What can the global music industry learn from K-Pop and South Korea?

K-pop is the genre that ate the world whole. Acts like BTS, Blackpink, Twice and TVXQ are not just some of the biggest acts within the genre – they are some of the biggest acts in the world. There is a lot that other artists can learn from how K-pop markets itself, how its acts […]

Mike Singer single promoted with stream-to-unlock campaign

Warner Music Central Europe has created a stream-to-unlock initiative to push ‘100Tausend’ (‘100 Thousand’), the new single from German artist Mike Singer which is released on 17 July. Users going to a page on his website pick their streaming service of choice and then they have to play ‘Paranoid’ (the first single from the new […]

Ashnikko’s new track has a Beats by Dre and TikTok partnership

Artist Ashnikko’s breakthrough last year was fuelled by TikTok, when her track ‘Stupid’ went viral. Now, for her new track ‘Daisy’ she is prioritising the platform – this time with Apple’s music hardware brand Beats by Dre on board as a marketing partner. That means a music video with prominent placement for the new PowerbeatsPro headphones, […]

Sandbox Issue 256: PRIMAL STREAM 📱🎧 Making lockdown concerts work

Lead: Livestreams have moved to try and fill the massive hole left by the total cancellation of tours and festivals around the world. As more acts do them, however, it becomes incrementally harder to stand out and draw in big enough audiences to make them worthwhile. We speak to those building a whole new gig economy here […]

Tools: Smart links roundup

Using smart links is now standard practice for artists of all sizes and, as a result, competition among smart link companies has increased exponentially. Because of this, they are all trying to develop and innovate in ways that make them unique and that help them stand above their competitors.  Here we overview the latest updates […]

The Midnight create a prom playlist generator for all ages

Ninja Tune/Counter Records act The Midnight have a new single out called ‘Prom Night’ and have created a special prom-themed playlist generator for it. On a dedicated website, users input their name as well as the date (month and year) of when their prom would have been – for non-US readers, this usually happens when you […]

First speakers and agenda details for Sandbox Summit Global

Today we’re announcing the first confirmed speakers and outline agenda for our Sandbox Summit Global conference, which takes place online in September. The event will include Platoon’s Denzyl Feigelson in conversation with Q&A’s Troy Carter, as well as interviews with K Camp (the artist behind the viral hit ‘Lottery (Renegade)’ and business partner Genius. The […]

Spotify releases Marquee stats including 20% conversion rate

‘Marquee’ is Spotify’s tool that pops up in its mobile app suggesting that people listen to a new release by an artist that they like. In the US and Canada, it’s currently being beta-tested as a paid advertising slot. Now Spotify has launched a new web page promoting the feature itself, including some stats on those […]

Lady Gaga launches creative Chromatica contest with Adobe

In May we reported on Marshmello teaming up with creative-software firm Adobe on a ‘Be Kind’ campaign, getting fans to create a short video based on his new single. Now the company is launching a new contest with Lady Gaga based around her latest album ‘Chromatica’. Gaga is providing her own assets for the competition: photos, illustrations, logos, icons […]

DJ Regard gets his own Regard Runner promotional game

Music Ally last covered Kosovo-based artist DJ Regard in September 2019, when his ‘Ride It’ track became a TikTok-assisted viral hit. Now the artist, signed to Ministry of Sound, is getting his own casual game, Regard Runner, which can be played on mobile devices and computers alike. Ministry commissioned digital agency The Creative Corporation to make the […]

Sandbox Issue 255: K-Pop. What the Global Music Industry can learn from South Korea

Lead: K-pop is eating the world whole and is changing what marketing – especially superfan-centric marketing – can do. We speak to those working in and around the K-pop world to learn how the genre markets itself, where its acts engage with their fans to build incredible levels of loyalty, why trans-media marketing underscores everything they do […]

Twenty One Pilots launch a never-ending music video

Last week, we covered Twenty One Pilots’ scavenger hunt to promote their new single, ‘Level Of Concern’, which got fans to track down codes hidden online to unlock content. Which they did much faster than expected. “We didn’t think you would tear through the codes so easily,” the band tweeted. “Should have taken a week but you did […]

BTS take over Uno! mobile game and donate to Crew Nation

Music Ally knows card game ‘Uno!’ best for being second only to Monopoly in the chart of ‘games most likely to cause almighty family rows at Christmas’. What we don’t know it for, until now, are digital marketing campaigns with world-famous K-Pop groups. But yes: BTS are taking over the mobile game version of ‘Uno!’ […]

Head of Music – Fanbytes – London

About Fanbytes. Starting 3 years ago, we’ve worked with the world’s largest labels and artists including Atlantic, Virgin, Universal and everyone in between to reach audiences on social media through influencers and branded content on Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. This role combines both account management and sales with you responding directly to the exec team […]

Linkfire’s latest streaming data partnership is with Deezer

Music marketing firm Linkfire has announced a deal with Deezer to access data on what music listeners do after following one of its ‘smart links’ to the streaming service. Artists, labels and marketers using Linkfire will now be able to see, for example, whether fans have gone on to play a song, add it to […]

Twenty One Pilots launch online scavenger hunt for fans

The latest artist sending fans to different corners of the internet to unlock content around a new album is Twenty One Pilots. It kicked off with a livestream (although fans who missed that can check out the ‘START HERE’ YouTube video that the band posted on Saturday). It prominently features a US phone number – 1-877-LVL-CNRN – note: […]

Linkfire adds ‘Artist Bio Link’ feature for musicians

Music marketing platform Linkfire has a new feature that could be very useful for artists. It’s called ‘Artist Bio Links’. According to Linkfire, it “brings together all your promotions in one personalised microsite. Drive fans to your releases, merch, SoMe profiles, tours, and more, all with one shareable link”. The idea is that this will […]

The Best Music Marketing Campaigns During Lockdown

*Check some of the best music marketing campaigns of 2019 here *Take inspiration from the best music marketing campaigns in recent history   The initial response within music marketing to lockdown was to charge into livestreaming – seeing it as a way to plug at least part of the hole created by mass concert cancellations. […]

Artist Tom Walker plans a 12-hour world tour on Zoom

Rock band Def Leppard hold the record for playing the most gigs in different continents in one day (three: Africa, Europe and North America). Meanwhile, Jeff Aug holds the record for most gigs in different countries in a day (nine: Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria). Now artist Tom Walker is making his own globetrotting move, albeit […]

#LolaDay created for 50th anniversary of Kinks classic

12 June is the 50th anniversary of ‘Lola’ by British band The Kinks, and there’s a digital campaign up and running to celebrate the anniversary. A dedicated microsite to celebrate #LolaDay (as it’s being dubbed) will have digital stickers available for fans to ‘Lolafy’ their own photos and share them on social apps. Meanwhile, on the […]

Fans can get artist Alice Chater’s outfits… in Animal Crossing

We’ve mentioned the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons several times in this bulletin recently, mainly because it’s one of the chosen stress-busters for several members of the Music Ally team. But it’s also a fascinating cultural thing, including the ability for players to design their own clothing and share it for free with the wider community. That […]

Sandbox Issue 253: Music Marketing in Lockdown

Lead: We are now several weeks into lockdown and have moved far, far beyond just “doing a livestream”. There was some wavering at the start as to whether albums should be delayed by several weeks or brought forward, but now everyone is having to roll their sleeves up and get on with it. The music […]

James Arthur gets Super Mario-style Instagram stories game

Earlier this month, we wrote about a marketing campaign for Ministry of Sound that made inventive use of Instagram Stories to create a motorbike-racing game – with fans tapping to avoid obstacles and ravines (i.e. to move to the next story post). Now the digital agency behind that campaign, F-That, is at it again – this time […]

Eminem taps Community platform for messaging with fans

“Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner, but I just been busy,” wrote Eminem on Instagram yesterday. “text me, ill hit you back” – with an accompanying phone number. And no, of course Eminem isn’t giving out his cellphone number to 30.1 million people on Instagram: it’s part of a marketing campaign involving one of […]

Chantel Jeffries gives Triller exclusive for new video

TikTok is not the only short-form video game in town and Triller has been snapping at its heels for some time, making a strong splash in the US and drawing in hip-hop acts in particular. Triller has now landed the exclusive on the video for ‘Come Back To Me’ by US singer/producer/model/YouTube personality Chantel Jeffries. The video is […]

The 1975 reopen Mindshower site with stems, mags and more

In February this year, we wrote about The 1975’s ‘Mindshower’ campaign, which saw the band create a fictitious ‘digital detox’ retreat called Mindshower, complete with its own website and a spoof video ad on YouTube. Now, days ahead of the release of the band’s new album ‘Notes on a Conditional Form’, the website has reopened to the […]

Tools: Tradable Bits. Know your Fans, Market Smarter

Growing an artist’s listenership in specific markets or their social following is one part of the equation of nurturing fan bases and driving revenue. But what is often missing, is actually knowing who the fans are and getting a complete picture of how they’re behaving and presenting themselves online, which provides a more strategic approach […]

Khruangbin’s AirKhruang gets remixed as ‘Shelter in Space’

One of 2018’s cleverest music marketing campaigns was the one for US group Khruangbin. It included the AirKhruang website, which asked fans to input details of their upcoming flights, then created Spotify playlists to match their length, drawing on tracks that the group would use in their DJ sets, as well as artists from the countries under […]

Zhu teams up with esports community Enthusiast Gaming

Zhu is the latest dance artist doing something interesting on Twitch – a livestreamed concert this Thursday (14 May) that will be used to premiere new single ‘Only’. However, it’s part of a wider deal for Zhu with a company called Enthusiast Gaming, which focuses on games and esports – the latter through its Luminosity Gaming […]

Katy Perry launches a ‘virtual flower delivery service’

“Our goal is to provide the best virtual flower delivery service that can help you tell someone you care, you love them, you miss them, or simply thank them for believing in you. Select a bouquet you wish to share and write your personal message to go along with it.” No, not the latest Silicon […]

Gallery view: Rita Ora gets an immersive online exhibition

We are seeing lots of campaigns having to quickly adapt their planned real-world elements to work as purely online initiatives – and the immersive video for Rita Ora’s ‘How To Be Lonely’ single is a very good case in point. The video was directed by Dave Myers and was made in partnership with Wonderland Agency. […]

Sandbox Summit Global online event set for September

Music Ally is delighted to announce that we are taking our successful Sandbox Summit events online with a new global edition taking place from 21st September to 25th September across two hours each day. The event is supported by Linkfire and Chartmetric and is entirely free to access thanks to this support. The event will […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Fanaply’s limited-edition digital collectibles

In November 2019, WMG’s head of innovation, recorded music, Scott Cohen told Music Ally that he was interested in the ways that blockchain technology could create new value for the industry. One example: digitally-scarce collectibles that fans would buy and show off. Fast-forward six months, and one of the startups in the latest cohort for […]

Carlos Vives launches #NoTeVayasDeTuCasa video-call campaign

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we’re seeing a growing number of artist marketing campaigns – and even the music that’s at the centre of them – address the crisis. The latest marketing example is from Colombian artist Carlos Vives, whose latest single is called ‘No Te Vayas’ (translation: ‘Don’t Go’). That theme has been adapted for […]

Trojan Records taps fans for Young, Gifted and Black campaign

It’s the 50th anniversary of the release of ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ by Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths, and label Trojan Records is gearing up to celebrate it in style. It has launched a campaign of the same name, with an emphasis on fans. “Join in the celebrations by uploading a photo/video of yourself along with […]

Tommy Boy president: ‘YouTube could become our number one DSP’

Friday saw the first ever Music Ally TV weekly show, broadcast using video-conferencing platform Zoom. Our guests included Rosie Lopez, president of Tommy Boy, and the topic at hand was YouTube. “We’re feeling very optimistic about YouTube. We’re projecting that YouTube could potentially become our number one DSP in the future,” said Lopez. “It’s a […]

Sandbox Issue 250: The power of smaller playlists

Lead: The likes of New Music Friday and Today’s Top Hits might theoretically get your music in front of the most people; but if they are not listening, then what’s the point? In a business that has long run on the assumption that “big is best”, the opposite is proving true when it comes to […]

Drake’s ‘Toosie Slide’ heads towards 3bn views on TikTok

Drake released his new track ‘Toosie Slide’ on 2nd April, and as we reported before, TikTok and other social platforms were part of its marketing strategy right from the start, thanks to the recruitment of some prominent dancer influencers. How’s that campaign going? Well, there have been more than 2.8bn views of TikTok videos using the #toosieslide […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (16 April)

There’s more news from the MusiCares Covid-19 Relief Fund in the US, which has now secured contributions from collecting societies ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. The fund is now past the $10m mark on the back of support from all quarters of the music industry. Meanwhile, in the UK another collecting society, PPL, is donating £700k to […]

Trolls World Tour film’s marketing includes Spotify and Pandora

“Is Trolls World Tour the most important film of 2020?” wondered a piece in the Guardian earlier this week. That may sound like hyperbole, but the main point was that it’s the first big movie of the year that’s going straight to streaming (due to cinemas being closed). If parents aren’t willing to shell out up to […]

What music can learn from YouTube’s biggest channels

The latest edition of Sandbox went out to subscribers last night and the cover feature runs through the biggest YouTube channels outside of music (although we do add in T-Series for good measure) to look at what they do, how they do it and what music can learn from them all. There is comedy (in […]

Space is the place for new Big Beat Records campaign

Warner Music Group’s Big Beat Records label is preparing to release a new album called ‘Big Beat Ignition: Space’ on 3 April. The 10-track compilation has an intergalactic theme – “anyone else down for a space rave right now?” – and a creative marketing campaign drawing on data from NASA and the European Space Agency, as […]

Behind The Campaign: Indian hip-hop star Naezy

In India, Naezy is one of the driving forces behind the country’s emerging hip-hop scene. Given the centrality of Bollywood, the Indian music industry was, for many years, a sub-division of the film industry and music marketing had to work around that structural fact. As digital opens the county up, new opportunities are bubbling up […]

Sandbox Issue 248: PERSONALISATION. Music marketing makes it all about YOU

Lead: Personalisation is a powerful way to stand out in a noisy marketplace and to make fans feel involved with things. It all, however, has to be handled with care as one person’s “tailored messaging” is another person’s spam. We look at how the personal – from recommendations and mixtapes to merchandise and location – […]

Years & Years & TikTok: capitalising on a viral hit

British band Years & Years swiftly set up a TikTok account at the end of last week – in a large part because their cover of 2003’s ‘Breathe’ (by Sean Paul ft. Blu Cantrell) from six years ago was having a viral impact on the app without any push from them. They were able to capitalise on […]

Amazon Music launches analytics for artists with a mobile app

With more than 55 million music streaming users around the world, most of whom are paying, Amazon is the third biggest player in the global music subscriptions market behind Spotify and Apple Music. One area in which it has lagged those rivals has been artist analytics: the data it provides artists and their teams on […]

How K Camp’s ‘Lottery’ (aka ‘Renegade’) went viral – and what happened next

Atlanta rapper K Camp began releasing mixtapes in 2011, before signing to Interscope in 2014, building up a loyal following. However, the release of his track ‘Lottery’ in early 2019 changed everything. The track initially had a slow build through platforms including Instagram, YouTube and Triller, but then a few months later users of TikTok […]

Lauv is latest artist to launch a Landmrk-powered treasure hunt

Music Ally has been covering location-based marketing startup Landmrk for several years now, including its campaigns for artists including CNCO, Ariana Grande and Louis Tomlinson. The startup’s latest client is AWAL act Lauv, to promote the release of new album ‘How I’m Feeling’. The angle is that Lauv has hidden clips of the album’s tracks across the world, pinning them […]

Digital Marketing Manager – Cooking Vinyl – London

Overview of Role  We are seeking an individual to handle digital marketing and advertising initiatives for a portion of our roster on a permanent contract. The position will work closely with Project Management, International and our distributor to develop comprehensive marketing plans and timelines. The individual will be digital savvy, abreast of new online services, […]

Social star KSI debuts on TikTok with #WakeUpCallChallenge

British YouTuber KSI is a social media sensation. His YouTube channel has 21m subscribers, while his November boxing match against fellow influencer Logan Paul was described as “the biggest amateur boxing match in history”. KSI has also been releasing music for some time: his first single came out in 2013, while in November 2019 he […]

Sandbox Issue 245: Catalogue Marketing Rejuvenated

Lead: With pretty much everything available at all times, the fundamentals of catalogue marketing have had to bend to the needs of the streaming market and the social media landscape. There is still a role for the deluxe anniversary boxset, but finding new ways to shake up the old and shine new light on both […]

Tools: Keyhole. Measure the impact of their social media & influencer campaigns

Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram has evolved significantly, introducing plenty of features that have since become essential in music marketers’ toolkits.  One constant in its suite of features have been hashtags, which still present a crucial opportunity to boost an account’s visibility on the platform and help it to be discovered by new […]

KFC took over artist profiles to get ads on Spotify Premium

Who said Spotify’s premium tier is advertising-free? KFC Arabia has found a way around that, taking over the profiles of three artists in a campaign run by advertising agency Memac Ogilvy. “KFC teamed up with three major artists from the region—Flipperachi, Moh Flow, and Shébani—to place imagery of Kentucky Burgers in their cover photos, bios, […]

Music Ally announces our first ever Japan event

The Music Ally Japan Digital Summit in association with Linkfire and the Orchard and supported by MQA will take place at the Future 7 venue in Tokyo on Wednesday 22nd April.This one-day event, part of Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit series of events, will focus on digital strategy and digital marketing. With sessions including how to […]

Sony’s 4th Floor Creative launches ‘This City’ podcast

British radio DJ Clara Amfo has launched a new podcast called ‘This City’, which will see her explore the streets of London “through the eyes of some of the city’s most recognisable names”. Available on all the usual podcast platforms, the interesting thing about it is that the podcast’s producer is Sony Music UK’s 4th […]

Troy Carter talks music disruption: ‘I’d still be in a panic if I were a major label…’

Troy Carter was the closing keynote at Music Ally and Music Biz’s NY:LON Connect conference in New York on Friday. The former Atom Factory boss (where he managed Lady Gaga during her rise to fame) and Spotify exec is now running Q&A, a company blending artist development, distribution and technology. I interviewed Troy on-stage at […]

Sandbox Issue 243: The Last 10 Years and The Next 10 Years of Music Marketing

Welcome to the first Sandbox of 2020. Lead: It is now 10 years since we published the very first edition of Sandbox, so to start a new decade we speak to marketers from around the world about the tools and trends that shaped the past decade of music marketing as well as the ones they believe […]

Music Ally Report 426: Trends of 2019

This year we’ve picked 42 (also the answer to life, the universe and everything as fans of Douglas Adams will know) of the trends and moments we found most significant in 2019. What are they? *takes deep breath* industry growth; the European Copyright Directive and Music Modernization Act; Spotify’s two-sided marketplace; Apple Music’s bundled future; […]

Keaton Henson releases album through meditation app Music Zen

The latest artist experimenting with releasing music through meditation apps is Keaton Henson, the British folk-rock musician and composer. His new album ‘Louise’ Piano’ is coming out through Music Zen, the mindfulness app developed by music-apps firm Gismart. It’s the first time an artist has written exclusive music for the app, although the model has been […]

Post Malone gets a ‘dual-phone’ music video on Spotify

As Drake never sang: you used to call me on my cell phone, late night when you need my… cell phone too, to watch the new video from Post Malone. Yes, fans will need two phones to watch the latter artist’s new video, which is exclusive to Spotify. Essentially it’s the story of a couple breaking […]

Clio Music awards winners offer music-marketing inspiration

2019 has been a good year for creative music-marketing campaigns, as you’ll know if you read our end-of-year Sandbox report earlier this month. If you haven’t, you can find it here: it’s our pick of the best campaigns of the year. Anyone looking for more inspiration for their music marketing in 2020 would do well […]

Sandbox Issue 242: The Year’s Best Music Marketing Campaigns. 2019

It is that time again when we highlight the best music marketing campaigns of the year. We genuinely were flooded with entries this year and therefore had to increase the number that made the final cut to 50 simply because there were so many incredible campaigns to choose from. We list everything in alphabetical order (by […]

Harry Styles had 2019’s most cryptic music-marketing campaign

The treasure hunt, scattering of Easter eggs and a good dash of the cryptic is a failsafe in music marketing. It is all a nice way to get the fanbase excited about a new album, an opportunity to test out a new platform and hopefully get some virality and/or wider media coverage in the process. […]

Twin Atlantic use new Google Earth features for campaign

In mid-November, Music Ally wrote about a new feature on Google Earth where people could create their own stories by attaching text, images and videos to locations on the planet. “We think there is some interesting scope here for artists to tell stories using the new features: who’ll be the first to give it a try?” we […]

Sandbox Issue 241: Music Merchandising Moves On

A T-shirt or a flimsy tour programme was the bulk of merchandise in the “old days” – mass-produced items to shift quickly when an act was on tour. Fortunately, things have changed dramatically in recent years – with a clear drive to be as environmentally aware as possible. Print-on-demand technology is also allowing acts to […]

There’s storytelling potential in Google Earth’s new feature

Some of the most creative music-marketing campaigns we’ve reported on over the last decade or so have involved maps and location. So an announcement of a new feature in the Google Earth service piqued our attention this morning. “With new creation tools now in Google Earth, you can turn our digital globe into your own […]

Motive Unknown boss expands on concerns over Apple/Linkfire deal

Last week, we reported on Linkfire’s data-attribution deal with Apple Music, as well as the strings attached which included the stipulation that to get the data, people had to put Apple Music in top spot on their smart-link landing pages. When we wrote our story, criticism of these requirements had been led by Darren Hemmings, founder of […]

Sandbox Issue 239: Music and Advertising’s tense union

Lead: The old rules of advertising are long gone – as is a lot of the inherent guesswork around advertising’s effectiveness. In its place has come greater tracking of ad spend and ad impact, but the entire process itself has become much more convoluted. We speak to those working in this rapidly changing world to […]

Linkfire boss talks smarter attribution and the death of cookies

Lars Ettrup, CEO of smart-links firm Linkfire, delivered a talk at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit conference in London this week on “the joys of attribution”, and how music marketers can better track the journey music fans take from discovery through to consumption and purchase. “With all the channels and influencers who can drive streams, how […]

Privacy and music marketing: ‘Common sense should prevail’

The debate around digital privacy tends to focus on the biggest technology companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon. Yet as internet users become more aware of the privacy debates around those companies’ services and devices, they’ll also be thinking more about how their personal information is being used in other ways. Including music marketing: from […]

Music marketing on TikTok: ‘Give the audience the opportunity to be their own influencer’

As a platform, TikTok continues to generate strong opinions within the music industry regarding what kind of licensing deals it needs, and how much it could or should be paying rightsholders. But it’s also generating a lot of interest and activity from the marketing teams working with artists. It’s certainly not the first platform to […]

Domino wins Music Ally’s Campaign of the Year award for Hot Chip

Domino’s campaign for A Bath Full Of Ecstasy – the seventh studio album from Hot Chip – was named Campaign Of The Year at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit in London yesterday (30th October). It was one of five shortlisted campaigns that were put to an audience vote and it emerged as the clear winner. It […]

Jamie Oborne talks The 1975: ‘We still believe in albums!’

Jamie Oborne is the owner and CEO of Dirty Hit Records and All on Red Management, working with The 1975, Wolf Alice and Benjamin Francis Leftwich among other artists. He was also the opening speaker at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit conference in London this morning, interviewed by our very own Eamonn Forde. “Marketing is about […]

Spotify tests sponsorship of full-screen album recommendations

For some time now, Spotify has been showing its mobile listeners full-screen recommendations of new albums from the artists that they like – ‘Brand new music for you!’ pop-ups with a ‘Go to Album’ button to tap. Thus far, this has been a purely-editorial feature, but today Spotify is launching a test in the US to […]

Coldplay tease fans with digital Easter eggs for new album

There’s a new Coldplay double-album on the way next month, and it sounds like the band and their team are having fun with the announcement process. So far, the teaser campaign has included a typewritten letter sent to fans (“For the last 100 years or thereabouts, we have been working on a thing called Everyday […]

Pandora hails strong growth for its Artist Marketing Platform

It’s five years since Pandora launched its Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) tools for artists to market to listeners on the streaming service. The company is celebrating the anniversary with some new stats. “In the last 12 months alone, we’ve seen a 688% increase of monthly active creators on AMP,” announced Pandora in a blog post. There’s […]

Introducing The Music Ally Learning Hub

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our brand new Learning Hub for the global music industry! What is this special place? The Music Ally Learning Hub is a new dedicated e-learning platform for the modern music business. Our team has been hard at work behind the scenes to build a resource that will become the new […]

Bring Me The Horizon create “Spotify-powered T-shirts”

Sony Music/RCA Records UK act Bring Me The Horizon are using their fans’ Spotify listening data to shape the T-shirt design that they can then buy – all as part of the promotion for their amo album from January. By going to a dedicated web page, they log in with their Spotify details and then […]

Spotify makes Canvas less blank

The Canvas feature on Spotify (where a short video loops on the mobile app instead of just having the single or album artwork) is opening up to more users via the Spotify for Artists tool. Music Ally first spotted the feature at the start of last year – back when it didn’t even have an official […]

Foals microsite tasks fans with saving content ‘before it’s lost’

2019 is a busy year for British band Foals: they’re releasing two albums: ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1’ came out in March, with ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2’ set to follow later this month. The new album has its own microsite now, with an interesting twist: new content will […]

Entries now open for Sandbox’s Campaigns of the Year 2019

It’s that time again: Music Ally is starting work on our end-of-year ‘Sandbox Campaigns of the Year’ report, showcasing the best digital music-marketing campaigns of 2019. We’re inviting labels, management companies, marketing agencies and artists to submit details of the campaigns they’ve been most proud of this year, on a creative and/or commercial level. Here’s […]

Sandbox Summit 2019 London, 30 October #ModernMusicMarketing

Music Ally is delighted to be hosting its flagship music marketing conference Sandbox Summit at the London Art House on Wednesday 30th October. A day packed with thought-leading discussions and presentations at the cutting edge of music marketing, the event has become an essential fixture on the music marketer’s calendar. Thank you as ever to our headline sponsors Linkfire and The Orchard for helping […]

Sandbox Issue 236: Power Plays. THE NEXT STEP FOR PLAYLISTS

Lead: Playlists are still enormously important for breaking acts and for building careers – but they are increasingly a moving target that gets harder and harder to hit. As they change what they are, how they work and what they do, those marketing through playlists could find themselves shunted back to square one. This is […]

Sandbox Issue 235: Talking TikTok Triumphs

Lead: TikTok is  an essential consideration for artist marketing in 2019, particularly for pop acts. But for all the strategies and careful coordination, the best things on the app are often those that blindside everyone. We spotlight the best recent uses of music (and surprise catalogue reappearances) on TikTok in recent months and also look […]

M2V: music video finds its new future

Debate surrounds what the first music video actually was, but by the 1970s these “pop promos” had become the playthings of the biggest acts in the world while by the 1980s, after the arrival of MTV, they were the biggest weapons in the promotional arms race for everyone. All the arrival of YouTube in 2005 […]

Stats revealed for the TikTok campaign for UMG’s ‘Money Dance’

There’s a healthy debate about the extent to which labels can make a track ‘go viral’ on TikTok, versus simply piling in to capitalise on the effect when this happens organically. Agency The Influencer Marketing Factory has published an interesting case study that falls in to the former category, however. It was hired by Universal […]

Sandbox issue 232: Music Marketing in Trigger Cities

Lead: This issue we have a special extended feature looking into the phenomenon of Trigger Cities. These are places outside of the obvious music markets that are now – due to streaming and how algorithms are fed – playing a key role in helping break artists and genres. This represents a whole new dynamic for […]

Digital Marketing Manager – Lex Records – London

  About Lex: Lex is a record label, music publisher, and film production company based in London. The label was founded in 2001 and has released music by artists including Danger Mouse, Eyedress, GILA, Boom Bip, Neon Neon, Prefuse 73, Kate Tempest, Haleek Maul, MF DOOM, MIKE, BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah.   Key Responsibilities:  Plan […]

Sandbox issue 231: Conversions. Tracking Cause and Effect in fan marketing

Lead: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” is a quote commonly attributed to Philadelphian retailer John Wanamaker in the 1800s and it has haunted the advertising and marketing worlds ever since. Spending money and hoping for a consumer reaction previously involved stacking up a […]

Social media newsfeeds are dying. What’s the future of sharing? (guest column)

This guest column comes from Tim Heineke, founder and CEO of I AM POP. Social media, the poster child of the internet revolution, is losing its influence to such an extent that even Mark Zuckerberg has accepted the decline of the newsfeed. Is this, as Zuckerberg suggests, simply an issue of users becoming wary of […]

Bastille get an online ‘Doom Days House’ for fans to explore

“Escape the harsh realities of the world,” suggests a new website launched for British band Bastille. With 2019 being what it is, that’s a good pitch: time for some light-hearted, sweet content that… Oh wait. “Step into the Doom Days house.” Perhaps not so light-hearted then. But it’s a fun marketing campaign for the band’s […]

Music streaming in 2019: radio rivalry, Spotify sustainability and ‘west versus east’

Streaming was the big driver behind the recorded-music industry’s 9.7% growth in 2018, according to the IFPI. In fact, streaming revenues grew by 34% to $8.9bn, accounting for 47% of the global total. At the end of 2018, there were 255 million users of paid streaming subscriptions, up from 176 million at the end of 2017. […]

Flighthouse CEO Jacob Pace talks TikTok, music and virality

Bad news, record labels hoping to create the next ‘Old Town Road’ sized hit by making a song ‘go viral’ on social app TikTok. It’s easier said than done. “To really make stuff go on TikTok requires a lot of understanding. We tell labels all the time: you can’t just take a song and throw […]

Vizu.al pitches merits of embedding videos in email marketing

US firm Vizu.al has built a client list of more than 300 artists, labels, festivals and agencies with its technology that’s capable of embedding video within emails sent out to mailing lists. Founder Matt Highsmith spoke at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit conference in New York today, showing examples of campaigns that the company has powered […]

Podcasts and music: the opportunities… and the annoyances

Around 62 million Americans are listening to podcasts on a weekly basis, according to the latest edition of Edison Research and Triton Digital’s ‘The Infinite Dial’ report, which was published in March 2019. Another research firm, Ovum, predicts that there will be more than one billion podcast listeners globally by 2020. No wonder music-streaming services […]

Sony Music’s Jose Abreu talks superfans, artists and content

An artist’s keenest fans are their lifeblood in the modern music industry: the people who won’t just stream music casually, but will listen over and over again; share it with friends and the wider world via social networks; buy music, tickets and merchandise; and support the artists they love with a passion. At Music Ally’s […]

How can labels and musicians avoid the ‘dry streams paradox’ in 2019?

Music Ally wrote about the ‘dry streams paradox’ earlier this year in our Sandbox music-marketing report: it refers to the situation where millions of streams for a song driven by a popular playlist on Spotify or Apple Music doesn’t translate into engaged fans for the artist who recorded it. The topic was the subject for […]

Facebook warns that its new privacy tool ‘may impact targeting’

From unintended consequences of its core features to deliberate abuses of the way it made users’ data available to developers, Facebook is firefighting on several fronts in 2019. It should come as no surprise that its attempts to pivot to what CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls a “privacy-focused social platform” are going to have an effect […]

Music marketing in 2019: content, playlists… and Twitter skeletons

Musicians who are breaking through should be aware of any skeletons lurking in the cupboard of their past social-media posts, according to Andy Varley from music company Insanity Group. “In a generation where more and more artists are growing up through social media, you might have used Twitter as a conversational playground discussion platform as […]

Senior Digital Marketing Manager – Warner Bros. Records – London

With its broad and diverse roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Asylum, Atlantic, East West, Elektra, FFRR, Fueled by Ramen, Nonesuch, Parlophone, Rhino, Roadrunner, Sire, Warner Bros., Warner Classics and Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world’s […]

Sandbox Issue 227: TIK-ING BOXES. How TikTok can change music marketing.

Lead: TikTok is far more than a novelty app for people to whip up memes that have a shorter shelf life than a carton of milk. It is now breaking acts and songs in a way that other platforms cannot. We look at what the music industry is doing to capitalise on its phenomenal growth […]

The Dry Streams Paradox

Are you frustrated with the size of your fanbase? Tired of banging your head against a brick wall with ticket and merchandise sales? Unable to reconcile your streaming figures with the number of genuine fans? Then you might be suffering from The Dry Streams Paradox. What’s that? It’s the challenge that a growing number of […]

Reminder: the perils of marketing singles to free streamers

If you’re directing fans to stream a new track by an artist, what happens if they’re tapping on that link on their smartphone, but are on the free tier of a service like Spotify? That’s one of the questions raised in our latest Sandbox music-marketing report – and answered by Cindy James, VP of streaming […]

Sandbox Issue 226: What people just don’t “get” about digital marketing

Lead: what digital marketing trends are most underrated or simply misunderstood in 2019? That’s the question we put to the music marketing community and got them to hold forth on the subject. This resulted in a lot of ideas and a lot of new paths for marketing this year and beyond. Campaigns: TikTok goes all […]

Former Sony Music exec talks streaming: ‘Focus on the whales’

Thomas Hesse used to be the digital-business boss at Sony Music, but nowadays is an angel investor and startup founder (of still-stealthy Jamm Music) in his own right. He’s also written a column for Billboard that may hint at what the latter company is planning. His focus is on the music-streaming world’s equivalent of “whales” in casinos: […]

Esperanza Spalding drove fans from Facebook / Instagram to Spotify

Facebook has published a case study of how artist Esperanza Spalding used the social network (and Instagram) to drum up excitement around her latest album ’12 Little Spells’ – including driving Spotify streams of it. “The roll-out included premiering each music video on Facebook and IGTV, talking to fans through comments and Facebook Live and converting the […]

Sandbox Issue 225: Retargeting in an Age of Privacy

Lead: Tighter regulations around retargeting have made the job of digital marketing much trickier to navigate. What this has meant is that marketers have to get smarter. We speak to those working around these rules about why – if they put the work in – this can be more blessing than curse. Campaigns: Billie Eilish […]

Lang Lang deploys digital tactics for ‘Piano Book’ album

Pianist Lang Lang likes to have fun with technology: we remember him playing ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ on-stage using an iPad and the Magic Piano app back in 2010, for example. On Friday, he released his latest album ‘Piano Book’ through UMG subsidiary Deutsche Grammophon, and there’s some inventive digital shizzle going on around it. […]

The Battle of Billie Eilish: Spotify, Apple and YouTube scrap it out

Original content is a big strategic focus for the major streaming services in 2019, as is ‘claiming’ as many rapidly-emerging artists as possible, in terms of creating said original-content for and with them. Billie Eilish, whose debut album ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ is out today, looks set to become one […]

Jax Jones and Martin Solveig spoof Fyre Festival with pre-save

“It’s just green mate”. “What is this???” Fans were initially confused about an Instagram post from artist Jax Jones late last week: it was just a green square. Which brought back memories of Tidal’s launch teasers for us, although the more-recent parallel is the infamous ‘orange square’ influencer campaign for the ill-fated Fyre Festival. This is entirely […]

Dealing with the ‘dry streams’ paradox in the playlists era

Have you heard about ‘dry streams’ yet? They’re streams that come without a great deal of interest in the artist themselves: for example, on mood or activity-driven playlists on streaming services where listeners aren’t necessarily noticing who made the tracks. We’ve been exploring the phenomenon in our latest Sandbox digital-marketing report. “Being featured in large […]

Chatty Penguin’s Cally Hocknell talks marketing, stories and Insta-famous eggs

“What’s the point of marketers like me, why would you commission research, when an egg knocks Kylie Jenner off the top spot on Instagram?!” There were jokes and sharp insight in equal measures in music marketer and Chatty Penguin founder Cally Hocknell’s presentation at the FastForward conference in Amsterdam on Friday. She was referring to the […]

Brit Awards reveal plans for digital activations next week

Next Wednesday is the Brit Awards, the flagship annual awards show for the British music industry. It’s fair to say the organisers are leaving no stops un-pulled out when it comes to the digital activity around the event. There’ll be a live stream on YouTube of the show to viewers outside the UK, fronted by […]

Sandbox Issue 221: Fake Views. Lies, damned lies and music statistics

Lead: Smoke and mirrors have always been part of music, but when it comes to data, truth is starting to play second fiddle to hype. The nefarious and ruthless are finding ways to “massage” social media and streaming numbers while offering the desperate and gullible a quick fix. But the platforms are getting wise to […]

Manager, Digital Marketing – BMG – London

About us We are a growing international music company that offers a friendly and collaborative working environment with great benefits and a leadership team who values every employee. Our mission is to be a better kind of music business. That’s why we offer the best creative support, provide the best access to platforms and work […]

Sandbox Issue 220: Vault-ing Ambitions

Lead: While Netflix viewers are currently obsessing over Marie Kondo and her rules on de-cluttering the home (instructing viewers to only hold onto the things that “spark joy”), a different approach needs to happen in digital marketing. Rather than binning everything but the essentials, archivists and markets should be retaining as much as they can […]

The Cinematic Orchestra launch website designed for offline use

Ninja Tune artist The Cinematic Orchestra have relaunched their website with a fun twist: it wants fans to use it offline. “To Believe… disable your internet connection now,” it explains, when they land on its homepage. If they do, the screen fades to black and then provides details about ‘A Caged Bird / Imitations of […]

Aller à la barre d’outils