The year 2020 has shown us that streaming is a major powerhouse in the music business and social media is crucial to retain and gain listeners. After going through a difficult year for the music industry, we’ve seen new trends emerge for our artists and their teams to keep the bond with their audience alive. No matter what we think what 2021 has in store for us, digital is filled with opportunities.
The question is thus raised: How should music professionals take advantage of this? We are now evolving in a fully digital environment, and the music industry has been one of the first to adapt through social media outreach, advertising, and streaming as a broadcast medium. So what are these new trends we should be looking at to find the weak signals and drive strategies in 2021?
Since Reprtoir’s team has been working in music for a while now, seeing habits of consumption change and work methods adapt is pretty well known here. So we thought we’d share a few thoughts on music business related to music streaming, social media and advertising.
Music Streaming is on the rise
Since music streaming has been the main source of revenue lately (and it comes with its problems, as we talked about here or here), it only seems fair to notice its evolution. In 2019, MRC Data recorded an astounding record of 1.8 trillion streams. However, 2020’s data are far more impressive, with a whooping 2.2 trillion streams. That’s a 22.6% increase in streams worldwide year over year.
Okay, but what’s the catch? Well, other than remuneration, discoverability mainly. While hard-time fans of certain artists and bands will search for their favorites, new and up-and-coming artists and bands can have a hard time finding new listeners.And it didn’t get better as livestream took over the physical concerts; it’s not easy to make a name in an ocean of fast-consumed content. And let’s be fair; Spotify and other music streaming services don’t randomly put new and emerging artists on Discovery playlists (but we can get back on the topic in a later blog post).
Music strategies to exist online
Promoting his artists online can be a tedious task if you don’t use all the tools available. Although it can sometimes simply be out of reach (ads can be pretty expensive). So we have a few tips to help you navigate these platforms, without losing all your budget in trial ads.
Since the main music streaming service is Spotify, let’s go with this example. First thing first, as music professionals, taking care of the image of your artists should be an automatism. Communication and promotion are great, but you also need a strong foundation to lead the audience to, whether it is a website or a music streaming service profile. Updated photos, cover arts and potentially curated playlists can be a start.
The next step for music professionals looking to gain reach through streaming platforms such as Spotify, you could get on their audio ads. Spotify’s Ad Studio has its advantage but requires a budget, other than this option, the best way to work your way up to keep communicating with the tools you have at your disposal: Social Media.
Before moving onto this part of our article, a quick reminder: a strong foundation is fundamental when it comes to music business. I am talking about your artists and musical projects’ online presence, but also you catalog and chains of rights. Music professionals are dealing with many files, metadata, rights, and works and it can sometimes be a lot to process, without the right tool. We’ve been developing Reprtoir just for this purpose: making music business manageable, so you can focus on your core activity: music. So give a try to our music metadata content management system, free under 100 tracks and videos. Or even better, book yourself a free demo of Reprtoir!
Music business on Social Media
It might be a bit confusing for now, but a few Social Media platforms hold great opportunities to develop musical projects. Since we’ve talked a bit about this before, we’ll focus on Instagram and TikTok here.
Developing music strategies on Instagram
Instagram can be an amazing platform to keep your listeners aware of your artists’ new releases, keep them entertained and engaged, and also link towards your preferred music streaming platforms.
The advantage with Instagram is that content creation can be repeated, recycled, reused on several platforms… In short: you can allow your promotion to be creative and take advantage of the platform’s audience. Which lately reached 1 billion users. The main idea seems to be creating scarcity: meaning you should offer content that requires to be connected at a defined time. This is the case for Instagram Lives for example: you have to show up and this way, artists can gather their audience in one (virtual) place.
The platform has been busy developing merchandising options, badges to allow live tipping from the audience (yes, just like Twitch). Here are some examples of how you take advantage of the platform. Since you’re music pros just like us, don’t forget about cross posting and brand partnerships! This is more suited for your most known projects, but these Social Media platforms are all about reaching new audiences: take the opportunity!
These coordinated actions can sometimes be monetized and require contracts that you might new to follow up on. Thing is, since it’s a bit new for several actors, you need a clear overview of your music business which is getting broader and broader. Not to worry; Reprtoir created Works Manager, to link all contracts to artists, tracks or any item of your online catalog. Easier than a messy folder!
Developing music strategies on TikTok
After a few overnight successes or big come back on TikTok, many music professionals are looking to recreate the viral stardom. Although TikTok is a bit more than a lucky shot waiting to happen; creating content and building visibility can be a good way to understand how this younger audience is apprehending the kind of content you’re managing.
Since the platform works on very impressive recommendation algorithms, brand partnerships and Ads on the platforms are a good way to target the part of their audience you’re looking to reach. Ideally, you manage to get your artists’ tracks on replicated videos through the social media platforms.
TikTok holds a few music strategies waiting to be developed. It is still a new territory for the music business, but many content are using music and licensing agreements have been made by TikTok with music majors. Maybe it’s time to take a look at how content is dealt with on it.
How Reprtoir would be helpful
These new digital opportunities are amazing to look at and develop for your music businesses, but it comes with a whole lot of administrative management. Our work environment is continuously evolving and the current period is basically accelerating the process towards many streams of revenues on a digital level.
This is why Reprtoir was created: an online workspace to help you manage your catalog (Audio Manager), manage your musical works (Works Manager), professional playlists (Playlists for business), new releases (Releases Manager) and royalty accounting (Royalties Manager).
Everything is manageable from anywhere at any time, in an online secured workspace. Book a free demo with the team right now!