Reports Music

Kill the campaign Music marketing needs branding, not direct response

Report by Mark Mulligan and Tatiana Cirisano
Cover image for Kill the campaign
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20,000 foot view:  The debate over a new streaming royalties regime is capturing attention, but economics will not fix the underlying paradigm shifts that are the true cause for streaming’s problems: there is not enough money to go around for the ballooning amount of music on streaming services, and passive consumption is the new norm. To win in this competitive environment, marketing teams must reframe music consumption itself. The way to do so is marketing artist brands, not songs, which may mean sacrificing immediate song success for long-term artist success.  

Key insights 

  • There is            interest in new royalty frameworks            address some of these issues,            economics are the symptom, not            cause – consumption needs to            reframed
  • TikTok is            top of the funnel, but            process is more like panning            gold, with streaming being the            dripping out, and fandom and            being the nuggets of gold            behind. Artists and labels are            the gold, but monetising the           
  • In today’s            entertainment environment, a song alone            rarely enough for building fandom            it requires knowing the artist            their story
  • Music marketers            two principal opportunities:            play the            economy;            nurture scenes
  • Scenes are            often built on identity, and            is what underpins fandom –            is the symptom, identity is            cause
  • It is            for music marketing to pivot,            off the direct-response song economy            with labels becoming artist branding           
  • Songs remain            but for marketers, songs should            the outcome of the artist            campaign, not the campaign itself
  • Go beyond            makes fans tick – understanding            drivers is the secret sauce            fandom building and products

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Audiomack, BTS, Cactus Jack, Fred Again, Fortnite, Instagram, Hofstede, HYBE, Raye, SoundCloud, Spotify, Tidal, TikTok, Travis Scott, Twitch, Wikipedia

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