What Major Labels Have To Say About Content | Music Week Tech Summit 2019

What Major Labels Have To Say About Content | Music Week Tech Summit 2019


– Welcome back to the Burstimo
Music & Marketing Podcast and yesterday we were in our element at the Music Week Tech Summit. And we just got back and
thought we’d do a podcast and just let you know what we learned and what all the major labels are saying about marketing musicians
using technology. – It was a real range of people there. I thought it would be sort
of, just all tech-y people. There was a real range, there was people that were just working at labels, there were digital marketers there, there were people who
worked in distribution, there were people that did,
sort of graphic design stuff, there were people from the
streaming platforms as well, like Amazon Music, so we learned a lot, I found it really interesting. I think the first talk was
a panel about distribution and a lot of the discussion
was obviously about how to distribute your music, but a lot of it was about Spotify. And, as I’m sure you guys know, that is what we talk about a lot and they kind of said
stuff that we agree with. And we’ve been saying for quite a bit. One of the main things was talking about Spotify editorial playlists. and I can’t even remember
which one of them said it, but they said basically that
Spotify editorial playlists, you can’t just expect to email
editors and be put onto them. It just doesn’t work like that. There’s just so much competition, I can’t remember who said it. – I can’t remember. So on the panel, there was, let’s see if we can remember them – The Orchard? – The Orchard, Chris Manning
I think his name was. We had the head of
marketing at SoundCloud. We had the CEO, his
name was Diego something from Amuse which is a
free distribution app, and known for Lil Nas
X and blowing him up, so Lil Nas X was able to
upload to the platform completely for free. Blow up, get all his royalties, and it didn’t cost him a penny. He was independent and he
could have signed with Amuse into their record label,
however he then went on to sign with Columbia. And there was another person from F-A-G-U, FAGU, I think. – FAGU? FUGA? (laughter) – So yeah, we’ll put
the names on the screen if you were there as well. – Yeah, so they spoke about Spotify and spoke about how when
you kind of want to, when you want to be on
one of these playlists, you have to offer
something, you have to show that there’s something
happening around your name before being put onto these playlists, and I think it’s so
true, yeah I don’t know which one of them said it but I think we definitely agree with that point. – Yeah, I mean, a lot of
people putting emphasis on Spotify official
playlists, people are like constantly saying “how
do we get on a Spotify official playlist, how do we get on” and they were kind of saying a lot about what we say, where you’ve got to show that you’re offering Spotify something as well you can’t rely on them
to promote your music you can’t send your track to them and say, “Cool, there’s a good song,
what you gonna do with it?” because their platform
needs users as well, so what are you gonna
do for their platforms? You’ve really got to pitch
your marketing strategy and your general image, and show that you are able to, to kind
of add to the platform. One point that was made was they said, New Music Friday, you
got on New Music Friday and you were only on for one week, and they want to know if they
put you on New Music Friday or one of the official playlists, what are you gonna do with it? Are you gonna grow your fanbase with it, are you gonna create
content on social media that’s gonna harness it,
so when they come back and add you to another
playlist, are you gonna do something with it, or
are you gonna sit there and watch the streams ride
in and then do nothing and then they’ve put this
artist on their playlist that went on to do nothing. And it’s just a bit embarrassing for them. They want to be looking
for hot upcoming artists. – Yeah, and it’s just not the end goal. I think far too many artists
are seeing it as the end goal, they’re saying how do I get on one of these editorial playlists,
and they’re putting so much emphasis on it,
and then when they do finally get on it, they
think they’ve made it but those listeners are just
a small amount of listeners and if you’re not
capturing them you’re not proving to Spotify that
you are capturing them, then you’re not gonna be put on one again and if even if you do they’re
just gonna be listeners they’re not going to be engaged fans, but one thing that Josh
from Soundcloud said, and I think Diego from
Amuse agreed with, was that you don’t really need
to focus on having these music industry people
which, I’m pretty sure the crowd wasn’t too happy with – Yeah. – All sitting around
music industry people, but they said you don’t need to focus on that if you’ve got a friend
that’s a graphic designer, take advantage of that,
or if you’ve someone that enjoys marketing,
take advantage of that, you don’t need to just be
focusing on just this industry, because there’s so many
different industries that can focus on the music as
well and still benefit it. – And there was a lot
of frustration in there in their voices about
even the major labels asking for the wrong stats
from these platforms, so apparently there’s an
obsession with skip rate at the moment, and we do in
our videos say about skip rate and it is important to
get on those officials, and that’s what they’re
looking at, however they say that the people
who are asking for it don’t even know what to
do with the skip rate, so they say, “Cool
there’s your skip rate.” do you even know what that means? Do you even know what
you’re going to do with it, and there’s just so
much more data out there that you can be using
to find your audience, find what your audience like, in terms of their location and
figuring out where people are actually streaming your track, or where your streams are coming from is way more important than your skip rate and trying to game the algorithm. – Yeah, I think data as
a whole was spoken about so widely, the whole
day, from data collected from Spotify, from data
collected from Facebook, from just, overall looking at your data that you’ve collected as an artist and using that to your advantage. And I think it’s something
that we haven’t really discussed very much at
all, and it made me think quite a bit how, when
we work with an artist or when an artist approaches us, we look at kind of the first line of data, so looking at their
engagement, looking at kind of the like to follow ratio,
but sometimes you have to take it past that, so
looking at those locations on Spotify, looking at
the ads you’re running, how many people are
actually engaged with it, how far they’re getting through that, and then creating content
according to that. Data was spoken about a
lot, and there was actually a little bit of friction at
one point when someone asked, “Should you create content
based on the data?” And the marketing manager,
Sebastian I believe his name was, at Warner said, “Yes.” he said,
“Of course, if something’s “doing well, you should
follow the data, you should, “if some sort of video content went well, “then follow the data,
of course you would.” and the Amazon Music UK,
uh, what was his name Paul Firth, was like “Yeah
but keep the creativity” and I think you have to
find that happy medium like, you need to have that creative, but you also need to be
making sure that you’re watching the data to
see if that creative’s actually effective. That was discussed quite a bit and I think is very important. – Yeah, for me, one of
the most stand-out points was the very first talk,
which was by Adrian Pope at PIAS, which is a major
distribution company, I think they’re a label as well and that was about how the campaigns are kind of dead, the old school campaigns of releasing a track, hype
hype hype, nothing happens no promotion between releases,
and you release another track, hype hype hype, and then nothing. And now in the modern day music industry, it’s more about straight
lines, steady growth, instead of a graph going like that, it is steady growth, and a
track can blow up from 2015 if you just consistently
just grow your fanbase, and if you’ve got a great track in 2015, it’s still a great track
in 2019, so you can still continue to push that
track out to a new audience. You couldn’t really do
that back in the days, he was talking like the 80s and 90s, now you really can go and
do that and I love that, the fact that you can just
create a marketing campaign and not have to worry
about how long you’ve got, or the hype, or the
build-up to the release, you actually just release
the track and push it out in any way, shape or form that you can. – Yeah, so true because if
you look at it in the past there was obviously, you had
to get a CD, a vinyl, a tape into stores, and you had
to promote it pre-release and you had to promote it
from the day it was live, or out there, because if you
didn’t and you didn’t get sales then they wouldn’t put it
on the shelves anymore. But now you’re constantly
having the chance to be streamed but you’re also having
the chance to be put in front of an audience
by building your brand and I think that’s what
they just kept emphasizing. They kept saying, forget
the idea of getting loads and loads and loads of streams, of course the streams
are important because that shows you’re getting
listeners, if you’re constantly growing your
brand, and as an artist you are an entrepreneur in yourself, you’re sort of a business,
you are that brand, and if you’re constantly
developing and growing in those areas then obviously
the streams are just gonna come naturally. I can’t remember who said that. It might have been Marla from Cantine who said that artists in their
own right are entrepreneurs and so they should be given
that creative freedom, but they also should be
working like an entrepreneur, they shouldn’t just create
the track and then sort of, put it out there hope it does well. – Yeah and I thought
that was a good point and she went on to say about
how, I think it was her, who went on to say that
labels always come saying, what’s the content strategy,
what is the strategy content in the calendar
for the next four weeks, or even the management companies
with the artists themselves are asking this, and content
on the likes of Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, it happens in the day, it happens in the moment,
that’s what people are used to consuming on social media so it’s just so important to know that it’s not about developing
a content strategy, or doing something smart all of the time, it’s about figuring out
what is kind of your rhythm, and your habits and getting better at just taking out your phone
and creating content and I found when they said
content it very much was just about Instagram stories,
I got that feeling, did you? – Yeah, I got that feeling. YouTube wasn’t really discussed at all. – No, shame. – Except from Lickd who
was, obviously that was the whole platform, but
YouTube wasn’t really discussed which I was quite surprised
at because I feel like there’s a lot of data
to be taken from YouTube if you have a channel. But I think a lot of artists already are on YouTube
unless they’re doing music videos, uh, so I think
the main focus was Instagram. TikTok was discussed quite a
bit, that was something that seemed to kind of be hot. Everyone was sort of talking about it but didn’t know too much about it, but said that, I can’t
remember who this was, someone said that TikTok
is currently at the point that Facebook was three years ago and TikTok is obviously
very young in its stages of development which is super exciting. TikTok ads were also mentioned slightly by Sammy from
deviate, and I think there is some opportunities
that are gonna be arising from TikTok and
that you should definitely be certain to keep an eye on them. – Yeah, artists are getting signed. – Yeah. – From TikTok, they said that
it is their guy from Warner what was his name. – Sebastian. – Sebastian Somone, from
Warner said that people are getting signed from TikTok
and they have platforms, I think it was Timothy Amoo who said that he has a platform where
they are looking at the data to see who is gonna blow
up on Tiktok before they’ve even blown up, and the
A&R’s at Warner are signing people that don’t even have a track yet. They’ve got no music,
they’re just a TikTok star and they’re getting
signed for a record deal to make and release music in
order to make money from it and I think that says a lot
about where the music industry is at at the moment. – Yeah and Ben Homewood who’s
the, I think he’s the editor – Senior editor isn’t he? – Yeah, at Musicweek. He was saying he gets pitched constantly, stories about TikTok stars, so it is going to become a
major part of the music industry I believe and I think a
few people sort of seemed a little bit disappointed by that, as if the musicality is gone,
but I think it’s always been the case, whoever’s
got the attention they’re going to sign, I mean
it was very very big, and it still slightly is,
that signing YouTubers, I think it’s slowly moving
across to TikTok now and it was Vine, at the
time, as well and I think it’s whoever’s got the
attention they’re, of course gonna sign because it
means guaranteed sales, guaranteed ticket sales, guaranteed money. – And I think people have to remember that the old school music industry worked like that as well. There was PR spins, there was PR stunts, there was even the likes of like Max Clifford in the 90s in
London, he was one of the biggest PR gurus, where if
someone wants to be famous they pay him like 50
grand to literally be seen coming out of a nightclub
with someone famous like Tom Cruise or something
like that, someone big then, and then that’s when OK
magazine, Hello, and all of the big tabloids would cover
it and say who is this person, by the way she’s got music
out, and then they would go to the radio station and
say you know that person that everyone’s talking
about, they’ve got a track out do you want to spin it? And of course the radio stations want their listeners to tune
in, and if capital radio are spinning that track, then they will go to listen to the track there. So it has always happened. It’s just that that kind of, that form of kind of click-baiteyness,
and kind of like the young crowd and juvenile kind
of humor, is now just transformed into TikTok
and that’s what that is now so it’s not something new, it’s just taken a different form. – I think it was also
slightly hidden as well in the past, it wasn’t so
open, now you see a TikTok star rising and then you’ll see
them immediately get signed, and people seem to think it’s
a bit of a dirty industry because of that but it’s
always been the case, it’s just a little bit more obvious now. I don’t think there’s any harm in that, if they’re creating music
that people are enjoying, then they can, they’re
putting across a message of some sort, then who really cares. – Yeah. – I think something
else that was discussed quite a bit, which, I
found really useful because it’s not a topic I
really know very well is messenger bots. – Mhm. – So the guy from I AM
POP, can’t say I remember – Is it Tim Heineke? – Sounds about right. – Yeah I met him. – He basically has a,
it’s a software isn’t it? – Yeah. – Where he can put a
messenger bot through either Facebook, I think he’s working
on potentially WhatsApp soon. – Mhm. – And people can speak to
their audience, so they can have a script they’ve
written, and the audience can interact with it, and
I’ve seen this quite a bit with a lot of artists
that I follow on Facebook, but not to the extent
that he was explaining, and I think it sounds really interesting. So what someone can do is they can, as soon as they opt-in to the chat, they have to put in their location. So, say you’re based in London, every time that band are in London you’re going to be notified, when they’re there, when
they’re playing a gig if you want to pre-save a track, and it’s also a great way for an
artist to collect data so they can say, do you
want to pre-save my track put in your email address, or do you want this this and this,
put in your email address and I think that’s a fantastic way for us to start collecting data for one, but also engaging with our audience
on a personal level, whilst also not having to constantly be putting out content because I think a lot of artists are
struggling at the moment, with music music music,
and then Instagram story every day and then maybe a YouTube video, and then maybe oh I should be on TikTok, so writing that script in
advance can be quite useful. – User generated content
was just generally a hot word of the whole
conference, really. – Mhm. – So, we hear it a lot,
especially in terms of influencer marketing
came up, and they liked influencer marketing but it depended on how it was used, what was really hot was kind of this UGC, or user
generated content, where your fans are those who create the content and I thought that was really cool, so Major Label, Major Label? Major Lazers’ TikTok campaign, which
got 50 thousand people who made a video, they
make a video on TikTok to his track, and that is the definition of user generated content,
you’re using your fanbase to spread the word, and that for me is
something never seen before. And you can do things like that to get people to kind
of, spread your track and it is the definition
of what TikTok has become, however, the major labels are starting to encourage it more, and use
kind of micro-influencers which are more organic
and authentic, and they don’t need to announce that it’s an ad – Yeah. – Is a much better
organic and quicker way of spreading the word about your music. – Yeah the word authentic
was used every other sentence and I think it’s an important
word as well because this, marketing as a whole is very much a copy-cat industry,
and especially with this user created content, I
think it’s the exact same. – Mhm. – Artists are seeing
people doing something and jumping on the bandwagon
and trying it, and so the Louis Capotes of this time,
everyone was trying that concept I think it’s always
going to happen, and like the Lil Nas X thing everyone
wants to blow up on TikTok, but the word authentic is so important, because it’s not going to work
for you if it isn’t authentic and it’s so obvious to see as well, there were different points of views on how to sort of be authentic,
so Timothy from Fanbyte said jump into the conversation, so if there’s something happening,
whether it’s mental health, whether it’s environmental,
obviously there’s varying a lot with Gen Z at the moment, it’s being communicated
about constantly on Twitter, so jump into that
conversation, as an artist if you’ve got something
to say about that, or maybe attract something about that, that’s an amazing way to promote it whereas other people
very much felt like if you have a message you create it yourself. – It was interesting how much he said he struggled to convince
the music industry that this was the way
forward, so his business is something where he takes content, like viral content that
you will have seen, like memes, and Twitch gamers for example, where, and YouTubers, and he
puts them together with music and uses it to promote music, and he did it for products
as well, and services and then he brought it
to the music industry and he said the music
industry was the hardest to convince, and I find
that fascinating because music can go anywhere. It’s not like you kind of
have to shoe-horn a product into a video, but music can just be placed in the video, and the industry was
quite slow to move on it. But now, when we went
to that conference, like seeing record label
executives talking about memes as if it’s just an every
day thing now, and memes as a way of promoting artists, like I think when we did, you
did a full video on memes on the channel, and
we’ll link it down below if you want to see it, and
it was literally about memes and the comments you
got and the reaction was kind of like, how people don’t want to be doing silly things to promote their music – Yeah. – Except silly things is the world now, and that is what you see when you go on Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook is silly things, and therefore that is an opportunity for an artist
to promote their music and now labels have
recognized this, and are now jumping onboard and they’re
desperate for that kind of thing – Yeah, social media is a
way for people to escape and it just so happens over the years that the majority of people want
to escape through humor, and TikTok is a prime example of that. You spend, you can so easily
spend hours on that app and it’s just ridiculous
content, but you’re hooked and as an artist, putting
yourself onto that platform or just creating some sort of challenge through that platform, you
know people are going to engage because they’re so hooked on it rather than trying this, so
serious, so professional style which does work for
some, but even the labels are saying it’s pretty hard to do, the idea of just being creative was the main thing for everyone. One thing that I really
liked, and I honestly can’t remember the
company, maybe Landmark? – Oh yeah, Landmrk, without the A. – Yeah, he, basically their company work by focusing on location, and what they did was, the main case study that he mentioned was Shakira, and he got all of the
fans, I think it was like – 250 million. – Yeah, it was an insane amount of people that got sent a URL, they clicked it and that took them to
wherever she was going to be. So at that time it was,
I think it was a gig in New York or something,
and other people they hid things in certain locations, and that’s something I haven’t even really thought about either, focusing on the location of your artist, rather than just kind of the interests, and he’s doing quite a lot with location at the moment, and it’ll be super interesting to watch because it’s not something that I think is on a lot of people’s minds. – Yeah, I agree. Good place to leave it?
– Yeah, definitely. – Yeah, thanks very much for watching or listening, do leave us a review of our podcasts, we don’t have many at the moment but honestly it helps so much to grow on
platforms such as iTunes and Spotify, so do make sure to leave us a review, and if you’re
watching on YouTube comment down below if
you’ve got questions, give it a like if you’ve enjoyed it, and subscribe if you’re not already. ♪ Hey, let’s forget the things I said ♪ ♪ To you yesterday ♪ ♪ I’m not gonna take my time ♪ ♪ Playing it so safe ♪ ♪ So you can be the one I love ♪ ♪ One I love today, just today ♪

20 COMMENTS

    So, basically, the trends within the music industry you've just described is in fact bad news for music as an art. You keep mentioning "creativity" but what you actually mean is creativity in marketing your music.

    Btw, excellent podcast. You guys probably provide the best information for upcoming (and ambitious) artists on Youtube. It's a shame you have so few clicks… Cheers and keep up the good work!

    i watched the whole video. and i found it useful especially when you mention about Adrian Pope and showing some stats on the screen. I learned a lot from it. I enjoyed this video. i literally forget about the time. i was thinking in my mind if there would be part 2? haha just kidding. anyways thank you Burstimo, Alex and Maddy for creating this awesome content

    Hey guys 1)I didn't get the Shakira example.What do you mean?
    2)About looking at your fans location on Spotify,I have 1 million $ question: how do you explain that many huge stars have as the first 3 most listened locations: Sao Paulo, Mexico and Santiago Chili?Try yourself: search for John Legend, lady Gaga and Michael Jackson just to name 3 artists from different era and genre?!

    Sending this to everyone we know in the industry and trying to break in 💯 second the below: this is an incredibly valuable report👌🏾 – could easily convert this video transcript into a music social media bible for 2020 ✌🏽

    Great video, interesting thoughts on marketing strategy being more linear rather than the peaks and troughs approach. I'd like to learn more about that as its very difficult to create consistent content across so many platforms.

    Really Awesome, I totally liked it!, See this New Album 'Monish Jasbird – Death Blow', channel link www.youtube.com/channel/UCv_x5rlxirO-WKjLIyk6okQ?sub_confirmation=1 , you might like 🙂

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