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SoundCloud – A new realm in music and social media

Posted by John Horniblow on Feb 13, 2009 in Design, General, Social Media Marketing, User experience

soundcloud

Music is at its very heart  a social media! 

Andy  Cato - “Sharing music has always gone on. It’s giving music away that’s the problem. We wanted to come up with a 21st century version of what we used to do with cassette tapes. When you give music away for free it’s disposable. When you share it, it’s done with love.” 

There is an inherent need for music publishers to create buzz around tracks and artists but also to work in their spheres of fellow producers, musicians and their fans or audience.  So in the artist self publishing  and artist self promotional days , that have the music labels traditional A&R business scrambling, what could be more relevant than a social network of music “taste makers” , musicians, labels and publishers? The emergent answer is ; SoundCloud !!  

In the burgeoning world of social media applications  there is a  launch  of new business concept  everyday, redefining the working practices of many social and professional scenes across all types of businesses.  Music, while being at the forefront of consumer media consumption changes, is no different.  While in its nascent days SoundCloud offers a full social network for the  thriving  music scene based on the simple sharing and following concept. SoundCloud makes it easy for people to send & receive music. Simple as that. What it isn’t is one of those illegal peer to peer file sharing platform that have  all but hijacked the music industry and elevated music piracy to the epidemic level. The promise of music uploading and sharing in this community is that you cannot share music without the consent of the proper right holders and any user sharing music illegally runs the risk of having their account deleted and being reported to the relevant authorities.  You can make your music private or public and shareable. What could be more easy than uploading your latest mixed  track, to your known group of promoters and tastemakers or giving it a limited  public preview or limited public download that could be shared across the social media websites across the world?

 

What I also find appealing is easy to use interface, a simple but effective and non nonsense way of getting at what you are there for , listening to music . This is not a Rhapsody or Pandora like website either , but a more socially driven sharing platform minus any overbearing commercialism . 

The Angel 60 Channels

The Angel 60 Channels

But lets not kid ourselves , not every budding or aspirant  musician or DJ is bound to be a radio star or a pioneer in digital music business model such as The Angel , Radiohead, Prince or Groove Armada. What is clear in this application is that realm of music PR belongs in the hands of its fans and promoters.  ”Social Media”  places the audience at the forefront of PR or word of mouth promotion, playing into the hands of the real evangelists; the buzz creators.  SoundCloud will only grow and mature over time from its early underground days. What interesting to me is that the  age of mix tape or mix CD   is a fading long gone distant memory.

Music and its digital portability has placed it upon the crest  of  the wave of change in traditional medias,  creating an urgent need for the major Records Labels and Publishers to review there very model of business. The new wave of artists and their producers are clearly taking control of their own livelihoods and their media.  

http://soundcloud.comjohnhorniblow

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Branded Content – Social Marketing deal : Groove Armada and Barcardi Rum

Posted by John Horniblow on Jan 22, 2009 in Branded content, Social Media Marketing, User experience, Viral Marketing

Groove Armada and Barcardi Rum deal

groove-armada1

There are “No Rules”  anymore when it comes to the music industry and how band or musical acts market themselves in the digital age. To underscore the changing ways of doing business and the ability of an act taking control of its music and image outside of the “record deal”  -  traditionally label based system, Groove Armada’s deal with Barcardi Rum is unprecedented. Its a pure play “Branded Content”  deal.  The UK based , world renowned DJ  and dance music act Groove Armada, has signed an exclusive one year  recording, DJing and promotional deal with Barcardi.  And it  has the music industry pundits questioning whether its a  ”Sell Out” or another wake call in the ever evolving era of media portability and its impact on all traditional  entertainment media. 

In the 21st Century music scene, with music sales down and the internet transferring power to the artists, their options are wide open. In what could be called a symbiotic exchange or  promotional deal, Groove Armada gets to be promoted and play to new audiences worldwide under the marketing flagship of Barcardi. It is what could be called a branded content  viral or social marketing deal too.  Bacardi is  the facilitator of content or  music sharing, is  associated to a “hip act ” and right in touch with core audience and their media and social habits.  A  four-track EP – the only music to be released under the contract  -  was launched by Tom and Andy Cato at the Midem international music convention in Cannes yesterday.  

The Branded Content – Social marketing deal 

The EP will be delivered through an innovative sharing mechanic called Bacardi B-LIVE Share; a pioneering online application encouraging and rewarding consumers who share Groove Armada’s music from the EP with their own online communities.  Andy Cato says of the model -
“Sharing music has always gone on. It’s giving music away that’s the problem. We wanted to come up with a 21st century version of what we used to do with cassette tapes. When you give music away for free it’s disposable. When you share it, it’s done with love.” 

The first track  has just been released  as a free  download for free from http://www.bliveshare.com , Baracardi’s brand spanking  new music / promotional sharing platform. 

In what is surely  an experiment in Social Media and Viral marketing , to get the other three tunes, fans must share the first with their friends, who share it with their friends, who share it with their friends.

To get the second track, the fans and their network of friends must spread the first 20 times through the website. To get the third, the network must share it 200 times. And for the fourth, the first MP3 must be shared 2,000 times in total.  The originator or ancestor  being able track their spread of music through their social network with a window of six weeks to spread it, after which time all four songs will go on sale through normal digital stores.

The site includes social sharing applications with Facebook , MySpace , blogs , websites , and a call to social  email campaigning.  

 So download your  exclusive Groove Armada track “Go” from me :)  

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The Email Marketing Media Channel – The Tool of “Digital Dialogue”

Posted by John Horniblow on Jan 15, 2009 in Email Marketing, Online Media

 

Email media channel

 

In the world of “Digital Dialogue” Email  is possibly one of the most accessible forms of media and communication for consumers and as such should be considered as a pivotal media channel.  In todays marketing world where the  pundits description of  a consumers exposure to media is “fragmented “,  it is best to consider Email  as a marketing imperative not  a “nice to have” or  a one off throw away campaign .  Email impacts  brand relationships and loyalty and should be considered as a integral personalized communication channel in any marketing mix.  

 Its use  or misuse can also effect a brand’s image or the trust a consumer can have in a brand. In a time where we consider the consumer in control of their media consumption, via a myriad of choices, Email,  in the consumers mind  has become the most convenient and controllable channel available. In the digital world where consumers are taking charge, Email is a tangible, flexible media they can control. Take it. Leave it. Delete it. Opt in, Opt out. Respond to it. Pass it on:  Think about it ,  who do you know that hasn’t received an email that contains a witty piece of humour, movie, picture, or  link passed on from a trusted colleague or friend who knows them well?    

 

And when it comes to looking at consumers and consumer trends surrounding Email marketing the question of whether you want a Digital Dialogue channel with your consumer base  it becomes a no brainer. 

  • Consumer have the power to choice with  an Email  e.g. do I  want to receive , open,  save , delete or act on an email
  • 90% of consumers will use email to engage in and determine the value of a relationship with a company -JupiterResearch
  • Consumers ranked email ahead of traditional media like newspapers, magazines and radio as a good way to learn about new products - American Marketing Association, Mplanet
  • 68% of consumers said they were prompted to browse a Web site after receiving an email from a retailer  -RightNow Technologies & Harris Interactive 
  •  25% of US internet users share content via Email (word-of-mouth) on a daily basis; 63% share on a weekly basis - eMarketer, Email and Word-of-Mouth

 

Here are some other facts  to mull upon:

  • 50 million people per day  check email 5 times per day
  • Email drives 80% on retail sales
  • Email is an everyday activity for most us
  • 94 % of companies use email
  • Marketers worldwide are sending 5.2 million  promotional Emails per month
  • On average email users receive 41 messages per day – 34% receive 31 or more messages per day
  • 45% of Email users say they are interested in receiving email about products and services
  • 53% say they unsubscribe when the Emails are irrelevant

Source: Jupiter Research LLC 05.2007

  •  Email is a Highly Effective Branding Tool
  • As advertisers ask for accountability, more agencies are launching email disciplines
  • In 2007 email marketing generated $21.9 Billion in sales**
  • Email will be a $4 Billion industry by 2011*
  • Email is the 3rd Major Media Channel!

Source:  Forrester Research 2008

 

 

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