Sam Feldt on the Importance of Fan Engagement and Influencer Marketing

Thursday, March 28th, 2019 |

Sam Feldt Winter Music Conference WMC 2019Dutch producer/DJ Sam Feldt is best known for his uplifting, feel-good sound, which spans all shades of sun-kissed house music. Since first hitting the scene in 2014, he’s notched a handful of major accolades, including multiple platinum and gold singles around the world, an impressive double album, Sunrise to Sunset, and global world tours.

But beyond the beats, Feldt is a self-made entrepreneur, digital savant, and sustainability champion. In addition to his top-selling music and releases, he’s launched a number of technologically advanced projects, including Fangage, a fan engagement and fan relationship management platform for influencers and brands, which also powers his personal fan portal, The Heartfeldt brand is part of Feldt’s larger creative umbrella, which also encompasses: his global Heartfeldt pool parties and event series; his Heartfeldt Radio show, which is syndicated across more than 40 countries; and his newly launched Heartfeldt Foundation, a nonprofit platform that promotes a sustainable lifestyle and a healthier planet by utilizing influencers and ambassadors in music, sports, and entertainment.

This week, Sam Feldt joins Winter Music Conference (WMC) 2019 as a keynote speaker where he’ll discuss his growing Heartfeldt brand and his ongoing mission to spread the word on sustainability. Ahead of WMC, we caught up with Feldt to chat about fan engagement, influencer marketing, and all things Heartfeldt.

Can you talk about your fan engagement platform, Fangage? As an artist, why did you think a technology like Fangage was necessary for other musicians and creatives?
I launched Fangage more than two years ago as I was struggling to connect with my fan base through third-party platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It seemed like my following was increasing, but I was reaching fewer and fewer fans through my posts. That inspired me to come up with a solution that allows artists and other influencers to stay in touch with their core fans directly while at the same time providing value to them through exclusive content. I think every musician and creative understands the algorithm problem with social media these days and is struggling to reach 100 percent of their following through traditional social media. I think Fangage provides a solution for a big market.

How does Fangage work? How can artists benefit from it?
Artists who sign up to Fangage get their own fan portal, on which fans can register to unlock exclusive content and experiences, such as a meet & greet with the artist or a download of their latest radio show. By promoting the content on the portal through traditional social media, the artist is able to amass his/her own database with fan information and reach those people directly by email and SMS from the Fangage backend. In my case, more than 20,000 die-hard Sam Feldt fans have already signed up to, my Fangage portal, that I can now easily promote new content, music, shows, and merchandise to without having to pull out my wallet and sponsor posts on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. 

Speaking of, the platform connects you directly with your fans. Why is fan engagement so important to you as an artist?
I believe fans are the reason an artist exists, so being able to reach them is one of the most important things in the world for me. Without my fanbase, I would not be able to do what I do and make and play the music I love. So when I found out that Facebook and Instagram were blocking me from reaching my full fan base, even though they all explicitly clicked “Follow this artist,” it frustrated me immensely.

You recently launched your nonprofit organization, the Heartfeldt Foundation. When did you create the organization and what was its original mission?
I launched the Heartfeldt Foundation last year, and its original mission is still the same. The Heartfeldt Foundation is a nonprofit platform that promotes a sustainable lifestyle and a healthier planet by using the reach of influencers and ambassadors in the fields of music, sports, and entertainment. We use the UN Sustainability Goals and our Give / Do / Inspire / Empower model. We strive to develop a program that influencers can use to create awareness around sustainability and work towards a healthier planet.

Speaking of influencers, do you find influencer marketing is a useful tool for promotional purposes? Do you think influencer marketing has a long and steady future as a useful promotional tool?
I sure do. That’s why we came up with this idea for the Heartfeldt Foundation. People always look up to their idols or cool, famous people, so I really believe they can make an impact.

Sam Feldt Winter Music Conference WMC 2019

In addition to your music, you’re also known for your unique live shows, which feature a full live band. What are some lessons or skills that you’ve learned when performing as a live band that you can later adapt to the studio setting?
Playing with the live band is so much fun and it definitely helps the creative process in the studio. When we perform live, we also improvise, and we can see how the audience reacts to certain tracks or sounds. This is useful information when I’m working in the studio.

In 2016, you launched your Heartfeldt pool party series, which returns to Miami Music Week this month. What sets the Heartfeldt party brand apart from others?
It’s always fun! I host the parties at different locations all over the world, but also places you wouldn’t expect. Why not bring summer to a rainy and cold Holland during Amsterdam Dance Event? So that’s what we did two years in a row, and I have a lot of unique locations in mind for the upcoming years.

What do you have planned for 2019 in terms of music, touring, and beyond?
My new song “One Day” will be released on March 29 during Miami Music Week. Of course, I’ll be doing a lot of shows in Miami, including Ultra Music Festival, among others. Besides the busy week in Miami, I’m playing a lot of cool festivals this summer, like Tomorrowland and Balaton Sound. And there is also a lot of new music on the way!

Sam Feldt is a keynote speaker at Winter Music Conference (WMC) 2019 this month. His keynote panel takes place Thursday, March 28, from 11:30 am—12:30 pm ET at Faena Forum in Miami Beach, FL. WMC 2019 Industry and Access badges and registration are now available.

Follow Sam Feldt on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram | YouTube

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Winter Music Conference was the cream of the crop of conferences. Every label owner, label A&R, DJ and artist knew they had to go network at the Fontainebleau where the conference was hosted. The conference was not only one of the most important time of the year as it relates to dance music but it was also a place where records were broken and became summer hits. Some of my best DJ memories are from the events I played during WMC in the last 20 years.

Erick Morillo

DJ / Producer / Label Boss - Subliminal Records

If you want to know about our industry from the people that make it happen then go to WMC. It’s an accelerated masterclass in all things dance music.

Carl Cox

DJ/Intec Records

Miami has always been a place I’ve considered home and WMC was essential for me and the label in many ways. From showcasing our new music to keeping up with all the new artists and releases. It was the official kickoff of the year and I’m happy to see it thriving again.

Louie Vega

DJ/Vega Records

Before there was Ultra Music Festival, there was The Winter Music Conference, the annual coming together of the dance music tribes. Miami in March is a fundamental place to be from a business perspective, and has always given me endless opportunities for discovering new partnerships and talent. WMC brings together the dance music industry and surrounding culture like no other event in America. I’ve been attending WMC for nearly 20 years, and I’m very much looking forward to experiencing its evolution in 2019.

Matt Colon

Director, North America - YM&U Music

Winter Music Conference is my ground zero. It has always provided the perfect storm of opportunity and excitement for up and coming artists, including myself back in 2003, where I first caught a glimpse of how it felt to have an audience respond to my work. Over the years, I’ve always made it a point to have WMC in my calendar because that’s the spot where everyone congregates and you can feel it in the air. Creativity, brother and sisterhood, FUN and most of all the chance to come together as a community and celebrate the reason we are all here—the music.”