Kevin Kelly of Wired magazine wrote about the 1,000 fans theory, where he claims that an artist only needs 1,000 “true fans” to be successful, and maintain that success. He says:
“A creator, such as [a]… musician… needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.
A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy te super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shrt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.”
He reminds us that this number is not that difficult to achieve because through social media marketing in Music 3.0, the artist has access to a global audience.
Aside from the True Fans, Kelly reminds us that there will also be a group of Lesser Fans. These people might not need or want to follow your every move, or purchase every single thing that you put out, but they are not to be neglected as Lesser Fans can always be nurtured to become True Fans. He suggests that artists do this by connecting and interacting with their fans via networks like blogs, Facebook and MySpace. Work archives may be stored on websites that can easily be referred to by any interested party.