A few weeks ago New York hosted Social Media Week. While, unfortunately, I didn’t make it to most of the events I did manage to make it to one:
“I Know The DJ: How Social Media Has Fueled the Explosive Growth of EDM in America.”
EDM stand for “electronic dance music.” And given that I am a huge fan, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out an event combining both EDM and social media (plus it had an open bar ).
The panel included individuals from all walks of the industry, ranging from agent to club owner to DJ. You can learn more about the event by clicking here.
But I don’t want to harp on how great the event was too long, rather I want to get into some takeaways.
General Industry Takeaways
- Technology is causing rapid evolution of the industry. EDM artists are quite often at the forefront of adapting new technologies (they are electronic artists after all). This has contributed to the rapid growth of EDM popularity.
- Social Media has allowed individual fans to connect personally with their favorite artists. The ability to connect with these artists (and the willingness of the artists to respond) has contributed to loyal fan bases.
- With new technologies such as iTunes, and recently Spotify, information is more free flowing than ever. This has caused the industry to shift from making money on album sales to making money on live performances. It seems like iTunes has been around forever at this point…it is easy to forget just how new it is and what a profound effect it it has had on the music industry.
- Because the evolution is so rapid, it is often difficult to pinpoint best practices. One of the most popular answers to audience member questions was “we’re still in a transition faze, and are still trying to figure things out.”
Content Marketing Takeaways
The Rise of “Small” Publications
As always, I want to shift focus on content and marketing. And there were a few points that I took note of form the panel discussion.
The first, is that established publications like Rolling Stone or Billboard are no longer seen as the authority. While historically they have been viewed as the authorities on all things music, individuals have been given more power than ever to gain authority status and compete with these large publications.
For example, ThisSongIsSick.com is seen as more of an authority on EDM than the bigger (and older) publication companies. There are a few reasons for this of course…
Individual bloggers (or small blogging teams) can react faster. The approval and editing processes are minimal (or non-existent) compared to the established publications.
And, individual bloggers can stay focused on a certain niche (like EDM) and bring new music to the forefront much quicker. The bigger, “established” publications are often lagging behind. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they look to these individual bloggers for cues on what’s big right now.
The establishment of individual bloggers, or small blog teams, as authorities in a certain area means that there is a new media source that marketers in the industry have to focus on. Yes, the cover of Rolling Stone is still coveted. But being mentioned on a network of EDM blogs can be just as lucrative (if not more so).
More is Better?
For EDM artists music is the content. So is more content necessarily better?
The current state of content and media consumption has the industry in a bit of a disagreement.
From the talent agent perspective, more content is better. Because there is so much content available, artists have to keep releasing new content in order to “stick.” People have short attention spans and can easily more right on to the next artist if new content is not consistently created and put out there. This, of course, assumes that the content being created is quality.
From a PR perspective, however, a constant creation and release of new content makes targeted promotion a nightmare. When an artist releases several tracks at one time, it becomes increasingly difficult to focus on just one track as the “big single” because different media outlets will start promoting different tracks.
The Big Content Marketing Takeaway
Ok, I don’t really have one “big” takeaway. I have two…
1. If you can keep creating great quality content, more is better. Yes, it can provide a bit of a hick-up for PR firms, but most businesses are not like the music industry. In most industries, content is created to promote one, or at most a few, product or services lines. In the music industry the content is the product.
2. Curating content can be just as valuable as creating new content. Sites like “This Song is Sick” exist to curate new music…they don’t create it. And this music curation has established them as an authority.