Since the early 2000s, you no longer have to wait to be spotted by a talent scout because the public is looking for it Discover emerging artists online. Services and features that help find new songs are central to the music industry in the digital age. Today, Any title can go viral via Spotify, YouTube, Instagram or TikTok. Let’s get back to how Digital has changed music marketing...
From radio to streaming platforms
Gone are the days when independent musicians could only spread their music by sending CDs to every radio station. In today’s increasingly connected world, it’s often an artist’s priority to get their latest single featured in a major playlist on Spotify or Deezer. Streaming platforms have changed the game compared to traditional radio promotions. They can indeed advance the careers of independent artists who are still little known, thanks to their numerous playlists followed by thousands or even millions of subscribers. Being included in one of these playlists can cause a track to go viral overnight.
The way people consume music has completely changed, in part due to the development of smartphones, which have become ubiquitous in our lives. Consumers used to buy exactly the music they wanted. But in recent years, physical album sales have plummeted, forcing labels to reinvent themselves to figure out how to survive. Music lovers now have paid subscriptions to online streaming platforms on their mobile devices that give them unlimited access to millions of songs.
The influence of social networks
Founded in August 2003, MySpace bridged the gap between a signed musician and a self-produced artist. Musicians from all walks of life quickly flocked to the site. This opened the floodgates to upheaval great influence on the music industry.
Before the creation of this social network, it was primarily music labels that decided which songs would get into the ears and hands of consumers. With MySpace, artists have understood that they can speak directly to the public without intermediaries. Especially since the community of this platform consisted mainly of music lovers who were keen to discover new talent.
Over time, social networks have become one of the most influential marketing tools in the music industry. Indeed, they have allowed music artists from all over the world to launch their careers and become the international stars we know, like Justin Bieber, Lily Allen or PNL in France. Today, TikTok has become an indispensable promotional tool for self-produced musicians and record labels. Many artists see this as an opportunity to get their songs out there and break into the unforgiving world of music.
Word of mouth still exists, but it’s much faster and more effective. Where fans used to wait to see their friends on the phone or to talk about their latest music discovery, now all they have to do is post or share the latest clip of their favorite band on an Instagram story. All of these possibilities explain why engaging with fans is at the heart of the strategy of many artists and music groups today.
Music funding in artist hands
As album sales plummeted, record labels had to change their business models and reinvent their marketing techniques. But the digital revolution has above all Put music promotion back in the hands of the artists. Social networks give musicians the opportunity to publish their album releases, their concert dates or even their merchandising products. Not only do they no longer depend on labels to market their music, they also no longer depend on radio to reach the ears of the public. Some musicians even compose songs that relate directly to TikTok trends in hopes that this will get them more views and followers on the app.
But this revolution also has a downside. It has become necessary to learn how to use social networks effectively so as not to get lost in the multitude of artists present on Instagram or TikTok. However, independent artists don’t always have the time or desire to adopt and master these technological tools.
The role of digital marketers in the music industry
As social media and streaming platforms become a major factor in an artist’s success, labels and independent musicians often have to do the same Hire digital marketing specialists, whether to learn how to make the most of digital tools or to grab the attention of internet users. These professionals are best placed to create groundbreaking digital strategies to ensure the success of artists and their music.
For example, you can:
- Create quality content and publish it on social networks at strategic times;
- Set up Spotify campaigns to increase artist awareness and reach new fans;
- Hire influencers to try and get a song off the ground;
- Define a paid advertising strategy on social networks to reach specific audiences thanks to advanced targeting options;
- Create new direct marketing models using fan information collected via Spotify for artists or other digital platforms;
- And many others.
What will the future of music-related digital marketing look like? Artists will certainly continue to innovate online. It is difficult to predict what further opportunities will arise for the growth of the music industry. Only time can tell.
About the author
Fabienne Kervella: Web Editor passionate about music, I’m the founder of the Dream It Yourself Musician blog for independent artists: