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I liked this article because it forced me to stop and think.

Not every fan is going to buy your music and other stuff – merch, tickets etc.

But they can still be very valuable in monetary terms – because their social network spreads your music.

Once upon a time, being a “diehard fan” meant buying a band’s album, show ticket, T-shirt, limited edition signed LP — anything your earnings would allow. Today the term can have a very different meaning. You can be a “diehard” by blogging about everything the band puts out, posting links to your Facebook wall, re-Tweeting the band’s messages, and commenting on its Soundcloud page, all without paying a dime.

Engaging with music in this way doesn’t mean you’re hurting your favorite band, either. Recent studies suggest quite the opposite: they show that fans who actively engage in social media bring more cash to the artists they love. Liking something on Facebook or re-Tweeting a favorite song can generate real world dollars.

Read the whole piece here.