Gotye: Using Fans To “Game” The System

Viral Music Marketing

Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know is one of the most “catchy” tunes of 2011, and 2012, and maybe even 2013 if the fans are allow it….  The ping of the Fisher Price Xylophone to the explosive female voice belting out her pain drives people to listen to the song over and over and over again.  It’s become an anthem for many.

As this post hits the connected world, the video has received well over 300MM plays on YouTube… Wow!

But this was not your typical insta-smash rammed down by the label marketing machine (insert laughter since those barely exist anymore).  No, this was a calculated hit using the most explosive content distribution platform that exists… Twitter.  Gotye and team understand the power of the medium and allow users to create re-makes, covers, and parodies and port them instantly across the Twitter universe driving views and exposure beyond comprehension.  If you haven’t seen the ode to his fans, enjoy this video below… Creating fan based content is a game changer for the new and savvy artists.

As Gotye builds views, he also builds interest in his shows and swag, and that is where the money is.  His willingness to allow his anthem to turn into a user-based tool for teaching, a performance piece for new artists, a parody to get a laugh, or a simple nod from a devoted fan turns his performance into a strategic and targeted platform for driving tour and merch sales that puts true value into his bank account.

Gotye wins this game by unselfishly letting the fans “own” his moment in the sun, and by doing that, they owe him.  When I say owe, it means they are loyal to him and will buy tickets to his performances, purchase his swag, and deliver his messages through Twitter and beyond.  He stays independent, with a handful of straight distribution deals to push what’s left of the physical sales and digital deals.  But, for Gotye, his music will thrive and he “games” the system by letting the fans drive while he sits back and creates the strategy.


Why Gamify? Because people deploy game mechanics in non-game based applications every day.  We have ringtones to achieve status, we use our American Express Cards to level up for “cool things”, and we become members of the million mile clubs just to use the lounges.  Our lives utilize ‘gamification’ mechanics every day, and this has been true since the dawn of mankind.  Why Gamify? intends to break down non-traditional applications and introduce leaders in these fields to comment on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and their best guess for the future of ‘gamification’ in their fields.  Why Gamify? intends to bring together their insight on how ‘gamification’ and new technology will impact the way the average individual, teacher, business leader, entertainer, athlete, student and beyond thinks about ‘gamification’ in their lives.

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