5 Ways Social Media is Changing Music

The music industry is experiencing a huge shift, brought about by social media and the significant impact it has talemade on our day-to-day lives.

Social has revolutionised every aspect of the music industry for artists and consumers alike, with profound changes to the way music is purchased, marketed and discovered…

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1. Artist awareness

From Stormzy (676,000 Twitter followers) to Ed Sheeran (18.2 million Twitter followers), social media has turned non-manufactured musicians and artists into global superstars.

Before signing lucrative record deals, these bedroom artists would post mixtapes, demos and songs on video sharing sites like YouTube, much in the same way vloggers operate now.

Such platforms have given talented unsigned individuals an opportunity to generate hype and cultivate their own personal brand, without the need for a manager or an A&R person.

By adopting a DIY and punk-like approach, artists have built a cult following of engaged mega fans who continue to share their music and champion them on social media.

2. Promotion

Record labels and PR departments have had to think on their feet to generate interest and intrigue around an upcoming release or artist, particularly when it comes to millennials and Generation Z.

60% of millennials and Gen Z’s media consumption (including music and music videos) now occurs online, with both generations accessing content on an average three and five devices respectively.

As a result, record labels and music marketers are looking to social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram to announce new releases – often in the form of teased album covers and surprise launches.

Our recent collaboration with Warner Brothers saw Social Chain help with the promotion of Arman Cekin & Snoop Dogg’s 2017 single ‘California Dreaming’.

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Utilising our network of engaged social media communities and a series of hilarious memes, we were able to make #CaliforniaDreaming the top trending subject in the UK.

As a result, the campaign reached over three million people, with over one million impressions and a 27% engagement rate (20% higher than the industry average), while contributing to listens and awareness.

3. Festivals and events sponsorship

Explosive social media combines experiential on-the-ground activations with social campaigns to help brands, musicians and record labels reach millions of people at any one time at gigs and music festivals.

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Social has given marketers the power to reach the masses both online and offline through sponsorship, bringing the magic and excitement of such events to a far wider audience while also increasing brand awareness.

Why reach thousands when you can reach millions before, during and long after the initial event?

From treasure hunts at Glastonbury to fan cams, user-generated content and photo booths at music award shows, these are just some of the ways ourselves and other companies are using social to create long-lasting, emotive content in the music sphere.

Likewise, social listening tools and logo recognition have also given brands a tool to measure the ROI and true impact of such sponsorship activities, helping marketers to assess the value and reposition their strategies.

4. Fan interaction

Social media has brought us closer together. Fact. In the music world, these social platforms like Snapchat and Twitter have bridged the gap between musicians and their fans thus bringing the consumer closer and creating a stronger affinity.

Once upon a time, it felt as if our favourite artists were half the world away. Social media has changed all of that; personal brand is playing an increasingly important role.

Musicians who were not previously online now have fan pages and engaged communities on social, where record labels can tease releases, announce tour dates and share news.

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Having an engaged following on social media can help boost sentiment around an artist or band, while also helping an artist to build their fanbase to eventually increase record sales and boost affinity.

5. Streaming

Social media’s alignment with streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify has made it far easier for bands and artists to get discovered online.

Nowadays, streaming services count more than 100 million paid subscribers, all of whom can curate playlists and influence others through their music selections.

Moreover, streaming has enabled us to become musical tastemakers in our own right by allowing us to connect with others based on these interests via Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

Such is the rise of digital streaming that streams now count towards an artist’s position in the charts, further evidence of how digital is changing long-standing processes.

By adopting social-first strategies that inspire action, record labels can create a buzz around an artist and direct them to an artist on a streaming service instantaneously.

Want to find out more? Get in touch with Social Chain’s music accounts team [natalie.gascoyne@socialchain.com] to find out more and stay ahead of the curve.

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