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February 3, 2021

Yes, Social Media moderation has a lot to do with the music business

Are you using Social Media to promote your business, your artists, your music project? I’m assuming that it is at least a part of your communication / marketing plan. In this case, maybe I could interest you with a few insights on the platforms you are currently using.

Even if the Big Tech world rambling doesn't immediately seem to be linked to the music industry, it should still catch your attention. Social Media moderation could change, meaning that music marketing strategies could be impacted in the long run.

Even if we’re not talking about immediate major shifts from Instagram or Twitter, our communications habits are adapting to a fully digital environment, which should be staying for the foreseeable future. In the long term, many new strategies and consumption habits will stay even after lockdown is over. So, this begs the question: how is Social Media moderation susceptible to affect music professionals’ strategies?

Let’s talk about Social Media moderation

Before getting into a bit of details, let’s clear up what I mean by “Social Media moderation”. Here, it includes all practices set up by Big Tech actors to keep offending or dangerous content off the main Social Media platforms: Facebook (including Instagram), Twitter, TikTok or even YouTube. These platforms are big components of music projects’ communication and marketing. Therefore, we should take the time to take a closer look at how they work, and how they might change.

If you haven’t been taking a closer look at moderation methods, just know that these platforms have been questioned regularly on their practices. Whether it is because heinous content made its way to the platform or non problematic content was taken down without real reasons, they seem to be flirting with censorship risks pretty often. I am flying over the state of these platforms, but you get my point.

Lately, these questions have been raised again and it got me thinking about the music industry. Since we, as music professionals, are now relying on digital platforms as a stream of revenue and a way to promote our music businesses, this could impact our already shaken habits.

Last month, when Facebook suspended Trump’s account on Facebook and Instagram, they relied on their Independent body to decide whether or not he could be allowed to get back on the platforms. Facebook’s very own “Supreme court” should make a decision shortly, but it is actually addressing a way larger issue: should the platform be able to silence world leaders when in comparison, your artist’s page sometimes gets suspended for no apparent reason (and without a way to get in touch with someone)? The global moderation policy seems to be revisited, and it might end up influencing your music business as well. If internal methods change, your community could be further away or your possibilities could change.

Another interesting case; Twitter is looking at decentralization. Simply put: the new project Bluesky that Twitter is developing would allow the platform to only become a messenger while relying on a decentralized organization to take care of moderation. The project is still in its early stages, but is already making a lot of noise. Basically, this could be a first step towards a new way of moderating social networks, with global information on users behaviors instead of relying on individuals (and algorithms). 

Let’s take a tour in the music industry’s favorite Social Media platforms. First, we’ve been talking a lot about TikTok, mainly because of the potential ban from the US (head to our Weekly Roundups section to get a step by step follow up). But the problem lies in the moderation practices on the platform; if the moderation is forced upon the app, the algorithm can’t work its magic as well as it is now, and this could be a real deal breaker for TikTok. As for YouTube, it is apparently one of their goals to perfect moderation and bring more attention to their methods currently in place.

Changing music marketing strategies according to Social Media rules

So now what? Social Media is constantly changing, sometimes introducing new features or affecting pages’ reach. Indeed. But this time it could be a bit different; we are relying more than ever on these platforms to promote our music projects, reach our audiences and communicate our new products or solutions. If there’s anything we’ve taken away from last year, it’s that you need to learn how to occupy the digital space.

This is exactly what we’ve been doing for a while now: building audiences online and activating them. But how can you take the most out of these without a clear knowledge about what they can bring you? Paradoxically, if you’re looking to launch a new project, release new tracks or a brand, the best time to do it would be right now. Everyone is online, and you’ll grab more attention than after we’ll be able to go back to live shows for example.

But these online performances, activities and marketing strategies aren’t going anywhere. There’s a clear chance that livestream is going to be integrated with physical concerts or tours when they come back and that online sessions between artists and fans will go on. These operations will still require communication and promotion, using, you guessed it, Social Media. This is exactly why you need to stay ahead of the curve here: anticipating changes means that you’ll have time to react and won’t lose some of the long hard working hours you’ve put on a project.

If I can leave you with a few leads on anticipating potential changes, I would recommend to keep an eye on what happens in Tech and more specifically on platforms we rely on. But other than that, I would start building a clear database with fans, rights holders, contacts, prospects, partners, clients, users, etc. Because it will simply be yours, and whether you can contact them won’t depend on an algorithm or a decentralized moderation. Your own mailing list, platform or blog is always the best way to secure your audience. Social Media should be a magnifier of what you’re building for the music industry or what you’re promoting.

On that note, let me remind you that Reprtoir can allow music businesses to optimize releases and sales pitches. Our solution Playlists for business lets you send private B2B playlists, with real-time data analyses (again, keeping valuable data in your Reprtoir workspace, in your CRM). You can also directly deliver your releases to DSPs, from your Reprtoir workspace, without going through filling forms in with Releases Manager. Book yourself a free demo with us at any time to see how we can help you!

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