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Engage Millennial Music Lovers with Digital Marketing

By Lydia Michael
Wayne State University

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

The music industry has seen a shift in consumption from owning music towards accessing it through various streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and soon to be launched Pandora Premium. These streaming platforms along with other digital marketing tools are utilized by marketers while consumers spend more and more time on their mobile phones. This is also where one-on-one communication between artists and their audience, more notably related to indie artists, has become a crucial part of fan engagement and success. So how should digital marketing tools be used strategically? Let’s look at Pandora’s AMP and mobile live streaming options on social media.

Pandora’s Free Artist Marketing Platform (AMP)

Pandora’s music team analyzes each song using 450 distinct musical attributes. Based on this music algorithm, new music offerings with similar musical characteristics are customized for listeners who are introduced to music they will gravitate towards. The AMP was introduced in Q4 of 2016 and allows artists to better connect with fans through several free features.

  1. By promoting featured tracks across Pandora, artists can receive insights about their music in real-time. This is provided through thumbs up or down given by listeners, so that artists can optimize audience and fan engagement.
  2. Recording customized Artist Audio Messages such as calls to action can be added before or after a track, which can equate to higher engagement when targeting specific markets.
  3. With Ticketfly integration utilizing event location, fans can also be directed to buy tickets.

MORE: Learn all you need to know about music marketing, streaming, and more at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.


Live Streaming on Social Media

Unlike other social media platforms, content shared on Snapchat disappears once viewed, unless part of a story that is available up to 24 hours. With 150 billion daily users, this platform attracts the coveted millennials (born 1982-2000). Due to the live video feature, artists can use this promotion vehicle for live shows, but also to share exclusive and rare content off stage.

In Q4 of 2016, Instagram made this live streaming feature available as well, although the platform tells a long-term story through visuals. The Facebook-owned platform currently boasts 500 million monthly users and serves as a promotion vehicle for live music and heavily for one-on-one communication. Recording artist Selena Gomez is followed by almost ¼ of the platform’s user base at 108 million. Indie artist Chance the Rapper has managed to accumulate a following of 3.1 million.

With approximately 1.8 billion active users, Facebook has jumped on the bandwagon with live streaming while it continues to serve as the artist one-stop shop. Notably, Facebook leaves the video stream up indefinitely until the user decides to remove it, yet it remains less of a personal communication platform between artists and fans. It can be used more for promotional purposes without being too focused on sales in order to maintain an organic connection with fans. Popular artist pages include Shakira at almost 105 million likes and Eminem at 90 million. Indie pop/electronic band The xx shows 3.8 million likes.

While all of these digital marketing tools serve a unique purpose, the key is to cross-promote all platforms to reach maximum engagement and visibility. Simply adding those usernames as part of the artist bio can accomplish this. Additionally, listing current albums, tours or other relevant content helps increase awareness. Most importantly, when artists choose to establish a presence on any channel, there should be clear intention and strategy to fill this channel with compelling content long-term. While there is no current social media tracking tool that allows for identification of the same follower on various platforms, it is important to diversify shared content and its exclusivity on each tool, exposing digital natives to music as a new wave of the industry.

Lydia Michael is a global marketing and branding professional in the entertainment and music industry. She recently completed her MBA studies at Pforzheim University in Germany.

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For more on audio in digital marketing:

Radio Steps Up in the Digital Age