Things have changed a lot in the music industry, the success (with controversy) of applications like Spotify, an application for streaming music playback, or newer ones like Tidal, prove it.

Once upon a time the music industry had a relatively simple business model: artists or bands recorded a song, the record label sold the song and so both the artists and the label made money.

Now, in an era of fragmented platforms, file sharing, piracy, and so many different ways to sell, the music industry faces several challenges.

Music and social networking

Social networks represent a great opportunity. Music fans, we use Twitter or Facebook to keep up with our favorite groups. In addition, 99% of the time it’s on social networks where your new songs or videos are released.

What’s more, most of the audience interested in music naturally gathers on social networks, where they form their own communities and talk about groups and artists.

How can brands keep track of this ever-growing volume of online conversations?

A social network monitoring platform like Brandwatch has many uses for the music industry. The large volume of conversation, coupled with the independent nature of social networks, offers us thousands of opinions with which insights can be extracted about trends, tastes and buying behaviors.

The most obvious application that can be given to a monitoring tool is to measure the volume of conversation generated by a particular launch.

Although the industry’s budgets are shrinking, large amounts of money are still being invested in the marketing of large launches.

Measuring the volume of online conversations not only gives you information about an artist’s popularity, taking into account data such as spikes in mentions; analysis of audience sentiment and engagement level also helps record labels understand the impact of their marketing campaigns. Has the launch resonated with the right audience, in the right channels? What can we learn for future releases?

What good is a group without fans?

The relationship between a fan and an artist is based on reciprocity: artists create good songs, we buy them and go to their concerts, although some make more drastic decisions!

Identifying fans and communicating with them is an essential step in strengthening the relationship between an artist and their audience.

Before social networking, fans used to meet at conventions or check the music press offline to find out what’s new.

Now, communities form regardless of location and have a wider range of interests. Sometimes bloggers have more influence than journalists from reputable publications.

With social network monitoring you can identify these influencers and connect with them, either to offer them material before the official launch or to launch smaller campaigns. This will give record labels clues on how to market to real advocates.

A real example

The blues-rock band Drenge was on the lips of all the British in the summer of 2013 because they were mentioned publicly and sarcastically in the letter of resignation of someone well known in the world of politics of the country.

Drenge had the support of several influencers. When we organized the list we presented below by numbers of followers, we can see that the group was talked about in high level news sites and blogs, and participated in the conversation DJs and bloggers.

From a PR perspective, these authors are worth their weight in gold, as they expose the band’s name to a large and varied audience.

New relationships

The music industry has always had to react to changes: new formats, new technologies and new business models make this industry in constant transformation.

Internet and social networks more specifically, have been very disruptive for the music business and both record labels and artists have had to adapt.

It’s evident in the way record labels and artists attract new audiences, and that’s why we’ve seen an increase in brand sponsorship. Brands such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Toyota and CitiBank, among others, spent approximately $1.28 billion on sponsorship in the music industry in 2013.

For artists, this means they can leverage the marketing budget of big brands and let them expose their image to new audiences. The brands, in an attempt to associate with a young and increasingly solvent audience, get a cooler look.

A social network monitoring tool will allow the company and record label to delve into conversations related to the artist’s sponsorship.

With advanced Boolean operators, brands will be able to measure the impact of their sponsorships and how they have been perceived in relation to the music. Likewise, record labels seeking to attract sponsors can use evidence of a rise in a brand’s share of voice, positive sentiment or new advocates to find new brand endorsements for their artists.

However, like all other industries, the music world works with results. Promotions, as well as reaching more bloggers, etc., must be translated into sales.

In our Twitter Scenario Report 2013, we discovered that the music industry was the third most important topic of conversation on the platform.

The tendency of fans to talk about the songs they are going to listen to, download or buy provides important information about consumers’ buying habits.

While music streaming and downloading websites have replaced traditional CD sales, analysis of online consumer behavior is increasingly important for labels to identify an artist’s success.

The Semantic Web and the Music Industry

Tomorrow I participate in a new edition of the National Assembly of the AEDEM, the Spanish Association of Music Publishers.

The purpose of this entity is to defend and promote the economic, social, cultural and professional interests of music publishers, and every year organizes an assembly of members in which specialists in topics related to music are invited to participate as speakers, with the aim of keeping up to date and publicize the latest developments in the music industry its members.

This is the fourth year in which I participate, as a specialist in digital marketing and I have prepared a talk with the news provided by the Internet for the musical promotion in 2016.

While preparing the slides I thought it was worth writing this article on the influence of the deployment of the semantic web by Google in the promotion of music on the Internet. So here’s the article. I hope it’s of interest to you.

What is the semantic web?

How Semantic Web Deployment Affects the Music Industry
Let’s go by parts: first, what is the semantic web? second, how does it work? And third, how does it affect musical results?

The semantic web is what we call the internet which aims to allow machines a high level of understanding of the content created on the internet. That is to say, in plain words… it is the internet in which machines understand humans.

It is a confluence of Artificial Intelligence and web technologies that focuses on introducing explicit descriptions of the meaning of resources, to allow machines to understand the meaning of things and to offer concrete answers to naturally asked questions.

For example, if we go to Google and ask “how old is Messi?” it will answer “28 years”. He understood what we asked him and answered with a clear, simple and precise answer… rather than with a list of websites containing the words “that”, “age”, “has”, “Messi” which is how he would have answered a few months ago.