Today every content creator and business lives by the phrase “content is king”. As this phrase continues to ring true, everyone (including music creators) are finding more and more creative ways to capitalize on their existing content.
Last week’s segment of the Modern Music Promotion & Social Media Music Discovery series tapped into the delicate balance between the value of promotional and artistic music videos. This week’s piece is going to explore the way advances in technology have changed the way audio content is shared and explored.
Banking on Your Content
Making sure to maximize the value of existing content is very much intertwined with “lean” methodology and the idea that cost should directly correlate to value. If the ultimate value from the standpoint of music is to be heard, then artists should actually start by tapping into their existing recorded content to garner as much promotional attention possible. However, the challenge music promotion is facing is rather unique. It is not that content does not exist or that it can’t be found, but rather that it is being overlooked on social media because of growing demand for short form visual content and a ton of competing content. Since artists have already invested significant time, money, and energy in their work we believe sharing your lyrics with sound effectively leverages existing audio in ways that encourages viewers to listen while minimizing additional effort.
Whether a budding SoundCloud artist or an established musician, every second of recorded content could theoretically be used to promote themselves, their catalogue, concert tickets, merch, etc….The point is, we are operating in an era where “content is king”, and under these pretenses, without factoring quality, artists are often royalty at baseline. Plus, when you consider the fact that in many ways the process of creating a music video is more like producing a short film for a song, it hard to argue against finding alternative options. This is not to say music videos can be replaced, but rather that other forms of visual content may be better suited for social media music discovery.
Watch & Listen to Your Content
With the rise of the indie market and more artists than ever before there is a growing demand for cost effective promotion. At the same time when defining cost effective promotion it is vital to put equal emphasis on both cost and effectiveness. In many respects from this perspective the traditional music video is more of a luxury used primarily as a form of artistic expression, rather than a promotional device. To really understand use cases of the music video consider the period in which it emerged – the MTV era. Essentially the music video was originally created as a production for highly coveted television slots. The cost of these time slots alone, set a pretty high bar in terms of expected production quality and associated costs.
Since then, technology combined with the digitization of music has brought us a long way from the age of radio and television. As a result, like most digital content, the audio experience as a whole is going through dynamic changes. These changes directly affect the way music is shared and consumed. A perfect example of this is the a web VR experience known as InsideMusic. The product of a recent collaboration between Google and SongExploder, Inside Music gives users the ability to explore each element of the song in an interactive web experience. Advancements like these continue to develop, not only because of the opportunity, but also because there is a need for new forms of engagement tailored to the evolving behaviors of consumers.
Cost aside, due to the average length of an entire song, and the very fact that the visual music experiences is largely dependent on sound, in many respects music videos are not the most practical for social media promotion. Hence the need for alternative visual content intended to cater to consumption habits of today. This is where modern tech solutions come into play. While Google’s InsideMusic is a sound example of where media as a whole is heading, the solution we are looking for is far more simple. For starters, practically every listening platform from ReverbNation to Spotify to SoundCloud gives artists the ability to share snippets of their audio. These snippets are an example of short form content intended to cater to the attention spans of modern social media users. Still, with sound alone, it is much less likely for users to listen and engage the way they might with a visual. Sure, an artist’s album art may accompany the snippet, but there is still an audiovisual disconnect between the sound and image.