Filed under: Digital Strategy
One of my most memorable job interviews happened when I once spoke to the biggest record company in the country. In 1995 I’d been Label Managing for a couple years and doing licensing and A&R across three continents by using email and the Internet. I was terribly excited about what this technology meant for the music industry.
I was asked where I saw myself in 5 years, and this is where I got myself into big trouble. I said that I would be in a job that doesn’t exist now. I said that I believed that we were in a time similar to candle makers after the invention of electricity. That what people want is light, not pieces of wax, and we needed to move with the times. I said that our ability to mobilise the fans and have them as part of our business was a huge opportunity. That with the gap between the fan and the artist narrowing we needed to redefine ourselves.
The national head of promotion did one of the best beetroot impersonations I’ve ever seen. He stood up so fast he knocked his chair clean over. Leaning as far as he could over the boardroom table he screamed at me: “Radio is king in this country and it always will be”. I assumed that the interview, and that my chance to work with the big guys, was over.
One of the other managers rang me before I got too slaughtered at the pub. He knew that tracking and activating fans, advocates, would significantly reduce his ad budget and get around short sighted Programming Directors who would not take a chance on a band without a track record. I started the next day.
This was all brought top of mind when I was reading Matt Dyke’s post Learning from the Music Industry:
Target a strong core of ambassadors
Use ambassadors to promote your music
Utilise social recommendation
Embrace (rather than ignore) file sharing
I agree that advertising can learn a lot from the music industry- from its failures as well as its successes. The fundamental reason for being for the Music Industry now has to be to help artists find their audience, to niche market on a global scale, to help artists bring their experience to their audience and to maximise the revenue to the artist.
Exchange brand with artist and you have a good launching pad for reinvention.
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