What Fortnite and esports could mean for the music industry

At Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit London conference last month, I gave a talk about games: specifically about what 2018’s gaming craze Fortnite, and the wider world of esports – competitive gaming – could mean for music marketing and the wider industry. This is an edited summary of the talk. The post What Fortnite and esports […]

Fanbase launches as blockchain-powered music fan-rewards platform

The latest blockchain startup hoping to make an impact in the music industry is Fanbase, which is launching a platform to help artists mint their own tokens, which fans will be able to buy to access exclusive content, VIP tickets and merchandise. The startup is positioning itself as an alternative to traditional social-media marketing for […]

Social Strategist & Digital Marketeer (12 month contract) – Sony Music – London

Overview Responsible for devising best in class digital marketing and social media strategies for artists; the setting and achieving of campaign-specific objectives & KPIs; the coordination/creation and upkeep of regularly updated social media strategies and the preparation of reports to inform key stakeholders & strategy moving forward. The candidate will work closely with artists, artist […]

Five trends for digital music marketing in 2018

There are three pillars for music marketing in 2018: what you do with social media; what you do with digital service providers (DSPs, principally streaming services); and what you do with your own platforms – mailing lists, most obviously, and direct-to-fan sales be it on your own site or something like Bandcamp. But what are […]

Sandbox Summit 2018 – London #MarketMusicBetter

Music Ally is delighted to announce the agenda and first set of confirmed speakers for this year’s Sandbox Summit sponsored by Linkfire which will take place at the London Arthouse on Wednesday 31st October. Early bird tickets have already sold out and momentum is building for the second London edition of our dedicated music marketing conference. […]

Feature.fm ‘Action Pages’ to reward fans for streaming actions

Music-marketing startup Feature.fm has a new, well, feature. It’s called ‘Action Pages’, and it’s designed to help labels and artists reward fans for their activities within streaming services Spotify and Apple Music (initially: more will be added in the future). The post Feature.fm ‘Action Pages’ to reward fans for streaming actions appeared first on Music […]

Warner Music Australia signs new influencer partnership

As influencer marketing continues to become a more-common part of the music-marketing landscape, Warner Music Australia has announced an interesting joint venture with talent agency Born Bred Talent. The post Warner Music Australia signs new influencer partnership appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Report 416: Rock ‘n’ Role

In this issue we look at how whole new disciplines and skill sets are changing the power balance in the music industry. Jobs that didn’t exist even a few years ago are now so important that those who have perfected them will decide the future shape of the business – from data scientists to playlist […]

Prick up your earworms: Beat Fever is reviving mobile music games

More than a decade ago, music games were something the music industry was excited about. Guitar Hero, Rock Band and SingStar had the benefit of not just being console games built entirely around music; they also had multiple iterations and a secondary revenue source by offering in-game purchasing of extra tracks to keep them fresh. […]

Motive Unknown boss talks marketing, merch and Spotify

In 2011, PIAS Group’s head of digital marketing Darren Hemmings left to set up his own consultancy, Motive Unknown. Originally conceived as a solo freelance affair, seven years on the company has expanded to six people, working with a range of artist, label and non-music clients. Hemmings talked to Music Ally about how music marketing […]

Spotify adds feature for pitching unreleased music to its playlist curators

Spotify has added a new feature to its back-end: the ability for artists and labels to submit unreleased songs for “playlist consideration” by its in-house team of curators. The feature goes live today in beta, as part of the company’s Spotify for Artists and Spotify Analytics tools. Spotify says that any artist, label, manager or […]

Childish Gambino gets a new summer-themed Snapchat lens

Having created the most talked-about music video of 2018 with ‘This Is America’, Childish Gambino is also getting up to some inventive stuff with Snapchat. Gambino and RCA Records worked with Snap to create a new Snapchat lens based on his song ‘Summertime Magic’, which will be geofenced to 23 cities – starting with Los […]

Stashimi releases figures for G-Eazy and Zedd messaging bots

Startup Stashimi has built a platform for artist messaging bots, working with artists including G-Eazy, Zedd, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton. The company says it has more than 100 artists using its tool to create bots for Facebook Messenger, and this week it’s published some figures for two of them: G-Eazy and Zedd. Stashimi worked with G-Eazy’s […]

Years & Years preview new album with Facebook Camera effects

The latest element in artist Years & Years’ campaign for their new album ‘Palo Santo’ is a set of augmented-reality ‘effects’ for Facebook’s Camera feature. Fans using the camera to record video selfies can trigger one of 11 different effects based on the album’s artwork – with the visuals overlaid as they film their clips. According […]

Sendmate generated 53.8% click-through rate for Imogen Heap

Artist Imogen Heap is heading off on a world tour soon under her ‘Mycelia’ banner – you may remember us reporting on the plans from her launch event in December – and she’s been testing a new tool to let fans know about it. Heap worked with Sendmate, the messaging tool recently launched by startup Record Bird, to […]

Fanbytes on Snapchat marketing: ‘A new form of TV for younger people’

It may face tough competition from Instagram, but Snapchat remains a vibrant platform for social expression, while the app that kickstarted the ‘stories’ phenomenon continues to be a development ground for new video formats. No wonder a number of labels and other music companies want to explore its potential as a marketing platform, although many […]

The Glitch Mob turn album into a VR show with TheWaveVR

Musical VR startup TheWaveVR has revealed its latest partnership with an artist: electronica group The Glitch Mob. It’s turning their album ‘See Without Eyes’ into… well, something you see with your eyes. “A VR odyssey of shifting dreamscapes choreographed to a 20-minute custom mix of the album” as the startup puts it, which will be […]

Def Leppard’s long tail gets flicked on interactive concert map

Having been digital holdouts for years, Def Leppard have taken to online with gusto in recent months. It’s the live arena where their next digital dalliance is happening, in part to promote the anniversary tour around 1987’s blockbusting ‘Hysteria’ album, but also to drive up the band’s total streams.  The Def Leppard Tour Book is an […]

Landmrk powers ‘frame-by-frame’ album-unlock campaign for CNCO

Latino boy-band CNCO have a new album on the way, and for the second time they’re working with location-based-marketing startup Landmrk to promote it. In August 2016, their label Sony Music US Latin used Landmrk for a campaign called CNCO Go, which encouraged fans to visit ‘hotspots’ in Latin America and Spain to hear the […]

Facebook shuts down its ‘partner categories’ for ad-targeting

Facebook has announced that it’s shutting down its ‘partner categories’ ad-targeting feature. “This product enables third party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook,” explained the social network in a brief blog post. “While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve […]

Sandbox Summit 2018 | NYC #MarketMusicBetter

Music Ally is pleased to announce some of the key speakers for Sandbox Summit NYC – the one-day music marketing conference sponsored by Linkfire and Push Entertainment which takes place at Opry City Stage, Times Square, New York on Wednesday 25th April. After the hugely successful inaugural Sandbox Summit in London, we have responded to demand in the US […]

Spotify and Deezer reveal latest artist partnerships

Spotify and Deezer have announced their latest artist-focused partnerships. For Spotify, that’s an initiative called ‘Louder Together’ which is an extension of its Spotify Singles program. The new thing isn’t just about getting artists in the studio to record covers, but rather about organising collaborations between different artists on original songs. Artists Sasha Sloan, Nina […]

Google and OK Go launch ‘sandbox’ for use in classrooms

US band OK Go’s latest brand partnership is with Google, and it has an educational focus. The pair have launched something called the OK Go Sandbox, which they describe as “a collection of materials created for and with K-12 educators: design challenges, educator guides, and more”. K-12 meaning primary and secondary education: so the full […]

Linkfire gets a deeper data partnership with Pandora

Linkfire has become a popular tool for music marketers using ‘smart links’ to direct fans to artists’ music on digital services, while getting analytics back from those clicks. Now the company has announced a deeper partnership with one of those services, Pandora, which will be providing Linkfire with “advanced attribution data” for its customers to […]

K-Pop stars BTS are getting their own YouTube Red series

YouTube has been one of the main engines behind the global success of K-Pop band BTS in the last year. Now they’re getting their own series on its YouTube Red subscription service. The eight-episode series is called BTS: Burn The Stage, and will launch on 28 March, offering fans an “intimate, personal portrayal” of the […]

Humble Angel boss wants self-serve artist ads on Spotify

As the founder of Playlists.net and subsequently a playlists/streaming-focused executive at Warner Music, Kieron Donoghue knows a thing or two about the streaming ecosystem. Now running indie label Humble Angel Records, he’s published a blog post calling for Spotify to offer better and more-affordable self-serve advertising options for artists on its platform. Donoghue compares Spotify […]

Die Fantastischen Vier launch an augmented-reality video app

German hip-hop group Die Fantastischen Vier is the latest example of an artist exploring the potential of augmented reality (AR) technology. The band have launched a free iPhone app called Tunnel AR, which is an interactive music video for their recent single ‘Tunnel’. The app enables fans to project the video onto a nearby table, […]

Palo Santo Messenger bot kicks off Years & Years album campaign

What is Palo Santo? It’s a fictional city where androids and humans live side-by-side, of course. But don’t worry if you didn’t know that: this is only just being revealed, bit-by-bit, to fans of British band Years & Years. Or perhaps we should say bit-by-bot, since one of the initial planks in the campaign for […]

Spotify and Smirnoff launch ‘unconscious gender bias’ campaign

Like us, you’ve probably been wondering when a prominent vodka brand would weigh in to 2018’s music-industry debates around diversity and inclusion. Congrats if you had ‘early March’ in the sweepstake: Smirnoff has teamed up with Spotify on a marketing campaign called the Smirnoff Equaliser. It’s based on the fact that the top 10 tracks […]

Case study: marketing Laura Marling’s Semper Femina album

Laura Marling’s last album, ‘Semper Femina’, is a wonderful piece of work: something I’ve returned to again and again since its release, discovering new details every time. Hats off to that, then. But also to the team that worked hard on the marketing campaign for an album, released through More Alarming Records via Kobalt Music […]

Elton John: ‘I’ve never downloaded anything in my life. Not even porn!’

Elton John held a press event with YouTube yesterday (24 January) to announce his farewell tour – a 300-date, multi-continent extravaganza that will start in September and run into 2021. While that news dominated the headlines, he also used the event to unveil a potted history of his career in music in VR as well […]

Read our Sandbox Best Music Marketing Campaigns of 2017 report

Here it is – Sandbox’s massive run down of the best, most innovative and most exciting music marketing campaigns of the past 12 months. Download the report HERE. As usual, all campaigns are listed in non-partisan alphabetical order. But this year there is a twist. We have given campaigns that have impressed us special commendations […]

Sandbox 193: Playlisten without prejudice

Lead: Labels and artists spent 2017 getting their heads around how playlists have created a new centre of gravity for the record business. The old ways of promoting a record (discounting at retail, plugging at radio, pitching to the specialist music press) have all gone and now playlists are the conundrum everyone wants – and […]

How does free ‘promotion’ fit in to the music-streaming era? (#SlushMusic)

“The industry’s problem to solve is we’ve been addicted to promotion for the entire time that the music industry has existed. We’ve always given stuff away to sell something. But that mindset in the consumption world just doesn’t really stack up…” The music industry’s view in the ‘value gap’ debate, at its simplest is ‘YouTube […]

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile launch ‘mixtape exchange’

We’re big fans of the recent album by Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, and we’re also impressed by the inventive Spotify-fuelled marketing campaign around it. So is Spotify: the streaming service has featured the campaign as a case study on its Spotify for Artists blog. The post Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile launch ‘mixtape exchange’ […]

Sandbox Issue 191: Ad ons

Lead: With so much music now being ostensibly free at the point of consumption, advertising is expected to do a lot of the heavy lifting for the digital content industries. As such, the nature and forms of advertising have had to rapidly evolve and expand. Today, ad campaigns must adapt to the vagaries of the […]

Sandbox Issue 190: Retarget practice

Lead: Have you ever been hounded around the internet by an ad for a gas boiler or cheap flights? Of course you have. It’s 2017, after all. That is, as you’ll know, symptomatic of bad retargeting. But don’t mock too soon as the music industry is far from innocent here. We speak to marketing executives […]

Sandbox Issue 189: D2C gets cranked up

Lead: D2C started to flex its muscles just as the decline in the traditional CD market began to really bite. Now it is more important that ever as both a revenue driver and a means of ensuring ongoing fan engagement. We look at five of the most interesting D2C offerings recently to understand what they […]

Big Shaq gets an augmented-reality Facebook Camera effect

In our recent report on augmented reality technology, we suggested that rather than launching standalone AR apps for artists, labels would do better exploring some of the AR features in the big social apps. Now Island Records has offered a new example with the biggest social app of all: Facebook. The label has launched a […]

Domino turns Franz Ferdinand Spotify pre-save into a fan club

The ability for fans to ‘pre-save’ an album on Spotify has become an increasingly-common marketing tactic since Kobalt pioneered the idea last year with Laura Marling. Now independent label Domino Records is trying something a bit different with the idea: its pre-save campaign for Franz Ferdinand’s new album is structured as a “fan club”. “Subscribe […]

Musical.ly starts to attract brands for influencer marketing

Social app Musical.ly has been cautious about getting into advertising – and with good reason, given the strong regulations in the US around advertising to children. However, brands are starting to make use of the app for their own marketing by working with its popular ‘Musers’ on influencer-marketing campaigns. The post Musical.ly starts to attract […]

Shania Twain goes mobile gaming with Home Street partnership

Mobile gaming is a huge and growing industry, with spending up 18% to $40.6bn in 2016 according to research firm SuperData – a figure that matched global box-office revenues for films that year. Mobile games based on musicians, however, are… less lucrative. Publisher Glu Mobile had flops with its games based on Katy Perry, Nicki […]

Lessons from Kobalt’s Laura Marling pre-save campaign

At our recent Sandbox Summit conference, Kobalt Music Recordings’ David Emery outlined three lessons learned from running a Spotify pre-save campaign for Laura Marling. Now he’s turned the talk into a blog post, which makes good reading for any music marketer. We reported on his thoughts about getting away from your desk and inbox to […]

Crossfaith invites fans to unlock new track… by headbanging

Japanese metal band Crossfaith are encouraging fans to headbang in their own homes with a marketing campaign for their new EP ‘Freedom’. Launched by label Sony Music and agency Ogilvy & Mather, the campaign gets fans to visit the band’s website and then headbang in front of their webcam, which unlocks a stream of a […]

Facebook tests relegating page posts to secondary news feed

In recent years, we’ve regularly covered claims by digital marketers that posts from their pages are seeing their ‘organic’ (i.e. not paid for) reach decline. Less of their fans are seeing their posts unless they pay to boost their reach. But now imagine a world where page posts are scrubbed from Facebook’s main news feed […]

CD Baby joins the pre-saves party on Spotify

In December 2016, Kobalt launched a campaign for Laura Marling that enabled fans to ‘pre-save’ her next album, automatically adding it (and its advance tracks) to their Spotify playlists as soon as they were available. Since then, other labels and distributors have developed similar tools, capitalising on a feature in Spotify’s API that hadn’t previously […]

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