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Digital Marketing and The Music Industry – How has it changed?

May 25, 2017

Music is forever changing and evolving in an industry that constantly demands for more. Where families used to gather around a record player to listen to the latest record from an iconic band, they now stream their music directly to their phones and blast it over some Bluetooth speakers. From vinyl, to the tape cassette, CD’s, and now downloaded files. We no longer depend on the physical representation of music, and this has all happened in just over a decade. With this new-aged form of music that is downloaded to our smart devices and played through wireless headphones, there have too been changes in the way that music is marketed.

It is all digital.  

And it is all important. Digital marketing in terms of music is what can make or break an artist. Music itself is a highly competitive industry, and without it you will fall behind the millions trying to make it. Though there is the obvious need for talent and production to be high quality, marketing is what can change it from a few hundred-people listening to millions buying music and supporting you. Forget getting your music played on the major radio stations, or your album being rated in a magazine publication They all look at the way in which you influence your audience, and they look at this through social media.

Marketing in the music industry today is all digital, and extends through platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, iTunes, Spotify and SoundCloud. It works, with artists such as Justin Bieber, Troye Sivan, The Weeknd, Adele and many more being discovered digitally, skyrocketing their career. Without the advancements of the digital world, who knows where they and their fans that they have helped worldwide would be.

The music industry has gained a crucial factor when it comes to marketing, and the way artists and labels alike promote the music they’ve created. By engaging in the digital world regularly over a multitude of platforms, artists now have the ability to garner audiences like never before, and promote their music in fast and effective ways.


Staying Social

The music industry itself would not be where it is today without the digital world. Social Media, as its own entity, has completely changed the way that people interact with their favourite artists. Where people once dreamed for the opportunity to talk to their favourite artist, social media has made that possible. Platforms like Twitter have made it possible for people to ‘talk ‘to their favourite artists, and many get noticed and responded to.

Engagement is streamlined, and it is benefiting the labels and musicians in their marketing strategies. They play on the highly accessible platforms before them, creating buzz and hype about new music releases and tours. Not only this, but is gives artists a way of connecting with others in the industry, and in turn gain access to their audience. Artists can constantly reach new heights, and unlock new audiences and potential buyers of their music, tickets, merchandise and more.


Gaining Mobility

With billions of connected devices in the world, people anywhere can access anything and any time. A simple smart mobile phone has taken the place of Walkman’s, offering users to not only tweet to their artists whenever they want but to listen to them too. Over mobile devices, people can access and discover new music and have it downloaded instantly for easy listening whenever they please. Instead of writing down the artist’s name as it is read out on the radio, and hoping they got it right as they head down to the closest CD store.

Platforms like Spotify, iTunes and Tidal have changed the way people access the music by their favourite artists. In fact, many of these operate as the key access points worldwide for fresh tunes. With the further addition of Apps, it is key for artists to optimise their music to be accessible digitally in a world where the physical copy is almost made null (it maintains somewhat of a ‘vintage’ feel).


Video Killed the Radio Star

Probably one of the greatest forms of marketing for musicians, video marketing is essential to making it in the music industry today. Accompanying their music, artists can release supporting visual content which allows for them to turn a non-visual practice into a highly visual, appealing video. It also has allowed musicians to take more control of their careers, and when linked with other forms of digital media can help unlock vast audiences. More than that, through advertising changes and artist can not only show snippets of an upcoming music video, but promote clicks over for audiences to download their music or follow them on a given social media page.


So, let’s summarise…

Music is nothing without digital marketing. It has allowed artists worldwide to access previously unattainable audiences, and share their music over a highly accessible medium that is constantly being tapped into by listeners. For these that have yet to make the jump, it is simply a necessity in this day and age. For artists just starting out, they can digitally market themselves and their music to billions.  For already established artists, it allows them to reach out to fans worldwide without having to jump on a jet plane across the world.

Digital Marketing itself continues to expand, develop and grow. With this, the world around it changes as users demand to have greater access to the world around them. It is no longer about carrying around a CD display book, your player and batteries to get your fix of your favourite musician, but searching for, downloading and watching the artist you love.

With all of these changes happening in only a few decades, who knows where it will take the music industry next.