You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rob Thomas: Rock star, digital marketing guru

While the Grateful Dead didn’t mind recordings being made of
their concerts, most musicians are a little less enthralled with the idea.

Not Rob Thomas. Whether it’s at his solo shows or his gigs
with Matchbox 20, fans can pick up a copy of the live show they just attended
on the way out the door – and do with them whatever they’d like.Robthomas1

The concerts, which are sold on Flash Micro SD wristbands,
are just one of the digital tools Thomas is using to promote himself and his
music these days, making him one of the industry leaders of digital marketing.

“Fans on the Web site are trading their favorite nights,” he
says. “Some fans have gone so far as to make their version of a live greatest
hits album. When you see that sort of application, you get closer to your
fans.”

The wristbands not only bring in a little extra income, they
help fight the inevitable. With cameras and recording equipment so small today,
bootlegging is one of the facts of concert life. Fighting it is essentially
repeating the industry’s folly with downloaded music in that it can alienate
fans.  Embracing (and quietly
controlling) it, though, establishes a bond.

“With YouTube, you can’t shy away from bootlegs,” says
Thomas. “I’ve done a show and on the bus, I’m able to see parts of it on
YouTube before we leave the venue. [But] I’ve got a great band and I’m proud of
what we do. When people see it on YouTube, they say ‘oh I’d like to go see them
live’.”

Beyond the wristbands, Thomas has also established a
partnership with Research in Motion to launch the Blackberry’s first mobile
artist app. And he is the premier artist on Atlantic Records’ Fanbase app for
the iPhone, where fans can listen to clips, read lyrics, leave him voicemails,
chat with other fans and see a feed of both official and unofficial news and
photos. Coming soon are a pair of games: “Inner Beauty” and “Reverse
Barbershop.”

More Digital

  • MUBI Giving Away Subscriptions to Film

    MUBI Giving Away Subscriptions to Film Students (EXCLUSIVE)

    While the Grateful Dead didn’t mind recordings being made of their concerts, most musicians are a little less enthralled with the idea. Not Rob Thomas. Whether it’s at his solo shows or his gigs with Matchbox 20, fans can pick up a copy of the live show they just attended on the way out the […]

  • Netflix placeholder

    Netflix Partners With Dubai-Based Pay-TV OSN in Middle East and North Africa

    While the Grateful Dead didn’t mind recordings being made of their concerts, most musicians are a little less enthralled with the idea. Not Rob Thomas. Whether it’s at his solo shows or his gigs with Matchbox 20, fans can pick up a copy of the live show they just attended on the way out the […]

  • reddit ban

    Reddit Bans Community for Deepfake Sex Tape Software

    While the Grateful Dead didn’t mind recordings being made of their concerts, most musicians are a little less enthralled with the idea. Not Rob Thomas. Whether it’s at his solo shows or his gigs with Matchbox 20, fans can pick up a copy of the live show they just attended on the way out the […]

  • Snapchat redesigned app

    Snapchat, Ignore the Haters: History Shows Freak-Outs Over Redesigns Subside

    While the Grateful Dead didn’t mind recordings being made of their concerts, most musicians are a little less enthralled with the idea. Not Rob Thomas. Whether it’s at his solo shows or his gigs with Matchbox 20, fans can pick up a copy of the live show they just attended on the way out the […]

  • A Bad Moms Christmas

    'Bad Moms', 'Only the Brave' Take Two Top Spots on Disc Sales Charts

    While the Grateful Dead didn’t mind recordings being made of their concerts, most musicians are a little less enthralled with the idea. Not Rob Thomas. Whether it’s at his solo shows or his gigs with Matchbox 20, fans can pick up a copy of the live show they just attended on the way out the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content