Posts Tagged ‘music’

Could Discovery of New Musicians Be Vine’s Killer App?

What in the world can you do with six-second videos?

Apparently, Vine is gaining traction as a medium to spark the careers of emerging pop stars.

img vspace=Case in point is Sean Mendes, who posted an acoustic version of Justin Beiber’s “As Long as You Love Me” last year (see below).

For whatever reason, the Vine went viral and Mendes quickly had 10,000 followers.

The next thing you know, Mendes signs a deal with Island Records, and then his self-titled EP hits #1 on iTunes.

Not bad for six seconds, not bad at all!

If Mendes were the only person to capture the spotlight via Vine, it could be written off as a fluke. But it looks like Vine is emerging as a platform to launch the careers of unknown musicians.

So what is it about Vine that is making is a musician-making machine? Is the ability to give people a small taste of something good, so it leaves them wanting more?

Is it Vine’s audience, which is looking for instant-gratification, and then discovers it wants a whole lot more of certain things being discovered?

As important, could the discovery new musicians be Vine’s “killer app”?

To be honest, it’s difficult to suggest that Vine has landed upon it’s raison d’etre because a handful of musicians become wildly popular.

You could argue that Vine is still scrambling to find its place within the social media landscape. At only six seconds, Vine offers little digital real estate, but that doesn’t mean it can’t establish a foothold if just the right use case emerges.

Maybe Vine will establish itself as the way to find new musicians at a time when platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have so much content, making it difficult for anyone to rise above the crowd.

At a time when Vine’s future is still unclear, music might become the way for people to quickly sample many artists rather than having to watching three to five minutes videos.

It could be that Vine becomes the “instant gratification” medium that brings people in the door, and then sends them to YouTube for more content and information.

For Vine, music could be the silver bullet that it’s been seeking, so it would probably be a good idea to see how far and fast it can run with the concept.

YouTube Music Awards Cause A Social Stir

youtubeThis past weekend the world got to witness the first ever YouTube Music Awards. Yes, internet giant Google has decided to make a move into the awards show arena now as well… except this one you watch on your computer. Some people questioned why Google would do such a thing, but it seems to make sense since music videos are rarely watched on television channels like MTV or Much Music anymore in favour of watching them on-demand online. And the main site that people choose to watch music videos on now is, of course, YouTube.

The show was hosted by two comedians slash musicians, Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts. According to reports, the show was a giant ball of chaos. But the internet culture that it was aimed at was more than used to it, and even seemed to love it. Like other award shows, the YouTube Music Awards did actually give away awards and featured performances from some of today’s hottest artists, which they dubbed “live music videos.”

Not sure what a live music video is? Neither was I until I watched The Arcade Fire’s performance (which was directed by Spike Jonze who has directed music videos for Weezer, Kanye West, The Beastie Boys and movies like the cult favourite Being John Malcovich). The performance was a mix of what we traditionally think of as a music video and the band’s live performance. Check out this video for yourself:

As I said earlier, this new award show really seemed to appeal to people. We took to MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to see just what kind of a stir the YouTube Music Awards created in the social media realm.

Over the course of the weekend YouTube was seeding content to help promote the award show which broadcasted live on Sunday night from New York City. Looking at mentions of the show from Friday through Monday I found that it came up in over 3.7 million pieces of social content. The YouTube Music Awards was mentioned in 2,941 blog posts, 4,724 online news articles, 287 forum postings and 3,721,051 tweets.

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Activity Summary

Looking at those mentions plotted out over time, I found that Twitter, which drove the main chunk of conversations about the award show peaked as people used Twitter to follow the action and talk with one another about what was going on on Sunday night.

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Popularity Chart

On Sunday alone, the YouTube Music Awards appeared in 2.3 million tweets. That’s equal to 96,418 tweets per hour over the day about the show. Interestingly, it appeared that women were more interested in the award show than men as they contributed 61% of the conversation over the men’s 39%.

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Twitter Activity Summary

When I removed tweets from the popularity chart above, I found something very interesting. Above we saw that Twitter drove the main part of the conversation around the YouTube Music Awards and saw it’s greatest amount of tweets during the actual broadcast of the show. However, when we can see other social channels, like blogs and online news, we can see that they actually peaked yesterday, the day after the show. This seems to prove the theory that Twitter drives real-time conversations around events as they actually happen, but longer form mediums like blogs and online news seem better suited for write-ups and reviews after the actual events have taken place.

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Popularity Chart Without Twitter

While the show was based in North America and was broadcast for the Eastern Standard Time, it didn’t stop people from all over the world from watching and joining in on the conversation. The United States did lead the way in conversations about the YouTube Music awards, owning 29.1% of the mentions, but so many other countries were in on the action as well. This makes sense as YouTube is the second most used search engine in the entire world (next to it’s parent company Google). The pie chart below shows where mentions of the award show came from across all social channels, while the heat map plots out where tweets about the show were originating from (which were mainly using the show’s official hashtag, #YTMA).

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Overall Country Distribution

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Twitter Geo Location Heat Map

And just were all these music fans from around the globe talking about? A look at some of our text analytics shows that the celebrities seemed to be the big draw. In the word cloud and buzzgraph below we can see that names of the hosts, “Reggie” “Watts” and “Jason” “Schwartzman” appeared quite often. Along with them were the performers, like “Lady” “Gaga,” “Arcade” “Fire” and “Eminem” (who also won the award for Artist of the Year). And, of course, the night’s winners, such as “Macklemore,” “Pentatonix” and winners of Video of the Year, “Girls'” “Generation” (a 9 member group of Korean women who perform in the popular style of “K-Pop”).

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Buzzgraph

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Word Cloud

Despite what critics seemed to say after the show was done about the chaos that doesn’t seem to happen at traditional award shows, the audience the show was intended for seemed to love it. A look at the sentiment around the YouTube Music Awards shows a 92% favourable rating. Only 8% of all the 3.7 million conversations were classified as negative, while a whopping 32% were positive.

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Overall Sentiment

Finally, just because not everyone around the world is familiar with the K-Pop phenomenon that is starting to spread from Korea, I present to you the first ever YouTube Music Awards Video of the Year winner, Girls’ Generation’s I Got A Boy:

Music Industry Hits the Right Notes with Social Media

Over the past decade, musicians, bands and the music industry as a whole have seen and seized the opportunity presented by social media. You could argue they have been trailblazers in many ways.

There are a variety of best practice examples from the music industry that are vital to digital marketers. To start, most bands don’t want the hassle of running a full-fledged Website. The daily maintenance and cost really isn’t conducive to the lifestyle.

Social media offers an alternative that is superior in many ways. Real-time communication, cost-effective tactics and an audience already invested in the network.

The music industry is in constant flux and always up against a mountain of odds. In many ways, social media has become its “Moneyball” to level an uneven playing field.

Whether you are The Rolling Stones or a solo act playing coffee shops, social media has the means and tools to help you discover an audience and get your voice heard by hordes of people.

This is an industry that made MySpace its own, and now it has its strategic tentacles in Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube. When there is a relevant network, music finds a way to get in on the game.

The best thing to take away is that social media works for those who need it. It’s there for the taking.

For music fans out there, what artists or bands have successfully leveraged social media?

Smashing Pumpkins Smashin’ Approach to Social Media

social music bandsTechnology has not always been friendly to rock bands.
They spent millions in the 80s and 90s cranking out pricey music videos for our MTV and MuchMusic enjoyment. In the digital age, they’ve seen their bread and butter from album sales all but disappear.
We may roll our eyes at the Coldplays and Elton Johns of the biz, who still sit on millions of dollars. But the average young band barely makes enough from music to pay the bills.
So it’s nice to see musicians leveraging social media in a way that doesn’t gouge anyone on either side. The Smashing Pumpkins — once a cash cow of an act, back in the day, but not so much anymore — have put out the call for fans to create artwork to represent each of the 13 sons on the band’s new release Oceania.
They’re asking people to post their work on Instagram, Pinterest and DeviantART. They’re also soliciting poems via Tweegram or TextGram about the songs, and via social media — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. And they’re keeping others updated on what’s been posted and what their favourites are.
Clever. As is the work coming in: much of it is pretty stunning stuff. Check out the band’s Pinterest site to see some of it.
Social media has always been about regular folks getting the opportunity to have a voice and express their creativity. And it’s also been a vehicle for public relations.
This project merges the two beautifully: the fans are pulling out the stops with their talents. The band is generating hype. If this is what art is going to look like in the digital age moving forward, I’m all for it.

Can MySpace Stop Being a Social Has-Been?

If MySpace hasn’t become irrelevant, there is little doubt the social network has lost its cache as well as millions of users.

MySpace’s status as a social media has-been was front and centre in June when its $35-million sale by News Corp. was big news mostly because one of the buyers was musician and actor Justin Timberlake. It is a long way since MySpace ruled the social media world, which prompted the purchase of its corporate parent, Intermix Media, by News Corp. for $580-million in cash in 2005.

While many people have written off MySpace, it is still has about 70 million unique visitors a month globally, including about 30 million in the U.S. For people still sticking around, MySpace has appeal mostly because of its strong roots as a place to discover music and where musicians to stake a claim within the social media landscape.

The big question is whether MySpace’s new owners can revitalize the social network to not only maintain its user base but, as important, attract new users who have a myriad of social options. While, in theory, hope reigns eternal, momentum is a strange beast. Once things start heading in the wrong direction, it can be hard to reverse the flow.

Nevertheless, MySpace’s new owners are bullish there are better times ahead by giving the social network a much-needed strategic focus. Al Dejewski, MySpace’s senior VP-global marketing told Advertising Age, that music will be the core of new MySpace (aka MySpace 3.0)

“This young adult male needs to be put on a diet, we need to get it on P90X, clean its system and get back to its foundation. And we’ve found that foundation is music. No other music destination online today can claim the breadth of partnership we have with the four major music labels in addition to the tens of millions of independent artists and the libraries of their songs.”

Dejewski’s optimism is admirable but the jury is still out on whether MySpace can pull off a comeback. The social media world is competitive, consumers are notoriously fickle, and the rise of Google+ has provided another viable option for people who want an alternative to Facebook.

For MySpace to revitalize itself, focus will be important but it will also be crucial – and likely an expensive proposition – for it to drive home the message the new MySpace is a different beast that can meet the needs of music lovers better than the competition. Perhaps this is where Timberlake can play a key role in changing MySpace’s brand image.

There is no doubt resuscitating MySpace is going to be a huge challenge, which is one of the reasons why Timberlake and Specific Media were able to acquire the company for a bargain-basement price. If anything, it will be interesting to see whether MySpace can bounce back or continue its downward Friendster-like spiral.

Lots of Talk About The Music From The Coachella Festival

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to take a trip down to California to attend the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. For those of you unfamiliar with the festival, it’s a giant three day festival that brings together over 150 musical acts and bunch of art installations. I mainly went for the music, which this year featured headlining acts such as Kanye West, The Strokes, Kings of Leon, The Black Keys and The Arcade Fire. I had the most amazing time while at the festival, but couldn’t help but notice how many people there were constantly on their smartphones and tablet devices, so I decided to see if those people were using social media to talk about Coachella while they were there.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, I performed a search for the word “Coachella” over the past week. Our activity summary shows that there were over 21,600 blog posts, 4,200 news articles, 10,700 forum posts and 217,000 tweets mentioning Coachella.

A look at the overall popularity of talk about Coachella in social media showed that popularity peaked on the final night of the festival. This is most likely due to people talking about the weekend they had just experienced, as well as a phenomenal performance that night by the rapper that everyone likes to talk about, Kanye West.

Because of the fantastic line-up of bands and artists performing at Coachella, I had a feeling that music blogs would be writing about it all weekend. I didn’t expect to find over 21,000 posts though. On top of that, a look at our geo-location map shows that bloggers from all over the world were writing about the three day event.

I dug deeper into those 21,000 blog posts to find out what the bloggers were writing about. I thought that looking at our entities chart, which pulls the most popular people, places and things from posts, would give me a good idea of which artists were being talked about the most. Kanye West seemed to be the most talked about artist from the festival, but we can also see artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Death From Above 1979, The National and Duran Duran were getting a lot of attention. More interesting was that Vampire Weekend also seemed to be written about a lot despite the fact that they didn’t actually play the festival. However, their lead singer, Ezra Koenig, did come out to do a song with Chromeo and that seemed to gain a lot attention. Something else I found interesting was that Nike seemed to show up a lot, so I dug into why and it turned out that bloggers were writing a lot about the new Nike shoes that Kanye wore durring his performance aptly dubbed the “Nike Air Yeezy 2’s”. This was the first time the shoes were seen in public.

Over on Twitter I found a lot of conversations going on about a lot of the same artists that were being talked about on the blogs. I could also see through our buzzgraph that people were sharing their pictures, videos and experiences on Twitter through sites such as and

Lastly, I decided to see what the traditional media was saying online about Coachella. By pulling up our word cloud I could see that media was talking about the same things as well, but with much more of a reporting feel. This is evident by seeing words that referenced the “stage”s, “crowd”s, “time”s and “songs”. Again though, I found that all of the talk revolved around the “music”.

Overall, I had a great time at Coachella and it seems that I wasn’t the only one judging by all the talk going on in social media from a world-wide audience.

Twitter Traffic Spikes on News About Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson’s tragic death of an apparent heart attack yesterday attracted a tremendous amount of attention from the mainstream media and bloggers from around the world. More than 25% of all Tweets posted yesterday evening around 7 p.m. were about about Jackson’s death.

Many Web sites and blogs crashed after being inundated with visitors looking for the latest updates about Jackson as reports started to circulate he had been found not breathing by paramedics at a home in Los Angeles.

To get a better sense of the social media activity over the past 24 hours, we used our MAP tool to conduct an analysis. Here are some of our findings:

In looking at Twitter for mentions of Michael Jackson, activity peaked with 25% of all Tweets happening at about 7 p.m. (EST), as reports were confirmed that Jackson had died.


More than half of the blog posts about Jackson were done by people in the 21-to-35-years-old demographic, while nearly 25% were written by people under the age of 20.

In some respects, this is interesting because people who are now 35-years-old would have only been 11-years-old when Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” album was released in 1984. (Here’s the “Thriller” video).

Michael Jackson
Given Jackson’s stature as a global celebrity and pop music superstar, blog coverage came from around the world. The most coverage was from the U.S. (21.1%), followed by Germany (8.6%), the U.K. (7.1%), the Netherlands (5.3%), Brazil and France (4.4%) and Malaysia (3.9%)

World Chart
In terms of the major conversations, the most active keyword was “cardiac” in relation to Jackson’s reported heart attack. There were also strong associations with “tributes”, “pop”, “UCLA” (hospital, UCLA Medical Center, where Jackson was taken yesterday afternoon by paramedics).

Among the more interesting stories and blog posts about Jackson’s death are a report that his family and friends were concerned about Jackson’s use of prescription drugs to recover from dance-related injuries as he prepared for a sold-out 50-concert comeback in London.

Time Magazine, meanwhile, has a story looking at the “Top 10 Michael Jackson Moments”