Category Archives: social networks

Coke Likes Spotify

Pandora may have a lot more listeners, but Spotify certainly has a knack for making deals that can help propel their brand to greater awareness. Last fall they were featured in a big way as a partner in facebook’s streaming music integration. Now Spotify and Coca Cola have announced a “multifaceted strategic partnership that combines the global scale and reach of Coca-Cola with Spotify’s music technology platform to give consumers around the world unprecedented access to the music they love.”  

Coke and Spotify are on a joint mission to help music lovers discover and share music around the world. Coke will use the Spotify platform to enable its Coca Cola music platform which will feature various apps, including one designed for use at the upcoming London Olympics. Spotify will also be featured in Coke’s facebook presence, which has over 40 million fans.

Spotify also gets cash for the deal, although Spotify Founder and CEO Daniel Ek has recently said elsewhere that profitability is not a priority for the service right now. Take that to mean that they’re putting all their efforts in growing their audience and brand.

This deal with Coke should be meaningful in that regard..

Musicians Get The Power Of Twitter

The Top Ten most followed people using Twitter are mostly musicians. Six of the top ten Twitter users with the most followers are musicians, according to Twitalyzer. Not surprisingly, Lady Gaga leads the pack at number one with more than ten million followers. She’s got lots of clout, influence and impact, according to the social media ranking service, but little generosity, meaning she seldom or never retweets other people’s tweets.

Other musicians with lots of Twitter power are Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Shakira, with six million followers. Non-musician folks in the top ten are Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, Ellen DeGeneres and Ashton Kutcher.

Lady Gaga used Twitter yesterday to build excitement for the release on iTunes of her new song, tweeting about it and establishing a hashtag so listeners could talk about it.

Twitter is a powerful platform that enables musicians to personalize their image and connect directly with their fans. Like everything else, there’s an art to it, and using it well can have great rewards.

40% of Public Radio Listeners Are Streaming Weekly

Jacobs Media has updated their annual survey of lots of public radio listeners about their technology habits. Public Radio Tech Survey 2010 interviewed more than 21000 public radio listeners in the US. The results reveal a continuing trend toward the use of mobile devices. “There’s been a lot written and said about how new technology impacts ‘old media,’ notes Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs. “ Our findings clearly show how the smartphone continues to be the hot item, led by the Apple iPhone.”

Jacobs is only releasing highlights, so I have not had the chance to parse the info myself and think about it, but here are some highlights from them:

  • More than one-third of PRTS3 respondents now own a smartphone, up 29% from last year’s study. IPhone is the top choice.
  • One-fourth of public radio survey takers listen to Pandora monthly or more.
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents now have a social media profile. Facebook and LinkedIn are the big gainers.
  • Four in ten survey participants listen to streaming audio at least weekly, up 17% from last year’s survey.
  • In the past year, six of every ten respondents say they have downloaded and listened to a podcast.
  • More than one in ten owns an eReader, such as a Kindle or Nook, while 6% have already purchased an iPad.
  • Overall, 6% say they have an HD Radio, up 22% from last year. On the other hand, satellite radio’s 13% is similar to last year’s levels.

Typically, Jacobs will release additional info from the survey over the next few weeks or months.

Cool Online Music Discovery Site We Are Hunted

High on the list of cool music sites these days is We Are Hunted, a site that charts the 99 most popular songs on a daily basis by tracking what the web has to say. We Are Hunted watches blogs, social networks and forums, including Twitter,  MySpace, Spotify, Last.fm and others.

Headquartered in Queensland, Australia, We Are Hunted is a music discovery site. Each day it offers the 99 most popular Emerging, Popular and Remix tunes, plus the hottest tunes across the web in a bunch of genres such as Rock, Alternative, Pop, Folk, Punk, Metal, Electronic, and Hip Hop/Rap. You can toggle the lists between Artist and Song and play any of the songs on their charts. The songs stream from YouTube or the Artist’s sites.

It’s an incredibly simple website that displays album art from the songs, enables song downloads, playlists, and sharing. It’s interesting for its simplicity, and to understand the way the people play with music online these days.

It also seems to me to be a concept that stations could either integrate into their programming or duplicate with their own audience. Enabling listeners to discover new music and share it with their friends is the way of the web…

Last.fm Knows Who’s Listening

Last.fm’s US audience grew 90% over the past twelve months, according to a post in the UK based Guardian’s digital blog. According to David Goodman, president of CBS interactive music, Last.fm’s US audience has risen from 3.5 million monthly uniques 12 months ago to 8 million now.

Goodman discussed plans for continued growth in both Europe and the US, including ads for the service in the London Underground, and further integration of Last.fm’s features across all CBS properties.

CBS has access to lots of listener data by virtue of Last.fm’s scrobbling feature which tracks each user’s musical taste by recording details of the songs the user listens to, either from Internet radio stations, or the user’s computer or many portable music devices. Goodman aims to see that data become the defacto source of what people are listening to.

Last.fm Trends offers great listening info – it makes lots of sense that CBS stations would integrate the content into their online and on-air offerings. For example, last week’s rising artists chart shows Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse up 571% with 42, 429 listeners. Meanwhile, Lady Gaga tops the Top Tracks chart, Alejandro saw 133,877 plays; and The Beatles were the top artist with 1,199,995 plays.

It’s interesting stuff, this data tracking. Goodman and CBS are wise to gather it and offer it up to their own stations and others. In April, CBS announced that Last.fm would stop on-demand song streaming and emphasize its personalized radio station streaming services as well as its scrobbling and social features that focus on the buzz around songs and artists. Which of course will keep folks buzzing about Last fm as well..

Love Your Listeners On Twitter

I read an article on wsj.com about a well known NYC Restaurant owner who has started building his brand online. Michael McCarty started a blog and has videos on YouTube, and his latest social media creation is a Twitter feed that tells his followers who is having lunch at his restaurant. He doesn’t limit it to rich and famous, instead he focuses on frequent customers. What a great way to make your customers feel appreciated!

What a great idea for a radio station.

I’ve talked before about the right ways and the wrong ways to use a Twitter feed, but in case you missed it or forgot, here they are again:

  1. DO ask your listeners to follow you on Twitter.
  2. DO follow every single one of them back (it shows them you care, and you can organize them into lists to manage them if you want).
  3. DO send them interesting information everyday. Tweet things that your listeners care about, like local news and stories, info about music and musicians, or just random thoughts. But keep it short, the shorter the better, so people can retweet your stuff.
  4. DO use a service like Blip.fm to tweet songs that you are playing on the air. Not all the songs, just one once in a while for fun.
  5. DO think of Twitter as another channel of content that you are creating. Make it fun and interesting.
  6. DO love your listeners on Twitter. Thank people for listening and following you by tweeting their names. That helps them get more followers, which is fun for them.
  7. DO NOT tweet promotional announcements.
  8. DO NOT tweet advertisements.
  9. DO NOT try to do giveaways on Twitter.
  10. DON’T make people follow you, make them want to follow you.

Twitter is a way for stations to build a better relationship with their audience and get more listeners. I tweet a few times everyday and it has definitely helped build my brand and audience.

Stations Can Grow Audience With Social Media Strategy

Bridge Ratings has some new study results out that focus on the successful use of social media marketing by radio stations and other businesses. It finds that effective social media marketing executed on properly selected social network sites can have jaw dropping results.

The study outlines a Social Media Network Hierarchy strategy based on social media behaviors within various demographics. For example, girls 12-17 use different social media sites than other age groups. Once the correct social media behaviors and sites are identified, and “If messaging is done properly (short in length, keyed on strategic products or services with targeted creative) and with precision, response rates can accelerate. Repetition plays a factor as well.”

Basically the study says that social media marketing can be extremely effective, provided that the target demographic’s online social behavior is well understood, product messaging is “laser-focused”, repetition is limited, and campaigns are well executed.

Several examples document the strategy, such as  a CHR station that used frequent messaging on social network sites to promote contests, on-air features and client promotions and saw a 25% increase in response. A record company that increased digital downloads by 34%. A broadcaster that grew listening sessions by 75% in 4 weeks, and an Internet radio station that grew sessions by 20% over 6 weeks.

You can read the study summary here.

Pandora Gets Social With Facebook

Last week Facebook implemented a new phase of integrations with other sites that allow people to share things they like on their favorite sites throughout their Facebook network. The “Open Graph” is Facebook’s new game, and Internet radio darling Pandora is a big winner in it.

“Pandora is mapping out the part of the graph that relates to music,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his announcement this week. “If we can take these separate maps of the graph and pull them all together, then we can create a Web that’s smarter, more social, more personalized

Listen to Pandora CTO Tom Conrad in this interview with Robert Scoble as he explains how Facebook came to them several months ago and offered a glimpse of their next phase in order to engage Pandora in becoming a launch partner.

What’s so cool about this, says Conrad, is that Pandora was already personalized and easy – “one button, you lean back and you’re done”  he says. Now, as songs are playing, friends who like the same music will pop up on your screen where you can see what stations they like and what songs they have bookmarked, even leave messages for your friends.

It’s a way to make Pandora more social right within the product. Until now, notes Conrad, Pandora’s been social because people talk about it – sharing songs and bands they found on Pandora over drinks or Thanksgiving dinner.

With 400 million users, Facebook is the social internet. The Open Graph, as this new integration is called, puts them at the center of the web’s social infrastructure. I think this is a huge step that will spur even more exponential growth for Pandora. A couple of years ago (almost) the launch of iPhone spurred millions of Pandora app downloads and a huge jump in awareness of the music service as well as Internet radio. I think this is bigger than that…

Can’t Get to SXSW? Then Stream It..

In the category of cool and trendy, a couple of stations are offering SXSW channels featuring music by all the artists performing at the massive music and social networking event in Austin Texas this week. These are great ways for stations to expand their relationships with listeners by giving them more cool stuff they want to hear.

AccuRadio’s Future Perfect Radio is offering a “radio burrito” packed with artists performing at SXSW 2010. Slacker is hosting a channel with a similar theme, programmed by FILTER, an online magazine about “good music”.

Meanwhile NPR Music is streaming several live performances at the event, including opening night performances from Spoon, Broken Bells, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, the Walkmen, and Visqueen. The concert will be emanating from Stubb’s Bar-B-Que. They’re also featuring a second live broadcast – this time featuring “prominent up and comers”.

NPR will make both shows available through live webcasts and live streaming via its iPhone app as well as broadcasts on its’ member stations. They are also offering a free 11-song NPR Music Sampler of SXSW bands available for download via Itunes or here.

NPR’s GM of Digital Media Kinsey Wilson is set to present a keynote speech at the upcoming RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas on April 12th. The event is a daylong conference on Internet radio related topics featuring many top pros in the industry.

Study: Teens Are Very Brand Conscious Consumers

PriceWaterhouseCoopers has released a new consumer study suggesting best ways to market to teens. Teens are hugely influenced by their friends however, advertising is considered a credible source of information on a brand. And speaking of brands, teens take them very seriously, and develop a strong affinity for the ones they believe deserve their interest.

Social networks play a critical role in the way teens communicate about brands. Users pass on music playlists, video urls, and opinions about movies, games, sites and services to their friends on facebook and other sites. They also regularly use search engines and pay attention to ads, especially entertaining ones.

Teens listen mostly to their peers, particularly those they consider to be adventurous, cool, confident, good looking, funny, or in-the-know. Often intellectual, creative and male, these influencers can really help make or break a brand. Savvy marketers should understand this group and work hard to capture their (positive) attention.

Best ways to do that include advertising – particularly across several or many online platforms; brand collaboration – working with other brands that engage this age group to enhance an offering (such as Xbox working with Netflix); and free trials. Trials are often this age group’s introduction to a brand. Advertising in exchange for content is acceptable to this group as well. And in case you don’t know one, teens prefer typing and texting to talking.

According to MediaPost, teens wield influence over $176 billion in spending power and have significant influence over friends and family, making them an important segment of any brands online marketing strategy.

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