First there was vinyl,
then tapes, CDs, a brief interlude where minidisc never really took off and now
digital downloads. The latest shift has perhaps been the most seminal
change the music industry has faced.
Marketing a star is now
no longer confined to Top of the Pops, television and print advertising; the
battle lines are drawn on the World Wide Web.
There is no greater
example of modern media’s online consumption of musical talent than one Justin
Bieber, a little know teenybopper hailing from humble Canadian beginnings thrust
into the celebrity stratosphere having been found on YouTube.
A meager 3.75 billion
YouTube views, the equivalent of one view for 52% of the entire globe indicates
the sheer scale of demand. Does that translate to sales? Indeed it does if
12.8 million albums are anything to go by.
Social media and in
particular Twitter has brought stars closer to their fans and provided them with
a glimpse behind the shrouded curtain; Justin Timberlake and Rihanna boast a
combined Twitter following in excess of the UK population.
What does this mean
in terms of marketing? The creation of a fully captive audience so vast in its
nature other channels struggle to compete.
It has formed the most
powerful and cost effective tool a music marketer has ever had at their
fingertips; lest we forget that Facebook and Twitter accounts are free.
This is not to say that
other channels are not important. Integration with offline marketing
remains key to the success of any promotion, whether it’s musical in its nature
We do however now live in
a world in which sales are driven online and decision-making is influenced by
what we see on a screen.
Having recently been at a
music concert at which the band repeatedly promoted their own Twitter account
there is no clearer sign that the lines are blurring and there is no better time
to get your digital house in order, or risk being left behind.
Mark Worden is a digital marketing specialist and director at MiHi Digital. For more information please visit www.mihidigital.co.uk