How Digital Marketing is Adapting to the Ever-Changing Music Industry

By on 07/20/2017

Video of Concert In The Music Industry

If you live in Atlanta, there’s a chance you’ve heard about the pink “Trap House” in south Atlanta. The house was renovated and repainted to promote the release of one of the most prolific rappers alive, and Atlanta’s own, 2Chainz’s newest record release called ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music.’ The house was used for his record release party one Saturday night and the next day became a media frenzied viral sensation. There were people lining up to take pictures, film music videos, and post to social media that they had indeed seen “the pink Trap House.” What this meant for the artist and his marketing team was around 300,000 tagged photos on Instagram in the first two weeks and full coverage on the local news for several weeks. Some might refer to that as mega-free publicity.

Music House in Atlanta, GAThe ‘Pink Trap House’ in Atlanta, GA. Photo by

This was a genius marketing segment to an already strong marketing strategy for this Atlanta rapper who is known for his over the top antics. The rest of his marketing strategy included free listening parties in neighborhoods around Atlanta, pop-up nail shops playing the album, and marketing-team-hosted paint and sips so people could listen and take pictures.

So, with an on-the-ground marketing strategy that resulted in his album reaching #1 on rap music charts and #3 on industry-wide music charts, what can other artists take away? How exactly has digital marketing evolved to fit the current age of information and social media sharing? And most importantly, how can these artists and teams continue to see return when music can be accessed freely through streaming services? Let’s find out.

Social Media and Artist Marketing

The era of digital marketing has created an even playing field with the artists in the music industry because they no longer need to be signed to a record label for their music to be heard. Now, artists just starting out can be streamed on the same social media services as heavy hitters like Beyoncé and even The Beatles.

The benefit of artists being able, for the first time in history, to interact with their fans 24/7 on social media also means they can hone their talent to appease their audience. Whether it’s the artist or their social media team, active social listening can create a unique insight into what fans want, what they’re getting elsewhere, and how the artist can compete.

The dialogue artists can create with their fans in real time can translate into great return for their business. The measurability of the return of their social investment can directly mean more ticket sales, more album sales, and more “likes” on Facebook, which is a genuine metric when determining a bands legitimacy and fan base for bigger performances. It also means that they inherit a free street team in the fans that want to represent them and tell their friends about their shows. Unlike any other industry, music has the ability to emotionally connect with the consumer, thus guaranteeing a branded trust unlike any other consumer-driven industry in existence. It doesn’t rely solely on social media, but the tips and tricks that lay within social media can be optimally utilized by musical artists and the return can be measured clearly.

The Future of the Music Listening is Online

In decades past, the music industry was almost completely reliant on physical record sales and live performances to bring in revenue. Now that Napster notoriously cleared the way for music to be instantly streamed to digital devices, and even downloaded illegally, artists and their managers must find more creative ways to create revenue. Outdated are the methods of physical copy listening, such as vinyl, cassette, and CD, and en vogue is the method of streaming.

Many online music suppliers such as SoundCloud, Youtube, Spotify, and Pandora must find a way to not only stream music at a fast, clean rate but must also pay a multitude of artists a royalty fee while keeping costs down for the fans. Sounds like quite the challenge! But, in an era of digital listening, these are the evolution of steps that must be taken in order to adapt to the way we ingest new information (and sounds).

Digital marketing is at the absolute forefront of proper promotion of artists across the entire music industry thanks to its proliferation on the web. Bands are now found online, and fan bases are completely fostered digitally, whereas before they might only be created in live venues. The ability to reach the audience immediately and genuinely means a connection is being made that’s never been possible before. Digital marketers have a unique opportunity to not only utilize every engagement tool in the book, including live video at concerts and blogging after performances, but they can drive millions of dollars in revenue with the right strategy. 

At Black Bear Design, the entire team can help create that winning strategy that guarantees growth in an exciting and fan-driven industry. Our design team can help you create the perfect logo and marketing materials to use on your next tour, and our premiere social media team can help spread the word. Let’s build your fan base together, contact us today.


Have any interesting tips, tricks, or stories from digital marketing in the music industry? Let us know in the comments below!

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