As the fan club ticketing space continues to become increasingly crowded, Cody DeLong and his crew at Sound Rink are relying on a strategy that has helped him significantly grow his company — tapping into his team’s creative prowess to create new connections between artists and fans.
“We’ve done some really cool things for the bands we work with, everything from incense burners to coloring books to hot sauce,” DeLong told Amplify. “We’ve come up with items that bands have loved to give out and we love doing creative things and coming up with something special.”
Sound Rink is the creation of DeLong and his partners Scott Lee and Jason Mageau. DeLong had been working as an agent at the Kenmore Agency when he and his partners realized there was an opportunity for fan club ticketing for bands playing in the 1000-to-2000-cap space.
“The other ticketing companies weren’t as creative. They didn’t offer what the bands wanted,” he said.
When he first launched, the fan club and presale ticketing space had been mostly used for VIP ticket offerings, and many of the bands he worked with didn’t feel comfortable selling expensive packages. To differentiate, Sound Rink focused on packaging tickets with special offerings like digital albums and interactive experiences. His team is currently helping an artist develop a photo book to commemorate the 10th-anniversary of the recording of their album and the band’s first tour.
“We’re having a special cover made that’s die cut with gold embossing stamped on the front,” DeLong said. “We’re putting some money out to have a really good designer pull together all the photos and really investing the time so it’s a piece that fans can get signed from the band at the meet-and-greet but can’t purchase at the merch table.”
A Shot of Adrenaline for the Record Business
In a time where managers are being pulled in more and more directions to find more and more revenue streams, Cody and his team at Sound Rink provide an innovative and seamless solution for all things VIP and ticketing. Their customer service is unrivaled and they are consistently trying to help our artists provide value to their fans while maximizing our profits.
- Mike Mowery, Outerloop Management
In the age of Spotify, bands need to find new ways to sell their music and Sound Rink has honed in on effectively packaging albums with presales and fan clubs to help artists drive sales. DeLong said he faced some opposition early on, but the change from physical sales to streaming have artists looking for new ways to monetize their albums.
“Now with streaming, they want to get people to buy their records. People aren’t going to go out and buy it unless you put it in front of them,” DeLong said. “Labels want to sell as many albums as possible and with more bands asking to combine albums with presales, we’ve been able to help and scan an extra 300 to 1500 more albums just by doing a standard pre-sale.”
Exclusive or yet-to-be-released music is most effective — fans are much more motivated to buy content if they can hear it before it plays on streaming services.
“If they’re like, ‘Oh, damn, I can have the album for seven bucks and I get it the day it’s released for a digital download? Yeah, sure, I’ll do that,'” DeLong said. “If you don’t do that, they’re just going to go, ‘I’ll just listen on Spotify or Apple music.'”
Who is Sound Rink?
We have worked with Cody DeLong and Sound Rink on many events over the past three years. I can give them the greatest compliment of all — they always deliver above and beyond what they promise.
- John L. Reese, Synergy Global Entertainment
DeLong said Sound Rink got its start in punk and metal — “that’s the world myself and my partners came from,” he said. “We’ve been able to diversify as we build the company to doing a ton of different artists.”
Sound Rink works with all sorts of artists, including rappers Rae Sremmund, metalcore band The Word Alive and pop punkers like the Wonder Years. Sound Rinks also works with labels like Rise Records and has a business development team in New York meeting with managers.
“It’s a lot of reaching out, seeing people’s needs, and seeing what tours are going out,” DeLong said. “We have kept an eye on which tours are looking for holds and looking for bands. That’s normally a good time to reach out to the respective managers and talk about how Sound Rink can be building connections between artists and fans.”
Leading With Customer Service
Sound Rink have been great to work with, their customer service and analytics are top notch and my artists of all sizes get a tremendous amount of hands-on support from Cody and his team 24/7.
- Randy Nichols, Force Media Management
“There’s two things that we really pride ourselves on,” DeLong said. “Our creativity and our customer service. It’s all about taking care of the fans. Fans aren’t just our customers but they’re also the band’s customers.”
Sound Rink handles customer service via telephone, email and live webchat on their site and “response time during business hours is currently at 4 minutes, average,” he said.
“We’re an extension of the band and how they would want their fans to be treated and how they would want their questions answered,” he said.
Live chats also enabled Sound Rink to increase their click through and sales ratios — when people have a question and they can get an answer instantly, they don’t have to leave the page and are more likely to push the “buy” button.
“We’re not just a platform for the artist to post their merch,” he said. “We’re here to help them market it. If an artist is looking to do some Facebook ads, we’ll put some money into it and also do Facebook ads. We sit with artists and we try to come up with the best ideas possible. We consider ourselves full-service for the artists. Everything from getting with the venues to paying out the venues, talking to fans and getting them the info for meet and greets, ordering the merchandise, designing the merchandise, coming up with the ideas for the merchandise, and pitching that to the artist. It’s that approach that allows Sound Rink to create a 360-view of an artist and their fans and create long-term solutions to help artists continue to grow their careers.”
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