MUSIC PROMOTION DURING THE PANDEMIC

Music, just like any other product or brand is driven by promotions, and one of the timeless vehicles for promoting music has always been through human congregations like concerts, shows, religious gatherings, clubbing, partying, relaxing at lounges/bars/pubs or unwinding at events that bring humans together physically to share experiences. 

The primordial need to congregate forms a core aspect of human culture which is now severely constrained to curb the exponential spread of a virus which currently has no cure. With the world unable to safely congregate to share experiences in real-time, it became more necessary to communicate and congregate digitally. This resulted in an unusual spike in online concerts, webinars, meetings, conferences, house parties, and other forms of online gatherings. The rise of Zoom being the most evident example. 

While the prior digitization of the music business through various streaming and online purchase platforms ensured that music could still be released, the reality of the pandemic has shifted the focus of promoting that music from experiential to online. Record labels and artists are beginning to appreciate the reality that social media is now the most important tool for promoting music. Apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter have helped make the difference between a song going viral globally or receiving limited traction. This has led to a more deliberate and innovative effort at promoting music online. 

The ultimate goal of music promotion is to drive engagement and the music sector is adapting to become more effective at achieving this online. To this end, various tactics ranging from social media challenges, comic skits, giveaways, ads, influencer activations, or trends amongst others have become more pronounced since the inception of the pandemic. 

While the usual custodians of the experiential side of the music business such as disc jockeys (DJs), MCs, show promoters, hypemen, etc. have had their spectrum of the music business almost completely decimated by the pandemic, the online frontier expanded and music promotion is now about leveraging on that.

Written by: Fadipe, Bukola.

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