Music + Mobile: New Opportunities for Sharing and Storytelling
Without sharing, there would be no such thing as a music industry. Sharing the songs that capture the moments of our lives and sharing our love of the artists who help create these moments. Through sharing their work and their life’s love, musicians are able to reach out to their existing fans and create new ones – sometimes in parts of the world they had never expected.
What song was playing the day happened?
When a song is integral to a particular moment of your life, how would you express it? In the way that Instagram allows us to quickly share the moments we can photograph, Jamie Sampson and Soundtracking want us to share music.
“Soundtracking is specifically focused on expression and sharing,” says Jamie. “Most other apps target music consumption.”
“Soundtracking is about sharing. Sharing is key. And these are not moments where you’re sitting at your desktop. We all have these moments, everywhere. You’re telling other users, here, this is my moment, this is what is sounds like, and I am trying to share this musical moment with you.”
Sharing. It all seems so simple. Technology has not only made it easier for us to share music with one another, it has given a constant, tangible way for artists to connect with those who adore them and even broaden their fan base. It has never been easier to share parts of our lives with others and we’re using it connect more deeply with music and the artists.
In her role as Director of Marketing for The Grammys, Beverly Jackson’s original goal was to surpass the BET Awards in terms of real-time social buzz during this year’s telecast.
13.0 million social media comments. Through transmedia storytelling, Beverly and her team helped make “Music’s Biggest Night” into the “Most Social Event in the History of Television.” And before you say –
“Whitney Houston was only the fifth most-Tweeted about celebrity during the telecast,” says Beverly. “Adele was the huge winner in Twitter. But that’s only part of it.”
Led by Beverly, The Grammys and [creative agency] Chiat\Day capitalized fully on exposure through traditional, owned, hybrid, and social media – an integrated transmedia campaign.
“This is the script, this is the narrative, do you want to get in on the story?”
For the last five years, The Grammys have developed a mobile app for the event, each one more social and more integrated than its predecessor. For the 54th Grammy Awards, everything seemed to come together. From multiple cameras offering users multiple views of events and red carpets, and celebrity promotion, to getting music bloggers involved in creating round-the-clock coverage and hashtagged check-ins to award-week events.
“This year, we really got the app and mobile experience right,” says Beverly. “We needed you to see the app was there and that once you downloaded, we needed you to see what was going to happen and invite you to be a part of it through notification.”
“It was about creating and sharing something you could not get anywhere else,” says Beverly. The pre-Grammys red carpet livestream available only through the app peaked with 165,000 concurrent viewers in the afternoon leading up to the event.
“Viewers to our mobile device became just as important to us as our television audience.”
Transmedia storytelling. Mobile “viewers” counted in the same space as those reached through traditional media. This is the way the music industry is moving – just ask the artists. Grammy-nominated DJ & Producer – and judge on BET’s Master of the Mix — Vikter Duplaix embraced digital and took his career to places he never imagined.
“I came from the old school way of doing things,” says Vikter. “The perspective of how someone now searches the web and finds artists they like is different from the generation I came from. We would have to wait for the radio or Billboard push.”
“Kids today pay attention to what their peers are doing, not an established source. They are not beholding to the traditional forms I was used to. Once I got past wanting the big poster on I-95 and the all that comes with it, it became about paying attention to the young girl or guy talking about what is cool.”
Vikter credits his business partner with helping him change his attitude and behavior about connecting with fans online. Once he began connecting, he discovered he was reaching people – and had a global fan base. By keeping his mind open, he took advantage of new opportunities, giving back to his fans in South Africa and signing with labels in Germany in the UK.
“If it wasn’t for my ability to be in different cultures in different places, my career would have been cut short. What I learned in Berlin, Johannesburg, and other cities allowed me to morph and change forms while figuring out what to do in the U.S. market. By the time Master of The Mix came along, I was a natural choice because I had an international reputation.”
Connecting with his fans online gave Vikter more than new career opportunities around the world. It showed him he was not only building his reputation as an artist, but also himself as a brand. And everything depended upon authenticity.
We have to find ways to connect with people in an emotional sense because most of us do not have the benefit of a big marketing budget devoted to making us part of the every day experience.
“It is a challenge for us to connect with people on this level and make them feel a part of our every day lives. We have to be consistent, because the artist as a brand lives in the mind of the people – not what you say it is but what people think it is.”