Today’s marketers are astutely aware of the evolution of digital music consumption and the vast majority now regularly consume digital music on a multitude of devices. This is presenting brands with endless opportunities to use the power of digital music to provide a deeper connection to consumers, suggests Con Raso, managing director at white music label service, Tuned Global
As the custodians of content as we know it and the instigators of the “on demand generation”, today’s consumers are partly responsible for making digital music, and streaming in-particular, a key part of the customer engagement ecosystem. Music streaming now has a big part to play, mainly because of its ability to give consumers instant gratification.
1. Music creates emotional connectivity with the brand through positive association
Music acts as a personal identifier for each individual and can create a “halo effect” for a brand that associates with it, because it creates an emotional connection with consumers through the power of music they love. It has a unique affect on the brain, which produces happy memories that evoke strong emotions and it’s the reason you turn up the volume when you hear a song from your past.
For this reason, music can be a potent marketing tool, because consumers come to associate that good feeling with the brand that engaged them through the music they’ve streamed. It enables brands to build a long term relationship with consumers based on a shared passion for music that consumers will favour them for.
Some well-known brands, including MasterCard, H&M, Burberry and RedBull have all utilised the positive association with music as a way to emotionally connect with their customers and to build a relationship with them.
2. Consumers favour brands that engage their emotions through music
A lot of brands are struggling to cope with the deeper relationship consumers now crave with their products. Music is a universal language that your audience speaks fluently and with it brands can create that deeper connection back to the consumer.
Nielsen’s Music 360 Report said that music streamers feel more favourable towards a brand that engages them through music and 61 per cent will recommend those brands. While Spotify’s Music Streaming Brand Impact Study, found that music streamers are twice as likely to be stronger brand advocates and emotionally connected to the brand.
Having your brand’s own music streaming experience can help you create a relationship with your audience and a real community feeling, a comfortable environment where you can really promote your brand.
3. Consumers don’t want to pay for music
There’s no doubt that people love music and according to Edison Research’s recent ‘Share of Ear’ Report, people in the US spend an average of four hours per day listening to it, but many don’t want to pay for it because people feel they are being ripped off.
While most consumers say they are not keen on ad supported music content, they would rather watch an ad than have to pay for it. However the number of streamers is expected to grow by 192 per cent by 2019, there are currently 37 million paid subscribers versus 210 million of ad supported users according to MIDiA Research’s report.
This creates an enormous opportunity for brands to engage and reward their high value customers by offering a music streaming experience that offers them the music they want, when they want it, for free.
4. What is the real opportunity for brands with music streaming?
By offering their own streaming music solution, brands could create a loyal community and build a relationship with its consumers based on shared values. The consumer gets what they want from the brand they love and the brand stays engaged with them.
It is not question of competing with Spotify, Apple or Pandora, but I recommend that you take advantage of the trend they created to use music as a way to interact with your customers. What I am suggesting is a new engagement platform, fully integrated into your digital ecosystem and connected to your Customer Relationship Management system to create a long term, valuable and rewarding relationship with your customer, by offering them high value content.
Mass market music streaming solutions are powerful for short-term awareness campaigns because they offer a large audience. However you have to accept that you will be co-branded and you could be displayed near competing brands. Thus, Hyundai, Mini, Honda and VW have all run campaigns with Spotify recently. Moreover, the users are Spotify’s and therefore they own the data, so you lose the connection back to your customer and the opportunity to build a relationship with them.
You can use digital music as a loyalty tool for retention as well as for customer acquisition, the possibilities are endless. A retailer can reward its high value customers with a week of free music on its branded radio app any time they purchase specific products. A service provider could offer a year’s worth of access to its own music streaming solution when a new customer opens an account or renews their subscription. You get the opportunity to collect valuable data about your ultimate user, their preferences and interests so you can personalise your offering to them. The end result is a new powerful platform to promote your brand and your product that has a direct impact on your sales.
Digital music should absolutely be a key component in consumer brands’ customer engagement ecosystems. Marketers who do not recognise that music has a major part to play in their content marketing strategies are, in my opinion missing the opportunity to make a quantifiable and effective impact on their business.