Music recommendation & Youtube

I previously came across an article about research conducted by Gartner (an IT research firm) on how UK consumers find music online, where they found that word-of-mouth recommendations is the most powerful way of driving consumers to purchase music. One of the key points the article pointed out was the need for download services and labels to form partnerships with social networking sites.

From the article:

The key is those ‘click to purchase’ links, and while it sounds obvious that consumers are more likely to purchase if there are fewer steps in the discovery/purchase process, these links are not as ubiquitous as they should be. That counts for the desktop and for mobile. Against a background of unreliable ad revenue, social networking sites need to increase opportunities for users to buy music they are sharing.

Labels also need to keep exploring social networking tools that help them tap the interest and trends of content sharing and the discussion around that sharing, particularly around streaming.

It’s pretty interesting… and I think it kind of taps into social networking sites as grounds for social capital …

I’m anticipating far more creative options for location-tagged music, so a certain location like a bar or gig venue would alert music fans to new tracks related to that venue, possibly those left ‘tagged’ by your friends. And then a handy click to buy bit.ly link when your phone accesses that recommendation…

Also more recently, an article on Lady Gaga & her using social media to gain popularity

The hot topic of the conversation was YouTube and Twitter. Carter said openly that he and Lady Gaga “create music videos for YouTube.” Braun agreed with Carter, saying that Bieber represented a new strategy of creating a breakout teenage star. Braun said that previously teenage music stars has to have a show on Nickelodeon or Disney. But Bieber changed this; he was found on YouTube and his first videos singing Aretha Franklin’s Respect saw 55 million views by the time the artist signed a record deal with Universal Music. He ended up going Platinum shortly after

Gaga originally broke out on YouTube and MySpace Music (which Braun was quick to say is dead)…

And what about Twitter? Both managers said that Twitter is a great way to connect with fans, especially for artists who were discovered by fans on YouTube. Twitter breaks down the layers between the artists and the fan, says Carter. Braun says that Bieber loves talking to his fans over Twitter (perhaps that’s why he’s always a trending topic!).

I guess it comes to no surprise that Twitter and Youtube are fast becoming starting platforms for hopeful singers who want to break into the industry, hoping that some music producer will chance upon a video of themselves singing at their best and sign them up for a record label. Chances are slim for many, but if you’re lucky you actually get spotted and picked up! But mostly, I’ve seen many YouTube singers get started on their own by gaining popularity on YouTube before going on to becoming independent musicians making CDs and selling them to their fans.

YouTube, of course, saw this as a big opportunity for them, and in March this year announced a plan to entice independent musicians to share ad revenues (read the article here) dubbed “Musicians Wanted”.

YouTube’s also been a tool used to publish videos on ChatRoulette, further propelling the viral effect that’s been the driving force behind CR, which in turn is also being used to create viral ads – have you seen the Lady Gaga “Telephone” video on CR? Or the piano improv guy? They’re all quite hilarious so you should go have a look… to relieve some stress haha! ;)

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