Music streaming services are gaining ground. According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) the Brits alone streamed 14.8m tracks in 2014. So how can music streaming services be used by brands to boost their image? We discuss tips for reaching an audience that is, according to a survey by Spotify and comScore, more brand aware than the average consumer.
The most obvious way to use music streaming services as a marketing tool is advertising. These spots are similar to those you hear on countless radio stations, but with more refined options to target a desired audience. Spotify, for example, interrupts the playlists of non-paying users every 15 minutes to play a 30 second commercial.
What makes this interesting, is that they are adjusted to the user’s interests. Someone listening to a workout playlist will hear the marketing of a sports brand or a fitness centre. A user from London will be served ads from a local club or bar.
Users on Spotify, Deezer and Co. are always keen on spotting new bands, playlists and songs that match their taste. Brands can make use of this by spotting, contacting and promoting unsigned but promising artists. This provides a great opportunity to show that the brand has its finger on the pulse.
What makes the creation of branded playlists most appealing, is that they can be tied back to specific activities related to the brand. Adidas for example composed playlists for running. To match the special needs of its listeners, the brand also compiled playlists for fast, medium, and slow running. BMW created playlists for road trips throughout the US in order to promote its new model 320i. It also used a so-called Advertiser Page on Spotify to give users the possibility to select different routes. The related playlist then contained songs from local bands along the trip.
The music streaming service SoundCloud, which is more focused on smaller, unsigned bands. It allows brands to create their own playlists which can then be embedded on company blogs. Music taste can therefore be used as a connecting element between users and brands, as well as a source of rich content to drive more traffic to the website. As there is also the possibility of sharing interviews or audio background information on the brand’s own SoundCloud channel, the music streaming service should also be seen as an interesting tool for corporate communications.