But despite the changes in how fans and artists communicate and engage with each other, when it comes to monetizing that relationship, we are still stuck in the old fan-as-a-consumer paradigm. “You’re my fan? Well, good. Now please buy my music, buy my merch, buy my tickets“. The good news here is that the innovation is in place, making that transaction more direct than ever, creating new packages for different levels of fans, and smart fan-funding pre-sale tools (see Kickstarter, and Pledge Music). The bad news is that by treating fans as consumers, we are limiting the artists’ margins, and ignoring a potentially bigger potential.I think we need to focus more on the fan-as-a-partner, fan-as-a-collaborator, fan-as-a-patron. Fan-as-a-friend. What does it change, as far as the music business is concerned ? How am I supposed to monetize a friend? (first hint: you ask.).