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 […]

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