Having closely followed the monumental shifts in the music, media and marketing industries over the last few years, there's no doubt that 2018 will mark the most rapid acceleration yet in the convergence of these spaces.
What to Expect in 2018
Music will become a central marketing strategy for more brands
According to Nielsen, Americans listen to 32.1 hours of music each week, which means listening to music is second only to sleep. But the reason 2018 will see a shift to more brands adopting a music-centric marketing strategy is because that’s what the fans want. Nearly half of all music fans told Nielsen they’d take a favorable view to brands that offered access to music or provided free goods and services at music events.
Multicultural + music = moving the needle
Despite the fact that multicultural audiences are on their way to becoming the majority,especially among millennials, the people in these audiences remain underserved by marketing as a whole. Focusing on those audiences represents the greatest opportunity for marketers to move the needle. But the brands that will resonate most with multicultural audiences in 2018 will be the ones that use music as their entry point, because music indexes at a higher rate specifically with multicultural audiences.
Artists of all audience sizes, not just the household names, will work with brands
As brands invest in data-driven music strategies, they’ll be following ROI, not the pop charts. That’s a good thing, because according to one study, so-called “micro-influencers” have a big impact on our purchasing behavior. In the coming year, more marketers will see their artist partnerships as both an exchange of value as well as an opportunity to become the source for discoverability for fans. In that scenario, any artist, regardless of audience size, can be a marketing powerhouse.
Demand for live events will continue to grow, but brands will increasingly look for demonstrable ROI
There’s no doubt that live music continues to grow in popularity. At the same time, marketers are increasingly focused on ROI. As these two trends intersect, marketers will evaluate their investments in festivals and concerts by looking for opportunities where the value exchange between brand and artist can be maximized.
Mobile video and live streaming will also be huge
By one estimate, live mobile video traffic is expected to grow 39-fold over the next five years. Simply put, we’re addicted to our phones and we love video. Accordingly, Facebook,YouTube, Instagram, and now Twitter have made significant investments in their live video offerings. Brands and music artists are already taking advantage of this technology, but with live streaming becoming increasingly mainstream, CMOs in 2018 will look for opportunitiesto put live video of their artist partners at the center of their marketing strategy. There might just be a brand that will broadcast its own Super Bowl halftime show live on Facebook.
Fans will find their voice in 2018
Streaming services are driving growth in the music industry, because price and accessibility make them popular with fans at the same time that musicians increasingly see platform playlists as avenues for breaking hits. At the same time, people are increasingly accessing platforms through voice-powered searches; next to setting a timer, Alexa’s second most popular function is to play music. Already, the intersection of platforms with AI assistants has given audiences a greater voice to rename songs based on their lyrics and request music pairings to match nearly 500 activity phrases. In 2018, those conversations will become commonplace as more people use their voices in new ways, creating a greater opportunity for marketers to listen for which beats audiences are marching to.