There is a complex push and pull dynamic happening with digital and brands.
On the one hand, digital is allowing younger consumers to become invisible; on the other hand, the push for more content means smaller acts are getting a (slightly) fairer crack of the whip; while digital music is also opening up emerging markets as it is no longer a luxury product accessible only by the elite.
In this ebb and flow of opportunity and threat, we speak to those trying to make music and branding work better digitally about what they are doing and why they are doing it.
There is something bitterly ironic that the generation most open to brands working with music – namely millennials and post-millennials – are the ones most alienated from it all via technology.
Ad-blocking software and a retreat into the ‘dark social’ (mainly messaging apps) rather than more “open” platforms like Twitter and Facebook are steadily defining these consumers’ behaviour and making it almost impossible to segment and measure impact – the two things brands and music have become obsessed with in the past decade as social media pumps out huge plumes of data for them to capture and dissect.
On the flip side of this, however, is the fact that digital is lowering the barrier to entry for not just emerging acts but also audiences in emerging markets. What digital and branding takes away with one hand, it is giving with the other.
Music Ally spoke to labels, digital platforms and brand agencies about what they see as the defining trends and challenges facing them as we race towards 2017.