Build an Audience Like a Rockstar: How Linkin Park and Open Labs Used BitTorrent to Increase Music Software Sales by 200%

The tools make the man, we’re told. But when it comes to musicianship, those tools can be hard to come by. Production and songwriting software is costly and complicated. That’s a discouraging / deadly combination if you’re just getting started.

Artists need more options. And access to smarter tools can help coach and sustain creativity’s next wave. That’s the idea at the heart of StageLight; a program designed by Open Labs and LINKIN PARK to be an all-of-us alternative to established (but expensive) music software platforms.

The issue for the band, though, is that these established players are effectively the only game in town. They’re heavily marketed. They own an outsize share of the DIY music conversation. And as a result, they’re the first stop for musicians around the world. To build an artist audience for StageLight, LINKIN PARK didn’t spend money on promotion, or energy outshouting other software brands. Instead, they used BitTorrent to distribute the program directly to artists.

“Let artists create. The goal for partnering up with BitTorrent to release trials of Stagelight software was simple. Take one of the most global PC-based audiences, and let them experience one of the best made PC-based music creation software there is. That synergy, in addition allowing them to access sound banks inspired by a global band like Linkin Park, has achieved stellar results for all parties involved.”

Kavi Halemane, Executive Vice President, Digital, The Collective

In collaboration with LINKIN PARK and Open Labs, we created a BitTorrent Bundle designed to inspire people to start making amazing things: letting 170 million BitTorrent fans test drive the band’s software. The BitTorrent Bundle is free for download on the web, in BitTorrent ad units, and as a content tab inside BitTorrent clients. Users who want to check out Linkin Park’s Bundle can instantly download a demo of the software. And those that want to support the band can unlock premium content, including special edition software, video tutorials, interviews, and more, by kicking in their email addresses.

By publishing the software direct to BitTorrent fans, we were looking to do a few things:

    1. Create a bigger digital footprint for the program: trigger gains in impressions, social media interactions, and global reach

    2. Create more engaged fans: drive real growth in daily software usage.

    3. Find more valuable fans: build an addressable audience of subscribers, and an increase in upgrades off software content.

Here are our notes from the field; or how LINKIN PARK built a rockstar audience for its music toolkit in less than 14 days.

Direct-to-fan BitTorrent distribution helped drive unprecedented reach for LINKIN PARK’s passion project.

    The BitTorrent campaign drove 8.6MM impressions for the Linkin Park X Open Lab Bundle.

    Open Labs Facebook reach has increased 60,000% since the launch of the campaign.

    Unique visitors to the Open Labs StageLight website increased by 500% through the duration of the promotion.

    Source: Google Analytics, Facebook Insights

The promotion helped the software platform acquire users in geographies outside the US, including Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. StageLight is now being used in more than 170 countries around the world.

Not just more fans. More engaged fans.

    Software usage increased 600% through the duration of the promotion, and remains 200% higher – a month after the campaign.

    Source: Open Labs

Using free content to drive paid interactions.

    Sales conversions from people upgrading off the demos in the Bundle increased 200% during the promotion, with gains expected to increase, as the 30-day demo lapses.

    Source: Open Labs, Campaign Monitor

BitTorrent Bundle helped a band of established rockstars build an even bigger following. What can it do for you? If you’ve got experiments, passion projects, and crazy ideas, pass them on and put them out there. BitTorrent Bundle for Publishers goes live on September 24th. And there’s a rockstar audience 170 million big in BitTorrent waiting to hear from you.

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