How COVID-19 Revolutionized Digital Marketing for Artists
Through the pandemic, many artists and record labels had to abruptly cancel many concerts and events, which caused the industry to lose millions of dollars as well as halt any future projects. Everyone went into quarantine and the music industry had to adapt drastically in order to reach fans and new listeners while continuing to make their money. This led to the advancement of digital marketing and they started allocating their budget to virtual platforms, such as Tiktok and Instagram, where many people spent their time during isolation. This got me thinking about how a global pandemic can change an entire industry within days, but also generate new ideas to sell their products and have them reach people globally. I asked four experts in the music industry and marketing fields their thoughts on the pandemic revolutionizing digital marketing in the music industry and here’s what they said.
Anthony Miyazaki, Executive Director of Marketing and Analytics, said “The move toward digital in the music industry was already occurring prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, but the pandemic accelerated the shift by forcing fans away from live performances. Of course, the largest celebrities in the industry suffered only mild setbacks due to their fan base and already strong digital presence, but artists who were less well-known had to scramble to build their content on social media platforms, streaming music services, and their own websites. As they did so, these rising performers ended up sharing much more about their lives with their fans than ever before as they produced necessary digital content. Moving toward the future, fans will come to expect this level of increased familiarity from local and regional performers – even as live venues start to fill again.” Miyazaki exclaimed that the pandemic pushed the digitalization of marketing within the music industry at a faster rate than if it were to organically. Even though the pandemic was a disastrous era for mankind, it helped the industry connect with their fans at a personal level to make them feel as if they were at home with them.
Marketing Professor at Florida International University, Yanyn San Luis, shared her thoughts on the subject. “In the era of COVID 19, consumers were naturally consuming much more content. Artists had the opportunity to remain top of mind by engaging listeners through social media platforms and targeting audiences while analyzing their listening trends. As always, the key is consistency and how often weekly you were engaging with your listeners.” I agree with her viewpoint because social media users were definitely scrolling through for hours and consuming post after post waiting for the next big thing. This is where the marketing team of many artists had to get on top of trends and creating content that will keep the users busy while still maintaining COVID protocols.
Another expert in the field, Fabio Basaure, a Marketing student at FIU, said “In my opinion, the global pandemic showed all kinds of business and brands the importance of having a digital presence. This, essentially, led to more active social media engagements and digital campaigns. The pandemic has also helped improve digital marketing by introducing new approaches to connecting with clients and increasing brand awareness through online platforms.” I agree with his view because the COVID-19 pandemic did assist in the introduction of new techniques and campaigns that, even though have been used before, never really had the importance or emphasized when discussing the expansion of a brand. Social media became an immense part of the marketing for artists and, with the quarantine in full effect, they had to devise a variety of approaches to connect with fans and new listeners.
Elise Chantelle, Marketing Content Manager at Userlytics Corporation, exclaimed that “I think covid-19 gave artists more time to focus on creating music and developing their brand. Given the lack of public events, artists were forced to use methods like social media, email promotion, and other digital outlets to promote their music rather than more traditional forms of promotion like live shows or meet-ups. I personally used the pandemic to get savvier in design, creating song art, and other promo materials to enhance the look and feel of my artist brand without wasting too much money. Overall, I would say the pandemic was pretty beneficial to independent artists and gave them time and resources to promote the music that they otherwise might not have had.” I completely agree with her statement because it did allow the independent artists to take a step back and re-organize their brand and re-evaluate ways to improve their overall name within the industry. This allows for creative sessions to take place because the artist isn’t being preoccupied with concerts, social events, or projects that usually occurred during pre-COVID times.
Understanding that a cohesive idea is shared between each person that submitted their opinion on this must display that the pandemic definitely expanded and innovated the digital marketing segment for many record labels. Concerts were postponed until further notice, recording music became a hassle, and absolutely no events were taking place to help artists continue their journey. This bump in the road caused the entire music industry to devise a way to connect the fans with the artists while also maintaining the CDC guidelines and protocols which only meant the use of social media and the internet. Virtual meet-and-greets, virtual concerts, and virtual events became the new norm, but it allowed even more fans to be a part of the action. Since online concerts didn’t have a capacity and the tickets were a lot cheaper, the fans had more opportunities to be part of the show.
The marketing department of each artist was pushed to the limits during quarantine and especially now as everything is coming back to normal and concerts are coming back. They now have researched and experimented enough to approach certain campaigns from a different angle and perspective which will improve the budgeting and benefit the brand. Overall, marketing in the music industry now has a new start but, thanks to the pandemic, can thrive fully digitally and grow artists without any human interaction. A great example that grew from the pandemic is Tik Tok and how they used their platform to market music and grow artists to become internationally known. At the end of the day, the internet brings the world together and closer, which can benefit brands greatly, but can also do as much damage as it has done well.