Digital Trends to Expect in 2014 – ya know, focusing on the music industry

 The launch hardware product innovations that have monumental impact on digital seems to have slowed down since 2011/12.  In 2013 we saw more innovations playing around platforms rising to the top – think SnapChat or Next Big Sound.  Here we’re having a think about what we’re expecting to his us in 2014, from a Charmfactory point of view – what we’ll be pinning our eyes on in terms of digital trends that affect our work.  Check it out.

1)    Privacy – …is becoming increasingly important to the user, your fan (contrary to previous thinking that privacy will be blown open). What you’re allowed to know about someone’s phone in order to make the best campaign you can, is likely to become increasingly more difficult.  But it’s a tough issue, with no quick or easy fixes on the horizon.

2)    Google – have been beavering away with their music platform whilst under pressure from government to crack down on illegal download sites appearing in their search results.  They’ve already made changes to their music-term search results, with Google-owned music lists linking back to Google Play.  This also means musicians are going to have to start taking all other Google products more seriously as part of their marketing strategies.

3)    Tools That Help Organise – there’s sh*t-ton of information floating about online. Tools that are going be more helpful/successful are going to be the ones who help fans and musicians organise this information – so it can be actually useful.  This has already started with platforms like Next Big Sound and Bands In Town already proving their worth.

4)    Brands And Artists – it’s already been shown how music affects consumer behavior and in 2013 brands invested £104.8m into the UK music industry  – an increase of 6% on 2011.  We see no reason for this to stop, and have first hand seen the impact artists bring to brands, and vice versa (see our work with Jack Daniels).  The stigma of ‘selling out’ by working with a brand is old news.  Brands know better than dictating to musicians what they want, and bands are more comfortable asserting themselves whilst being commercially aware.  The final piece that we continue to push, is that all involved push for integrated but authentic collaborations between brands and artists… and the media.  There’s nothing worse than an obvious advertorial, ass-kissing, void of personality piece of journalism, for the sake of commercial interests. It’s also quite counterproductive.

5)    Engagement. SEO is continuously being rooted more and more in social activities – you’re relevant to Google when you are relevant to actual people online – makes sense.  Engaging and growing your online fanbase on profiles isn’t as easy as it looks however.  Artists are going to have to learn quickly the basics to improving their reach online whilst labels and management need to school up on how to effectively place sales messages. i.e. subtly – otherwise you start to cannabalise your reach to fans – capiche? Mainly because it’s so darn boring.

6)    Mobile – this was quite easily on a 2013 list, but the year of the mobile payment is finally upon us.  In addition to this, we expect to see more mobile led campaign initiatives – something we do a lot as part of our social campaigns and will continue to experiment with.

7)    Relationships – are everything – with press but mostly, with your fans. Positioning, combined with getting them tied into your socials through integrated marketing bobbins will be most effective.

8) Fewer Artist Apps – It’s been fashionable for artists to have all manner of apps under the sun, but there’s been a tendency for them to be designed for the short term (something we always advise against).  Whisperings along the chains of command suggest that this will become a thing of the past – the focus now it on how long these apps will remain relevant, and what they will continually add to the campaigns in order to get them commissioned. Which makes sense.




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