The Changing Landscape of Social Media’s Role in Music and Live Events

Social Media Week

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In recent years, millenials have flipped the traditional music model and reshaped the music-sharing journey, sparking a significant impact on brands operating in the space.

“Less than 10% of millenials could recall exclusive content provided to them by a brand in the music space,” shared Ryan Smith, Director of Strategy at Momentum Worldwide.

As a result of this and other findings from a recent industry study, Scott Carlis and the Digital and Social Media team at AEG Global Partnerships put together a set of guidelines they call the “Five for Live.”

First and foremost, “Live rules,” Carlis said. In the music space, live events have become the primary way to drive consumers to brands. Furthermore, millenials at these events are focused on creating personal memories to share with social networks on their mobile phones—a set of facts that has serious implications for the industry.

According to Camille Hackney, EVP of Brand Partnerships & Commercial Licensing for Atlantic Records, most artists’ conversations start on social, whether it’s announcing a new tour on Twitter or sharing editorial content on Instagram. For developing artists, Atlantic will leverage a magazine partner with more expansive social reach than the artist himself.

The mobile opportunity is huge, especially when it comes to the chance for brands to bring users an enhanced experience that millenials value—say, for example, an exclusive opportunity to meet Taylor Swift backstage.

AEG partnered with mobile phone retailer Samsung to create exclusive benefits for Samsung phone-users at live events across the country, including major festivals like Coachella.

“The goal for all of our partnerships is making that already awesome experience that much more awesome,” Carlis explained.

Live events across the board present a great opportunity for a brand to associate themselves with the movement. StubHub, for example, created an exclusive experience for all users who bought Super Bowl tickets on the site and needed to collect them before the game, adding an extra layer to the brand.

“[StubHub] has an opportunity to naturally be a part of that memory,” said Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Betka.

At the end of the day, brands should think carefully about how best to leverage a live artist or event and the message he or she can effectively send.

“Authenticity is incredibly important,” Carlis noted. “Just pushing a post… it’s going to fall on deaf ears.”

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Kate Canfield

MBA Student, Columbia Business School


Kate is an MBA student at Columbia Business School focused on technology, entrepreneurship and international business. Before grad school, she directed business development for a New York City startup and managed a team of consultants on revenue-driving strategies for new ventures. She has supervised product-development across multiple projects as a nonfiction editor at St. Martin’s Press and has reported on events and conferences on a range of topics in NYC since 2011. She holds a B.A. cum Laude in economics from Amherst College.

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