Live, online events have been ingrained in the music industry’s fabric, and this trend appears to be set to continue even when large-scale physical concerts return.
“I talk to my customers a lot about how to control music marketing and messaging around significant times,” he said. “We know these opportunities don’t come around very frequently, so we prefer to have a strategy around them.” The release of an album or a single is one of these occasions.
Martin divided the listening parties that can be held in their vicinity into three categories:
- There’s self-hosted music when an artist or label hosts their music or uses a site like YouTube to allow fans to listen to it and discuss it.
- They can construct a communal listening experience using the APIs of a streaming service like Spotify.
- Tim Burgess’s Twitter listening parties exemplify the “punk-rock solution.”
“All he asks is for fans to push play at the same time. What could be more punk than that, Martin exclaimed?
Many artists believe that the best time for a listening party is when a new track or album is released. Still, Martin suggested two other times: before the release, to drive pre-orders and pre-saves, and after the release, to drive traffic to deluxe remasters of albums or to commemorate an anniversary.
The product Listening Party may sync conversation with audio from MP3s, Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube, with the artist highlighted when they enter the chat window. They can also feature “value linkages,” which Martin defined as the ability to “manage this experience and ensure that people are going to destinations that are important to you.”
How to generate hype among viewers
When a video is about to be released on YouTube, it has a pre-release landing page and URL that artists can utilize to generate hype among viewers. Artists are urged to upload their video “a few hours to several days before the release” and then participate in the live conversation when fans see it for the first time. When the artists get paid, user comments and chat messages reportedly increase by 11%.
Later in the day, Zaiko COO Lauren Rose Kocher, Beatnik Creative record label and management assistant Sarah Rodriguez, and Adam Foster, senior artist manager at 5B Artist Management, spoke on advertising live streams.
An important takeaway from Foster’s discussion was the importance of having short, snappy marketing campaigns for live streams, rather than the normal 3-4 month lead-up to an album release. He also emphasized the need to inform fans about the format and what they may expect. Ticket sales dropped in circumstances when the message was not clear.
Foster continued by predicting that live streams will advertise upcoming albums and tours, thereby incorporating them into the music industry’s overall marketing strategy. “It’s fresh, and the music industry needs to nurture it going forward.”