A question I’m often asked when I tell people I work in the music industry, is what I think is “coming next”. I’m not an expert on this stuff, but after studying a 3 year BA (Hons) course at BIMM, and working within music for almost 5 years (2.5 of those being at a major label), I have a bit of an inkling as to the direction some of it might be going!
There are two areas I’m going to bring to the table today. Both of which I’m hearing talked about more and more around the office, in meetings, and over a pint in the pub pre/post gig. One that used to be quite the ‘elephant in the room’ is Influencers or if you’re not a fan of that word, ‘Content Creators’. Their use has divided music marketeers for quite some time and there’s certainly still some animosity towards them.
I am a little biased, as my job title is ‘Influencer Marketing Lead’ and I also dabble in that world as a “micro-influencer” myself. However, I think in the coming years there’s going to be a huge shift in targeted strategic planning to involve content creators from day one on artist projects.
Meaningful collaborations with influencers who are legitimately already fans of an artist or genre, can be a great way to nurture a developing or established artist and grow fanbases together. After all, influencers are successful marketeers on their own – creating unique content and developing an individual style or brand. Some have huge fandoms (sometimes bigger than music artists), ranging from the thousands to millions.
Although measuring ROI is a little trickier than traditional marketing, these influencers have ‘superfans’ that hang on their every word – from the products they like, to the music they listen to. I wouldn’t be surprised if Instagram and other tech savvy agencies are developing tools to successfully determine how beneficial a long-term influencer relationship would be.
Collaborations with influencers can be as simple as inviting someone to an artist’s gig/event in exchange for social coverage, hiring a talented make-up artist with a big following to do the beauty in a music video, to prominent gamers featuring songs in their gaming streams.
Another area in the entertainment industry worth billions is Gaming. Thanks to sync departments, having music feature in games and adverts is nothing new, but something that is quite fresh and innovative is artist crossovers within a game itself. Recently, there was a particularly successful music/gaming crossover with American DJ Marshmello and Fortnite. It saw Marshmello do a gig within the game that players could attend, causing an increase in sales and streams of the artists music, as well as a huge amount of conversation surrounding the artist and game across social media.
Obviously, a brand partnership of this scale would have been in the works for months, and cost a lot to execute. But the access to that young audience would no doubt have propelled Marshmello to the front of many peoples consciousness, raising the sentiment towards the artist, and music sales too.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how the music industry evolves from traditional, and in some case out-dated practices, and welcomes a new generation of digital natives who live and breathe online and social. With the development of tech and brand news ideas, it’s an exciting time to be working within the industry.