked with a number of our foundation bands to build and then test each module and the results are stunning. We want artists to see immediately that with minimal effort (and we are making that even less for many bands by helping them with the heavy lifting.
EASY TO DISTRIBUTE
The best app in the world is of no use at all if it is too difficult for people to access. We have worked hard to make it very simple for a band to distribute their App to their fans, using the Artist Dashboard, so that they both sides can see what all the fuss is about and then decide whether FENIX is all that it has promised to be.
This is key because it means that FENIX will have hundreds or even thousands of key marketers in the bands themselves, all of whom have willing users in their fans. That makes for a far easier conversion than we could ever hope to achieve ourselves, particularly in a world where there are an ever-increasing number of music platforms available.
DIRECT COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN BANDS AND FANS
Once fans are using FENIX, there is a clear line of communication with direct access between band and fan – an absolute winner for both sides. Maybe it’s a sign of our age, but all three of us remember the good old days when you could actually communicate directly with people – it really makes all the difference.
Bands can use the Artist Dashboard to communicate with their fans and we look forward to making this increasingly sophisticated in the coming weeks in terms of simplifying how a band targets their communications with fans (and vice versa)…
FENIX RISING – NEW FANS AROUND THE WORLD
We have also redeveloped FENIX RISING based on a simple premise – a fan may come into FENIX RISING at the invitation of their favourite band, but FENIX RISING will keep them there.
For bands, FENIX RISING is the platform that allows them to reach out to new fans within the FENIX community and gives them distribution that they simply didn’t have access to before.
And importantly, FENIX RISING allows bands to actually be seen and heard – away from the saturation of the top artists by the labels on the more traditional streaming services. If you take out the top 10% of artists that generated 99% of all streaming plays last year, you give thousands of bands the stage on which their voice can be heard.
FENIX RISING is a great interface that is now properly built out:
- Fans can see Artists of the Week and Featured Artists;
- Charts show the most popular tracks and the most popular bands;
- Tastemakers, influencers and even other bands can recommend playlists of their favourite tracks within the FENIX ecosystem;
- Fans can elect for more of a lean-back experience radio-type experience where FENIX plays a selection of tracks designed to adapt to the preferences of each user; and
- Shortly, we will introduce location-based recommendations that will allow fans to see artists that are near them.
And remember, every time a fan finds an artist on FENIX, they are not just getting to listen to their music – they immediately have access to the artist’s entire universe… and that’s something they just can’t get anywhere else.
We have a ton of ideas for FENIX RISING and importantly, the artists are giving us more every time we speak to them. We’re working flat out to get them up and running and there’s loads more to come in the next few weeks.
ANALYTICS – WHO’D HAVE THOUGHT WE’D LOVE EM?
The great beauty of having everything in one place, is that you can then really get a feel for who your fans are and what they are doing – our artist dashboard allows bands to look at where their fans are geographically, what they are listening to and what merch they are buying.
For many bands, this is critical in allowing them to actually sit and think about what they are going to do next – if you were planning a gig, wouldn’t it be great to know in advance how many fans you had there? Or which songs those fans love to listen to? Great for the bands, and importantly a genuine tool that they can use to justify what they are trying to do with third parties – venues / labels / advertisers / managers…
And if an artist couldn’t care less about things as mundane as analytics, that is fine too – FENIX really does have something for everyone… It’s a toolkit that will keep getting new tools and that is something that artists have never had before….
ABILITY TO STAGE ROLLOUT
Everybody is clamoring to get their hands on FENIX and run it through its paces – we get that and are working hard to allow that to happen. We are also very aware that if we do that, it really must work – first time and seamlessly.
As such, we anticipate rolling out the product in a number of key stages, which take into account the fact that a number of the more complex elements are out of our control in terms of timing. It means we don’t have to have everything in place on day 1, provided that we are in a position to deliver in a timely manner each stage of the rollout.
A staged rollout will also allow us to build the community in an organized manner – making sure that everything scales as it should and runs smoothly. This means that when we open the tap to allow usage of FENIX Tokens, we do so to a community that is already comfortable using the FENIX ecosystem and hungry to pay for the access that FENIX will give them to their favourite bands.
We have a separate post coming out shortly that sets out how and when we’re going to roll the product out, but know this – we’re as keen as you are to unleash FENIX and see what it can do.
Watch this space, because FENIX is coming really soon…