As recently as three years ago, only one in four of us used Facebook for following musical artists, and half as many used Twitter. Today, over half of Internet Users aged 13 and older are engaged in social music activities. They are following artists on Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Tumblr or on a streaming service, and many are actively sharing, subscribing and re-tweeting. It’s not only “kids”; nearly half of 36- to 50-year-olds are participating in some form of music related social media.
Early on, musicians saw the potential for MySpace to connect them with fans. Today, in addition to Facebook or Twitter, music fans are adding Vine, Instagram, and Tumblr to their music socializing, and sharing or recommending on Spotify or Apple Music.
Twitter…Kim or Kanye? New MusicWatch research says fans want to hear from music artists more than celebs or sports figures. Though celebrities get more headlines, we actually more highly value the experiences that music artists contribute to social media. Sharing music, sharing videos and following artists far outpace following of celebs and sports figures in terms of importance.
There’s more to this than seeing what your favorite artist is wearing. A lot of Spotify users, 42% to be exact, follow other users on Spotify. That’s engagement which helps build listening hours and music discovery. Social media presents a genuine opportunity to build fan engagement. Not only do fans want to hear about new music, they want concert information; they want to connect as live events occur. This not only creates a bond but can sell more tickets. Ed Sheeran recently said he makes 97% of his income from playing live. This linkage helps pay the freight.
And it cuts both ways. Bands and artists help make the social media landscape more interesting. Music supports the apps, and helps to build engagement and time spent on social platforms. Fans respect musician’s outreach on social media and want more. We’re seeing fans reward the efforts of artists in the forms of increased music discovery, more exploration on streaming services and a greater appetite for live experiences. Everyone wins.