Hanson Is Cool. . . Seriously, Part Three
4 June 2010
By Brenna Chase
To celebrate the upcoming release of Hanson’s newest album, Shout It Out, and to commemorate their recent “5 For 5″ concerts, here is part three of our series on Hanson. Yes, Hanson.
By the way, while the rest of the world forgot about them back in 1998, Hanson has maintained a loyal fanbase that will buy from them and die for them. The band knows they owe their continued success to their (obsessively scary, 90% female) fans, and they do not take this for granted—they consistently give back to those who support them to make their fans feel special.
The band was one of the first to start a successful, paid, online fan club back in 2000 that remains a fan community and active resource of all things Hanson to this day. Hanson.net serves as a multimedia testament of their every project, including journal entries and video blog updates from the band and certain restricted access only available to paid members. One fan club member is randomly given the honor to be a “reporter” for each Hanson concert in exchange for a meet and greet with the band, so every show is well-documented on the official site in detail including set lists, photos, and interviews with the guys, all from a fan’s perspective.
The band has spoken openly about the importance of the artist playing an active role in the music experience and maintaining a connection with their fans in the present-day over saturation of Internet resources and shoddy business deals. While on their college Q&A tour, Taylor explained that as musicians, it’s not just their job to create songs; they’re also responsible for “bring[ing] the music to the masses.” In closing the gap between the band and their fans, they allow the fans to be “a part of [the band’s] evolution.”
Just this year, Hanson began a partnership with Live Stream.com to deliver streaming footage in real time to fans on Live Stream and MSN.com, as well as their own site. They debuted this new endeavor by broadcasting their five night stint at the Gramercy Theater in New York this April, performing each one of their albums in its entirety each night, in chronological order.
The “5 For 5″ concert series led up to the live debut of their soon-to-be-released album Shout It Out on the final night. Thousands of fans who were unable to attend the sold-out shows were given the opportunity to tune in from around the world and watch the concerts from the comfort of their homes. They chatted with their fellow Fansons (yup, that’s a term) on the side of the screen while watching the performances and on certain nights were treated to a sound check and a stream of the band backstage after the show.
Isaac has pointed out that the key to success is “to be in control and know your audience,” and they’ve figured out how to do just that. Because there’s no big record company involved, they run all their operations internally and collect all the profit. They are their own infrastructure and control all creative projects they put out to the world, and they always use this freedom and control to reward their supporters for being so integral to the process. As a fan, I’ve watched all the videos and read the blogs and learned the dances and gotten to watch the band create and grow and change over the years. Hanson makes us feel like we’re a part of it all, because we are.