Shared Taste – The Changing Face Of Music Marketing
The New Tastemakers is a piece in today’s NYT, looking at the changes in music marketing, particularly as a result of Web 2.0 applications like Pandora. All told, music consumers are increasingly turning away from the traditional gatekeepers and looking instead to one another ‚Äî to fellow fans, even those they‚Äôve never met ‚Äî to […]
The New Tastemakers is a piece in today’s NYT, looking at the changes in music marketing, particularly as a result of Web 2.0 applications like Pandora.
All told, music consumers are increasingly turning away from the traditional gatekeepers and looking instead to one another ‚Äî to fellow fans, even those they‚Äôve never met ‚Äî to guide their choices. Before long, wireless Internet connections will let them chatter not only on desktops, but in cars and coffee shops, too. And radio conglomerates and MTV, used to being the most influential voices around, are beginning to wonder how to keep themselves heard.
This is a wonderfully disruptive trend for at least three reasons. First, it shows that it is getting harder (or more futile) for media marketers to control the conversations about their products. The smaller and more regulated the cache of gatekeeprs in the media, the easier it is for big labels to get their message across. The greater the plurality of voices, the harder regulating the thing becomes. Sites like Pandora may not give you the voice of a big name music critic, but they at least put your choice in the public mix.
Second, this highlights one of the big ideas of social networking, finding the nearly like-minded. One thing I love about del.icio.us is finding someone who shares my interests, but is also looking in different parts of the web. Same goes with music: find someone who maybe shares your taste in cool jazz, but has had far more exposure to early techo, twentieth century classical and scandinavian folk – brilliant!
Third, it confirms the first idea of The Cluetrain Manifesto – markets are conversations.
How can musicians respond? Well you could either panic, or see that your sucess is tied to making the conversation happen. Take a look at what Hugh McLeod has been talking saying recently about the co-creation of word of mouth advertising, especially for the upcoming film Hallam Foe,
Remember, Word Of Mouth is not created, Word of Mouth is co-created. People will only spread your virus if there’s something in it for them. They have to be complicit in your success.
Which means, of course, you have to be complicit in their success as well.
Part of what I find compelling about Derek Webb making his new album available for free download is that he clearly sees promoting the conversation around his work as more important than the potential lost sales because of downloading (though I suspect the decision will actually win him sales he might not otherwise have made. He’s got people like me, who have previously only had marginal interest in his music (and next to no interest in the segment of the music industry where his music is usually marketed) talking about his new album.
It’s the question to ask if you have a new album (or book, or whatever) before you approach a blogger to help you get your message across – what are you doing to help them be more successful?
[tags] Cluetrain [/tags]