Shubham Singhal
Guest Article

Finding the rhythm to music marketing

Our guest author Shubham Singhal writes about the far-reaching impact of social media, especially short-format videos on music marketing.

It is hard to imagine a time when the internet was not the go-to place to find your favourite songs, artists, albums or even music labels to explore more genres and just share your music.

In fact, the internet has changed the ethos of music marketing as a whole, but we don’t have to look too far back to discuss the change in mediums in the music marketing industry. In the early 90s, music marketing was dominated by record players, radio stations and magazines. The marketing campaigns back then were also very straightforward and targeted towards media retailers and audio video retailers.

Regardless, traditional mediums soon started to diminish with the introduction of the internet in the late 90s, and gave the audience the ability to try more music genres and artists. Sites like Napster and YouTube soon began to take over the physical cassettes and music CD player market and the era of streaming was born.

Once the medium to source illegal copies of music albums, digital media and music streaming apps now rule the world. The transition was nothing short of uncanny and forced an overhaul of the music marketing business.

Apps that are driven towards people making music-based content, platforms like TikTok and Dubsmash established new roots for modern-day music marketing as we know it.

The recent short-form content revolution owing to formats like TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts have completely flipped the script. In the streaming era, a song going viral or trending on social media can not only be a huge boost to its sales numbers but in some scenarios completely launch new careers. Numerous big-name artists today owe a portion of their success to the phenomenon of ‘blowing up online’.

As we see the new era of marketing take the leap and reach more and more audiences globally every single day, it is essential to keep in mind new users coming on the internet, the reducing age gap of audiences and the ever-so-fruitful creator economy pushing the market with new campaign ideas on a daily basis.

The approach towards a music campaign has changed with the availability of different platforms, tools, skills, ideas, artists and more. Although the process to execute these campaigns is a different ball game altogether, a music marketing campaign is not as easy as just going on a said social media platform to upload a few posts and voila the song is trending.

It is a complex process that starts with building a team of skilled people and hiring the right person for the role is key. A research team is established to SWOT trends, style, and audience and to draft a base plan.

It is essential to identify the hook or drop of the song and curate a trend around it. It then leads to conceptualisation of the campaign keeping in mind the targeted audience, style of artists and genre of music, with detailed research on trends.

This research leads to understanding the campaign process and progression in a more streamlined format, for the execution team to create a pitch in order to onboard creators that suit the niche that the label is trying to reach, and then begins the ideation process of writing scripts for these influencers as per the brief given by the music label.

The next step is the production table where the magic of hustling between equipment locations and artists comes in. This requires a team of dedicated people who are up for anything thrown at them while solving problems with creativity. The final shots are to be then edited to make them look just perfect, make designs to promote the songs and create a content bank that now goes out as music marketing material.

After all these accurately curated functions to create content that is to be promoted on social media and other platforms that are related to it, in comes the branding team. The branding team creating seamless campaign ideas and strategies, which make the entire duration of the campaign a literal rollercoaster of emotions for the team and the music label.
Music marketing now more flexible and open for all, which also makes the whole change in the medium a lot more competitive and idea-driven.

Music marketing in the current day and age contributes more than just rhythm, tunes and harmony, it provides and affiliates communities of people that aim to go closer to the genre or the artist they love so much.

(The author is co-founder, The Girlfriend Box)

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