Marketing

Reminder: the perils of marketing singles to free streamers


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If you’re directing fans to stream a new track by an artist, what happens if they’re tapping on that link on their smartphone, but are on the free tier of a service like Spotify? That’s one of the questions raised in our latest Sandbox music-marketing report – and answered by Cindy James, VP of streaming and playlist strategy at Island Records. “I’d say one of the most misunderstood marketing essentials, even in 2019, is that marketers tend to simply direct listeners to a single track on a streaming service. The problem is that if the user who clicks on the link isn’t a premium subscriber of that service, they won’t be able to play the song on demand,” said James. “Instead, it’s far better to direct listeners to a playlist of that artist’s music on a joint premium and ad-funded service. That way, you can still deliver a stream for your artist, even if it’s not the specific track.” Spotify’s free users *can* listen to tracks on-demand on the desktop, but not (generally speaking) on their phones.

James’ comments were part of a Sandbox issue focusing on the question of ‘what people just don’t get about digital marketing’ – the underrated and misunderstood trends. Retargeting, campaign budgets and messaging are among the others. You can read the full report here.

Stuart Dredge

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