Warner Music is the first major music company to enter a deal with Community, joining brands like People Magazine, The Shade Room, Slutty Vegan and more in adopting the service.
"Community's model helps us cut through the noise and gives us an authentic, personal, and unique way to reach the superfans," said WEA senior vp global audience strategy Scott Cherkin in a statement. "The direct line helps our artists get to know their fans better and opens up opportunities for them to plug their priorities – whether it be merch, concert tickets, or a new single – knowing they have an engaged and eager audience on the receiving end."
Warner Music tells Billboard that 80 of its artists will be using the service; in a statement, Cherkin added that some "are already promoting" their Community numbers at shows. The label declined to provide info on what specific artists will be given a Community number, though it noted that Warner Records signee Ali Gatie was an “early adopter” of the platform and “regularly texts with his fans,” including sending birthday messages and exchanging selfies. Another Warner Records act, the alternative/hip-hop duo Junior Varsity, have been using the service to promote their A F$*KING WEEKEND pop-up shows in New York City and Los Angeles, with fans exclusively RSVPing and receiving location details by texting the group’s Community number.
In his own statement, Community senior vp growth, partnerships and revenue David Ross said that artists’ use of the platform “ultimately results in increased sales, greater content consumption, deeper artist affinity and additional opportunities for Warner Music’s roster and brands.”
This isn’t Warner Music's first attempt at harnessing the power of superfans. In 2018, WMG acquired A&R insight tool Sodatone, which combines streaming, social and touring data to determine fan base loyalty, audience reactions to new releases and more. The company's label and artist services division, run by Danielle Lee, has touted its ability to "create actionable audience segments” by tracking fan data from websites, merch stores, social media and email marketing responses. Last year, Warner Records mined data about the spending habits of Dua Lipa superfans to help determine an appropriate ticket price for the singer’s "Studio 2054" livestream concert in Nov. 2020 (the label ultimately settled on $10).
For more information on the partnership, you can visit Community.com.