Monstro, www.themonstro.com, has been getting some press over the last few weeks, but for the most part it has focused on the consumer side of the website. I want to look at the artist side of the website. I think when you see what is happening on Monstro any artist is going get excited. Disclosure, I am a adviser to Monstro.
Monstro is a pretty simple idea… they take the ENTIRE Twitter stream and search for music being shared and then show you who is sharing the music. The first important point is they are searching the entire stream of tweets. When you do a search on Twitter you are not actually searching the entire stream. Monstro has access to every single tweet. They are searching for shares coming from the following music apps:
Soundtracking, Pandora, Lastfm, Rdio, Slacker, Zimly, Spotify, Tunewiki, Ping, Hypem, Somafm, Rexly, Grooveshark, Shazam, Exfm, Timj, Monstro, YouTube, Music Withme and Soundhound.
They will be adding Herd.fm shortly.
As a artist you log into Monstro with your Twitter account. Immediately upon logging in you are presented with your artist page that is showing you fans, real people, who shared, discovered or listened to your music. Not just some statistic on how many are sharing, but the real fan. You can instantly see if you are following the fan on Twitter, if not with one click you can follow them. You can see what song or songs of yours they shared, and what other music they are sharing. You can even see the tweet they posted with the share. If that alone is not enough, you can reply to their tweet right inside Monstro. Engage and thank the fan for listening, ask them if they liked the song. Simple concept with valuable data you can use and act on daily.
How would you use Monstro? Let me describe something that actually happened for one of my clients as I was testing out the service. I am looking at shares and replying to fans who shared a song, simple replies like Thank You and Hope You Liked the Song. I got immediate replies on Twitter from the fans as soon as I engaged with them. I really mean immediate. A number of the fans were floored that the artist discovered them listening to the music. But the best response was, one fan discovered the song on Shazam tweeted back a screen cap of his iTunes download screen on his phone, buying the song.
1. Fan discovers song on Shazam.
2. Artist discovers fan shared song via Monstro.
3. Artist replies to fan.
4. Fan BUYS the song.
All of this took literally minutes to happen.
Monstro is also capturing the fans location and plans to deliver the ability to do filtering by location. How might you use that? You are going on tour and have a show in Nashville. Filter all your music shares by Nashville and now you have a group of fans you can reach out to for the upcoming show, fans that are actually listening to your music.
I have talked with Monstro about grouping shares by source. It would be helpful to see fans who shared via Shazam or Soundtracking for example. Fans who shared with Shazam are most likely discovering your music for the first time, but those sharing with Soundtracking already have the music on their device. This sort of data can help you determine where you might want to focus your efforts as well as developing different efforts based upon how your music is being found.
Because the site is clearly in a early beta state there are a number of enhancements to still be made to improve the usability for a artist. Even in this early release state it should be extremely useful for any artist who has fans sharing their music.
I think the ability to actually see the fans who are listening, sharing and discovering your music is powerful.