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Report: What Engages Social Media Users Most? Music
"More than half of Instagram and Twitter users follow a musical artist or band, and 44 percent of Facebook users liked one." — Conversations In Advocacy #30
On Aug. 6, Russ Crupnick blogged the results of an April 2018 MusicWatch survey demonstrating that music artists and bands top the social media charts in terms of following and user engagement. TV and movie stars follow in second place, but music reigns supreme.
Today's internet marketplace of ideas is more crowded and vital than ever. Platforms are more dominant and new types of interactivity compete to replace yesterday's winners constantly. Among monthly and frequent users of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, more than a third pay for a subscription music service and more than a third are in the youth demographic between ages 13 and 24.
Reporting on how these survey results impact the music industry, The Tennessean wrote, "Social media is no longer a side dish in an artist's career. It is the lifeblood of the entire music industry."
Summarizing their interview with Crupnick, they observed, "The relationship isn't simply static. Fans don't passively follow artists." While hip-hop is the most-followed genre, managers and agents must help all of their clients navigate this "new battleground" to reach their fan community.
The explosion of social media is one example of how the digital media landscape has changed music. The continued growth from services like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube are another. Now more than ever the laws governing the music industry need to be updated to reflect this shift to digital consumption, and artists are using their social media platforms to raise awareness and galvanize momentum for change. The Music Modernization Act is the only solution to meet the digital realities of today, and to position creators for success as social sharing, interactivity and connectivity shape the future marketplace.
"You can't make one thing and put it on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram and expect the same level of engagement," said United Talent Agency agent Nick Barnes. "Viewers are looking for something different from each one." Fans and followers are especially interested in objective news about their favorite artists, for example, tours, release dates and meaningful announcements such as teasers for upcoming tracks or projects."
Crupnick adds that, "Together, social media and the music industry create a unique harmony." He believes artists' "sustained cultural influence" and "credibility" opens new paths platform advertisers should be more aware of. As new varieties of interactivity keep evolving around music, finding fresh ways to share music is a trend worth even greater attention.
You never know what great artists will come up with next. Being better able to continue and concentrate on their artistic development increases the odds that internet engagement will take on new dimensions and rise to a level beyond today's imagination. It's happened before, and with music as our top social media engagement driver, it seems to be our culture's top contender to make it happen again.
"Conversations in Advocacy" is your weekend digital tip sheet on music advocacy and the policies that affect music makers and their craft. New installments post every Friday.