Tag Archive: music industry

  1. Direct to Consumer Marketing & Data and Insights

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    On April 11th 2017 BPI held their Direct to Consumer Marketing and Data and Insights training session in London. This session was hosted by Music Ally, a company that cite themselves as a ‘knowledge company’, they advise new music businesses, bands and labels etc. We went along to gain some more knowledge of the direct to consumer marketing business models available.

    Direct to Consumer Marketing & Data and Insights

    The first section of the training session was Direct to Consumer Marketing and was a session in which to learn about the shifting business model in the music industry, learn about fanbases, how to create high value content and strategies in email, mobile and other direct marketing platforms.

    The first thing we were introduced to was the ‘Six Steps of Direct to Consumer Marketing’ which were: 

    • To create value proposition for existing fans (exclusives, meet and greets, albums etc.)
    • To onboard existing fans
    • To convert existing fans
    • To show unconverted fans value
    • To show potential fans value
    • Rinse and repeat!

    We were then introduced to the four things that (very simply) fans want:

    • Easy Access
    • Acknowledgement (Building Relationships)
    • Personalization
    • Premium Content (Exclusives)

    We then began to talk about specific examples of direct to consumer marketing being used in alignment with new technology.


    Superphone is an app available worldwide on IOS created by Ryan Leslie that claims to “turn social media followers into real people” by allowing fans to have a direct connection with artists, celebrities etc. through SMS. The app initially targets highly involved fans with the aim then being to create hype and jealousy from unconverted fans. Twilio, a programmable messaging service, was cited as a competitor, however this isn’t marketed as a ‘fan service’ product in the same way that Superphone is.

    Links can be shared through the messages such as links to merchandise sites, downloadable or purchasable content including music and all these links are tracked by Google. Relationships between the artist and fans are rated based upon the frequency of messages and the click through rate of the links shared. This gives the artists an idea of which fans are most involved and worth investing time into.


    Superbot is an additional tool for Superphone which allows you to create automated responses. For example, if a fan messages an artist asking about merchandise the word ‘merchandise’ or ‘merch’ can be set to trigger an automatic response with a link to the merchandise store. These links will take the customer to Shopify, an ‘ecommerce platform’ that can be tailored for each user.

    The Bot Platform

    The Bot Platform is a Facebook Messenger tool that creates a ‘personalised bot’ to answer customer service to fans of specific artists. Users are able to set automated messages and responses but can also choose to answer personally. The settings allow users to opt in and out of notifications which makes it easier to have personal conversations. The tool also allows users to set reminders, polls and sell merchandise. Like Superphone the messages are tracked. The tool is controlled by the fans as they have to open the message in order for the user to contact them again.

    The second half of the training session focused on Data and Insights from sales and streaming to social media insights to help us understand what types of data each service collects on your fanbase and how you can best interpret its meaning. The session included tips about the best practices for cross-platform data management, and how metadata advancements, transparency and data protection have been changing the industry.

    Firstly, we looked at what data, in theory, can tell us:

    • Who fans are
    • Where the fans are (online and offline)
    • What else these fans like

    Then we thought about what each platform allows us to know:

    • Radio – Amount of plays, territories (roughly).
    • Live Gigs – Mailing list, tickets sold (roughly), merchandise sales.
    • Charts – Sales.
    • Third Party Tracking (Neilsen Soundscan, Next Big Sound, Entertainment Intelligence, Relevator, Soundcharts) – Sales, airplay, fan demographics etc.
    • Social Media – Fan demographics, feedback/reception.

    In summary, the takeaway from the session was to: 

    • Identify your goals
    • Identify what data you have at your availability
    • Build a data strategy that accounts for the whole ‘’fan journey’ – where they spend their time online and offline
    • Understand where you receive the most value from for growth
    • Increase efficiency in marketing, product development and distribution of resources
  2. Horus Music Wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise

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    Horus Music wins Queen's Award

    We are delighted to announce that Horus Music has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade.

    Established in 2006, Horus Music is a global music distribution and label services company. Having initially focused on management they now offer musicians a simple and affordable solution to distribute their music and videos. Horus Music now works with over 800 music download and streaming platforms in order to provide as many opportunities as possible for musicians to earn an income from their music, while retaining full control and ownership of their music at all times.

    The company works closely with their clients to empower them with the knowledge and opportunities they need to maximise the value of their music. Horus Music is dedicated to not only  working with one multi-national company but also has partnerships with smaller, more local platforms too. Beyond this, they have opened up more possibilities for their clients by allowing them to infiltrate into massive markets with untapped potential. Within the last three years, Horus Music’s overseas sales have grown by over 180% and staff numbers have tripled.

    On hearing the news, CEO Nick Dunn added: “We are absolutely overjoyed at being recognised by Her Majesty The Queen for outstanding growth in international trade. As a company that has been built without investment from outside sources, along with the hard work and dedication of our team, this award celebrates all that we have achieved. Over the course of our history, we have diligently built an extensive network that allows everybody to achieve and to reach audiences around the world that they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to access. This awards puts us among a small group of companies within the UK to be awarded Britain’s most coveted commercial prize.”

    Director of Horus Music, Nina Condron stated: “The multiculturalism of Leicester has inspired us to ensure that Horus Music doesn’t have solely a western focus, unlike other companies. Our independent spirit motivates us to  provide each of our clients with equal opportunities for distribution and marketing.”

    Having recently opened another office in India designed to improve access to localised platforms and to offer a more personalised service to local musicians, Horus Music is already looking to do the same in even more territories.

    Ian Harrison, Director of Exports in the Midlands for the Department of International Trade said, “We are thrilled to hear that Horus Music has received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category. This is richly deserved for a company that was incorporated as recently as 2006 but has grown sales both domestically and overseas year on year since then. With a commitment to put the musicians it serves at the heart of its strategy, we wish Horus Music every success in the coming years and will be delighted to continue our close working relationship with the company.”

    Emmy Buckingham, International + Membership Manager for AIM said, “AIM is committed to helping our members’ export activities and Horus Music are a brilliant example of a UK music company maximising their international opportunities to the full extent. Congratulations on receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.”

    Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said “We’re delighted that our member Horus Music has been honoured with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade. We congratulate Nick Dunn and his team on their singular achievement and on this deserved acknowledgment of their success, recognising that small and independent music companies like Horus Music play their full part in underpinning the appeal of British music around the world, and in driving the UK’s global music exports.”

    Horus Music Ltd. wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth.

  3. Is DIY the Way To Go?

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    Many artists are turning to labels in the hope they’ll become the superstars they dream of. But sometimes going for a label isn’t the best option. That’s what singer-songwriter Milow thought before he jumpstarted his career. He made the very wise decision to go DIY on everything. This is not only smart, this is also very positive for your career.

    Is DIY the Way To Go?

    Milow is pretty small compared to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. They started off DIY with the knowledge of how powerful the internet can be.

    The Good

    Distribution: You can use an online distributor to distribute your music to the digital and physical stores. This means that you maintain your rights as a musician and get a lot more income than in a label deal with royalties.

    Direct to Fan: You can also build a very close relationship with your fans. Just like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis believed that the power of the internet would be strong enough to build a fanbase. They connected to the fans through YouTube and Tumblr, which was their ‘label’ they used to do their marketing.

    Crowdfunding: This is connected to the last point above. If you’re willing to give your fans an exclusive view of what you’re doing, you can invite them to your crowdfunding website. Just don’t forget that crowdfunding (like Kickstarter, GoFundMe…) isn’t a charity. It’s a pre-sale of the actual work you’re going to deliver.

    Marketing: This can be a good and a bad thing. You have everything in hand if you do it DIY. In other words, you decide what you put out there and have full control of what you want to do. But this also means you have to invest into your own brand. Bear in mind that labels will see this as an ‘advance’ and would ask for the money back at one point.

    Making cover songs can help your career. Milow made a cover of ‘Ayo Technology’ by 50 Cent in 2008 on his acoustic guitar with a videoclip along with it. The Belgian artist got his international breakthrough and got in the top charts in like Finland, Italy, Germany and even Canada.

    Music Rights: With a label they’ll ask you to sign a contract where you have to part ways with your music (giving a piece of your music rights to them). They do this so they can distribute your music etc. You don’t have to do this when you go DIY.

    The Bad

    Funding (for recordings, videoclips…): If you are signed to a label, they will have a budget to promote you or to record your songs. You don’t have this when you go DIY. But then again, this is an opportunity to be very creative with your crowdfunding page.

    Marketing: DIY is a great way to go, but it doesn’t mean that marketing will be any easier. A label has the right connections to get your music to new potential fans. But, the thing about labels is that they won’t (most of the times) sign an artist that doesn’t already have an existing fanbase. If you look at the majors doing marketing campaigns, it doesn’t really feel human and feels more like a well oiled machine.

    Is DIY Right for Me?

    Labels are there to make it easier, but it’s really a choice you have to think about.

    Do you want to invest hours and hours into thinking of strategies to get your music to your old and new potential fans, and probably invest tons of your own money?

    Or do you want to get stuck in advances and probably get no royalties for the first years of your career?

    This doesn’t mean that all labels work the same way, but you have to be careful what you sign in regards of your music.