A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Dream Theater has a listening party and invites the fans this time around – That’s what I’m talking about.

The Dream Theater post on the band having a listening party and forgetting to invite their fans was the most viewed post on the Destroyer of Harmony blog. It even started The Great Debate on a Dream Theater forum. Knee jerk reactions from forum members Misunderstood the intentions of the post.

As a fan, it is with a sense of renewed optimism to see Dream Theater rewarding London fans with a chance to listen to the album with John Petrucci and James LaBrie. Did the post on this blog cause this change of heart? Maybe it did. I will own it.

So what does this new listening party mean?

Dream Theater will give ten fans a chance to hear the new album. Casual fans will not be queuing up for this. It will be their super fans that will Take The Time to email. These same fans will have walked the Rite Of Passage and purchased the Lifting Shadows book each time it has been released.

They will have seen the band live every time they have visited and they will have purchased all of the Official album releases, DVD releases, Official Bootleg releases and merchandise. This is a chance for Dream Theater to form an everlasting connection with these super fans. Studies released have shown that super fans are worth about $700 to a band on a yearly basis. These same studies have shown that these super fans once enabled are better than any marketing PR firm. Just Google, “Hypebot Superfans”.

When Dream Theater started off back in the late 1980’s, the marketing was the actual narrative that would sell the product. Fast forward to 2013 and Dream Theater started off their marketing campaign in the same way as 1988. It’s good to see that the marketing plan has switched to the actual product, as the current day marketing is the actual product itself. Otherwise, the product will end up like Megadeth’s Supercollider, outsold by the Metallica Black album that is 22 years old regardless of the narrative that Dave Mustaine puts on it about being his best work as it is an album that has come from his heart, not his mind.

Perception is all that matters these days. If people start to believe that a band doesn’t care about their fans or if they have lost control of their career, then they are done, regardless of what the numbers say in relation to sales, tour and merchandise grosses.

Kudo’s to Petrucci and Co.

Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Dream Theater has a listening party and forgot to invite any fans.

The future and the present is all about going direct to the people who will pay for what you do.

Dream Theater just had a listening party for their new self-titled album and who did they have in attendance? The answer should be their FANS. They should have done the work via their website (which is still showing A Dramatic Turn Of Events graphics – another dumb decision so close to the new album coming out) or on Facebook to identify fans in the local area that should have been there.

Instead they had the people that will not pay for the music there. The usual media suspects and reporters. They surrounded themselves with people that will not write a negative review about them because this is the year 2013 that we live in and everyone wants to be a member of the club. Everyone wants to be invited back and everyone wants to be liked. Has anyone purchased a Dream Theater album because Billboard Magazine rated it highly or poorly or from a Village Voice review? The answer would be a definite NO. Why? Dream Theater built their career outside of the mainstream. It was the mainstream that came knocking on the door for Dream Theater and they let them in.

This is where Dream Theater missed an opportunity to go directly to their fans. They are marketing this album the old way. Yes they are using online blogs and so forth, however they are still not going direct to their fans. Remember back in 1991, Metallica had arena sized listening parties for their fans before the release of the Black album. This is where Dream Theater could have gone in deep with their fan base. This is where Dream Theater could truly CONNECT with them and find out what it is they love about the band. This is where the album could have marketed.

I am a Dream Theater fan and I am negative about the way they are missing out on so many opportunities to connect with fans in the current climate. The webisodes updates have been really lame without any hint of how the new music will sound like.

Don’t get me wrong, I will be purchasing the deluxe edition of the album as I have always done and so will thousands of other fans. The difference here is I believe Dream Theater can sell in the millions, if only they shift their thinking and stop missing opportunities to connect direct to fans.

Remember The Blackening from Machine Head. It has been heralded as the best metal album of the first decade. They also had a listening party in the studio before the album came out with their fans. After that, they went on a three year victory lap touring behind it.

Dream Theater needs to shift their thinking.

In the meantime, go check out the great new song from Trivium called Brave This Storm.