Analysis

How can labels reinvent music marketing for the streaming age?


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As streaming services grow, how can labels adapt their marketing to take advantage? That was the subject for the first session in CMU’s Music Marketing Is Broken: Let’s Fix It strand at The Great Escape conference in Brighton today.

Spotify’s director of label relations, Will Hope kicked off with some tips gleaned from his service.

“This is what our biggest problem is: everything that came before no longer really applies: how you set up a release, even down to the timelines, was quite short-termist,” said Hope, citing the traditional focus on marketing around an album or single’s release, and the judgement of those campaigns based mainly on short-term metrics.

“One of the biggest issues we’ve had at Spotify working with labels is trying to get away from that. We’re constantly trying to make the old way work for the new way, and it doesn’t really,” said Hope.

Stuart Dredge

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4 responses
  • There’s a difference between radio-driven single promotion and streaming-driven one: the former, labels and promoters send an artist’s single to radios and TVs in order djs to program single airplay “as soon as possible”, that is, pick your track and schedule into a radio program –> time to market: maximum 2 week.
    The latter, timing is longer than radio, because of the scarcity for radio’s ecosystem; instead, in a platform as Spotify, there’s no scarcity, the issue is on the contrary, the abundance, so if you want to promote your sing, you need to place your single is as much playlists as possible, or better in those playlists most followed and shared by users.

  • Eric Haines says:

    Hope says that the old model doesn’t work anymore, simply because he, and many others, willfully chose to violate the intellectual property rights of songwriters. Nowhere in this article does Hope discuss the huge profits Spotify has earned, and the miniscule royalties that have been paid by Spotify to songwriters. A songwriter friend of mine, who co-wrote, Girl in a Country Song, had over 25 million streams and received a check for a $729.00 for those streams on his last BMI statement, yes $729.00 for 25,000,000 streams!!!! How can anyone say that this model will work for songwriters which more and more, are the artists????. Unless their model includes songwriters/artists having a full time job, and writing songs in the evening, or on their days off. Spotify claims it cannot afford to pay anymore, yet it had profits of over 8 billion dollars, which is more than the entire record industry combined. Not sure how Hope sleeps at night!!!

  • Jay Dovner says:

    A few things I will never understand, because there is no logical answer. Bringing the singles back, in a download form, I can live with that, however, what happened to the record labels, protecting their clients copyrighted and published works? Where was the responsibility then, and where is it now? During Napster, many famous musicians, bands, managers, music attorney’s, were there, fight Napster all of the way. The labels should of settled it like a true business. You need “supply” and “demand” to make a profitable business, there’s way too much supply and no demand, thanks to the digital world. The labels should of kept those sales close to home, selling their artists works directly off of their website stores. That way, it be faster to pay off the label, get their money back without dealing with other middle men to slow up that process.

    We just won the case with Flo & Eddie, with Project 72 and the Spotify, Pandora, Sirius XM case as well. No more free streaming. It’s not an entitlement to share copyrighted and published works all over social media and not get paid for it in a decent form. The FCC, Legislature is finally sitting down for talks, a more fair residual on digital streaming. Things are going to have to change around here, or this industry will become an expensive hobby.

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