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Music as a Consumer Engagement Tool in the Social Media World


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Examination of how brands can use music for consumer engagement on social media platforms.

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Music as a Consumer Engagement Tool in the Social Media World

  2. 2. “Music has been ranked as the media that most people would least like to live without (before TV and Internet).”* * Source:
  3. 3. “A study conducted by professors Dr. Adrian North and Dr. David Hargreaves reports that brands with music that fits their brand identity are 96 percent more likely to be recalled than those with non- fitting music or no music at all.”* * Source:
  4. 4. So how does your brand use music to connect with consumers online?
  5. 5. First, a look at a few different approaches to the music- branding equation in the past….
  6. 6. Green Label Sounds is a boutique digital record label underwritten by the Mountain Dew soft drink brand that curates one-off singles and videos by underground alternative rock, electronic and hip hop artists that would appeal to a tastemaker, hipster audience. PROS: • GLS is overseen by the music- focused marketing agency Cornerstone Promotions meaning their A&R acumen is excellent and their blogger and music tastemaker influence and outreach is huge. CONS: • Cornerstone’s too-school-for- school aesthetic might not be an exact fit for the edgy but still mainstream Mountain Dew brand. • Releasing only a series of one–off singles limits the possibility for ongoing consumer engagement.
  7. 7. Set up in conjunction with the Universal Music Group major label, Island Def Jam records and headed by veteran producer and industry executive, Jermaine Dupri, the goal of Tag Records is to break new artists by leveraging the media buying power of the TAG brand to bypass the traditional artist development points of entry of radio and television. PROS: • Affiliation with a major label, lends it some credibility within the ‘traditional’ music industry CONS: • Has only released one artist, Q Da Kid to date. • Functioning as a sub-label means they are subject whims and internal politics of the Universal Music Group. • TAG has not fully-integrated the label into their marketing and lost chances to leverage co-branding opportunities like the Signature Body Spray endorsed by Def Jam artist, Ludacris.
  8. 8. Diesel:U:Music started 10 years ago by the Diesel clothing brand as an awards show to celebrate unsigned music talent, it has evolved into a global support network of musicians, producers, record labels, journalists and radio stations with tours that tap into that network. / PROS: • Excellent taste in music which aligns with the Diesel brand. • Good job of integrating online and offline marketing efforts tied to their retails establishments. • Strong job of creating experiential events around music CONS: • Limited takeaway (music) to engage fans further beyond their in-store music events or the online branded radio station. • Under-utilising Social Media (<2000 fans on either Facebook or twitter)
  9. 9. Launched initially as a new ‘hybrid model ‘for music distribution, part-blog/part-record label that would release music paid for by sponsoring and advertising brands like Nikon, Virgin Mobile and Puma who were all early sponsors. PROS: • Has smartly partnered with key independent and boutique taste-making labels for content. CONS: • Brand association opportunities for spmsors and advertisers seems limited. Its really more about the RCRD LBL brand. • Because of that (?), sponsors seems to have abandoned the platform. • Credibility within and support from the fellow blogging community seems mixed.
  10. 10. Major Label is a singles record label owned entirely by the Australian clothing company, General Pants Co. aimed at discovering unsigned acts. The label artist creativity, doesn't own their copyright and pays out to the acts 100% of royalties generated from the online sales of the singles. A&R, marketing and PR is crowd-sourced by the entire General Pants Co. staff. Each month three acts will be chosen and their single released through Major Label. The singles will be available for streaming right here and available to purchase through selected online retailers. Label/Music.html PROS: • Reasonably low-cost, low-key way to get into the music-branding game. • High-level of brand simpatico between the clothing and record labels. CONS: • Not very ‘social’. Hard to share or download music and site somewhat difficult to navigate • Essentially set up a digital record label to ‘sell’ music, not enhance the brand beyond the site.
  11. 11. What can we learn from Mountain Dew, Diesel, TAG, RCRDLBL and the Australian General Pants Co.’s efforts in this space? Is there another way to approach this opportunity?
  12. 12. TAKEAWAYS: • Don’t try to replicate the record company model, it’s not working for them and they’re the experts! • You don’t need to partner with big name, ‘music-industry ‘ types either to enter the music branding game – there are plenty of other music content creators who have engaged and have ongoing relationships with ‘your’ consumers already. • In the itunes, digital music era, the traditional music album may be dead but one-off singles limit the possibility for consumer engagement – create engagement opportunities around other content propositions: EPs, mixtapes, multi-artist compilations, short films, concerts, parties etc. • Fans are open to discovering new, underground or developing talent if its presented to them properly. • Crowd-sourcing and leveraging existing music discovery channels is possible for brands if working with the right partners. • Consumers like free music - don’t try to get in the music – selling game (see the first bullet- point above again).
  13. 13. ANOTHER WAY: • Don’t try to create content. Partner with existing content creators, indie labels, bloggers and production companies who are already creating consistent content and developing the audience and following for it. • Every content creator is not equal, partner with one whose music matches your product’s brand values and aesthetic. • Don’t try to find an audience for your branded music content from scratch – partner with content creators who are already talking to your target audience. • Done right, this is a turn-key solution for your music branding efforts: save manpower, resources, time and money by not having to staff up on extra content creation and digital marketing staff. • Create new branding opportunities: websites, videos, multi- media embeddable widgets, shows & events and access to a built-in community of other bloggers, tastemakers , sites and consumers already invested in your content partner’s value proposition.
  14. 14. How you and your music brand partner will interact….. YOUR BRAND HERE
  15. 15. ABOUT IAN STEAMAN Ian Steaman is a marketing executive with over 15 years experience in social media, brand marketing and product management in the music industry. Most recently as Director of Marketing for Sony music’s Jive Records, he was responsible for the marketing of all three Gold-selling albums by T- Pain including the #1 Billboard pop album, Epiphany as well as the #1 R&B album by Raheem DeVaughn. All told, projects he was involved with sold close to 20 million digital, mobile and physical units. Ian is also deeply immersed in the social media world running the acclaimed music & culture blog, DIFFERENT KITCHEN which has over 2 million hits and has been quoted by or linked to by Slate magazine, the CBC, The Guardian newspaper in the UK, New York Magazine and He has been published in Billboard magazine and been interviewed on ABC, Fox News and by The New York Times, New York Daily News and New York magazine. Ian has a BA degree in Economics with Honors from Harvard University. He was born in England and has also lived in Toronto, Canada.
  16. 16. Social media success for projects Ian has managed…. The Pack ( Lil Mama (
  17. 17. Bay Area Teen Rap group THE PACK exploded onto the music scene using MySpace in 2006 with their self-produced mixtape track, “Vans.” Their ode to the skate shoe few hip hop fans were wearing at the time became a regional radio hit and cultural phenomenon, eventually ending up as the #5 song in Rolling Stone’s year-end issue, opening up an entirely new market to the Vans brand.
  18. 18. THE PACK – By The Numbers: Friends: over 172,000 Plays: over 14 million Visits: over 14 million Views: over 2 million
  19. 19. T-PAIN In under five years the ‘Rappa Ternt Sanga,’ T-Pain has gone from unknown to superstar with three album releases and over 15 million units sold. His synergistic but natural incorporation of brands he uses in his personal life into the lyrics of his songs led to partnerships with vodka brand, Nuvo, his own signature sunglass for Oakley. He also has a record-breaking iphone app called I Am T-Pain which sold over 300,000 units in its first week alone.
  20. 20. T-PAIN – By The Numbers: Friends: 779,143 Plays: 147,531,930 Visits: 80,131,359 Over 50 million views 135,782
  21. 21. “LIL MAMA, is currently the best example in terms of artist management, where a team is comprehensively harnessing existing social media tools to SUCCESSFULLY speak the language of a new artist’s audience….” - Daniela Capistrano * * Source:
  22. 22. Lil Mama’s debut single, “Lip Gloss” became a viral smash on YouTube & MySpace and a Top 10 sales hit leading to a cross-marketing partnership with L’Oreal and eventually a hosting gig for Mama on the hit MTV reality show, America’s Best Dance Crew. LIL MAMA - By The Numbers: Friends: 262,563 Plays: 7,757,837 Visits: 15,702,388 Over 50 million views
  23. 23. MICKEY FACTZ Bronx, NY rapper, Mickey Factz is not a household name yet but within the digital underground, a world that takes its cues for what’s hot and what’s next from blogs, twitter and other social media channels, he is one of the most talked-about new artists. First championed on DIFFERENT KITCHEN, the blog of Ian Steaman, Factz built his reputation with a year- long weekly song campaign and a series of acclaimed, much-download mixtape albums to the point where he is able to tour without even having put out a ‘proper’ album or signing a record label deal and is now the face of Honda Motors’ Rhymes & Reasons online campaign.
  24. 24. “To be honest, we’re joining in [on following Mickey Factz] a bit late, but you can play catch- up at Ian’s Kitchen if you like.” -- The FADER
  25. 25. Elements of the Mickey Factz x Honda ‘Rhymes & Reasons’ campaign:
  26. 26. TO CONCLUDE: Music x Brands x Social Media = an organic way to…. • Engage your customers • Develop and maintain a relationship with your customers • Connect your brand to something that is important to your customers • Build your brand presence on social media platforms in a natural way. • Communicate your brand values without the hard sell of ‘traditional’ advertising.
  27. 27. Questions or for more details… Contact: Ian Steaman E – T – 416.286.0679