On April 18, Twitter launched a new app called #Music, a standalone discovery engine that analyzes all the music data shared across the network every day. Feeding off users’ tweets and engagement, #Music offers charts based on buzz, along with profiles of up-and-coming artists and musicians whom users follow on Twitter.
Celebrities and musicians such as Ryan Seacrest, Ne-Yo and Blake Shelton were among those who got pre-launch access to the app, and they were effusive with their support on Twitter. The anticipation their support built contributed to the app’s debut at number five on the App Store chart; it even hit the top spot on the music apps list.
Since then, however, growth has slowed. Possible reasons for the decline in downloads could be that the app is only available on the web or iOS — but this is sure to change soon. Rdio or Spotify accounts are also needed to listen to full tracks, which could limit casual users experimenting with the #Music app. However, as you’ll see, continued support from the music industry and expansion to other mobile platforms makes #Music worth your time — and opens the door to smart marketers.
We chatted with Alyssa McCluskey of DreamLocal, an internet marketing agency, and Joseph Havey, an account manager at Shelten Media, LLC, to get their thoughts on the marketing opportunities that Twitter #Music presents.
Get Your Name Out There
Musicians are among the most active and engaging individuals on Twitter. After all, plenty of people want to see the latest musings and rants from the world’s most famous music personalities. But it’s also due to people’s desire to connect even more with the people creating their favorite songs.
For new musicians, Twitter has proven itself a worthy platform for introducing and promoting tracks and albums. With #Music, the opportunity could potentially multiply. Artists with strong followings on Twitter, even those who aren’t superstars, can encourage their fans to tweet about their songs. The more tweets a song gets, the more likely it is to show up on one of #Music’s special charts, such as “Emerging,” “Hunted,” and “Unearthed.”
“I think from a marketing standpoint, people who will benefit the most from Twitter #Music are more up-and-coming musicians who are utilizing social media to grow their own fanbases,” McCluskey says. “I think that’s the area that’s going to be most beneficial.”
Boost the Conversation
Twitter #Music provides the opportunity to elevate the conversation beyond tweets. Certainly, adding YouTube or download links is a great way for artists to direct followers to their songs, but a dedicated portal to music based on who you follow provides a richer experience. “It opens up an opportunity for people to actually use Twitter and listen to the music,” McCluskey says. “A lot of artists are on Twitter and a lot of them are very active but it’s not like there’s an actual platform for easily listening to music. I think this makes it all the more easy.”
As more people use #Music, the number of tweets mentioning specific songs and artists may increase as well. Joseph Havey sees this as an opportunity for musicians to extend the conversation with their followers, whether by thanking them or even by suggesting a new track. “It’s just another way to increase engagement,” Havey says. “It’s getting easier and easier to be successful without going through a major production route. Being able to promote yourself and get engagement with artists through Twitter, I definitely think that’s something a marketer could jump on top of.”
Think of the Data!
Nearly one in four online teens uses Twitter, according to a recent Pew report called Teens, Social Media and Privacy. Another interesting fact from the study is that only 9% of teens consider third-party access to their private data “very concerning.”
These attitudes may not persist into adulthood, but for now, they indicate a comfort with sharing information about their identities, hobbies, and music preferences. For marketers, this type of data could become a means for targeting campaigns on Twitter and other social media platforms. Consider Havey, a 20-something triathlete who says he frequently tweets about the music he listens to while running. If #Music tracks popular songs based on age, sex, location and activities, marketers and advertisers would likely find that date very useful when creating campaigns.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for creativity, to find what’s relevant music-wise, and to find what’s relevant to specific groups of users,” Havey says. And someday, that data may be used to place songs in ads on Twitter. If Twitter #Music picks up speed, there’s no telling what sort of information it could amass, and how that data could be used to bolster marketing campaigns.
Amina Elahi: Amina is a freelance journalist in Chicago. Her work has previously appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Grid and Popular Science, among others.