Music Scores A Gold Record on The Social Media Charts

In a world where fame is fleeting, musicians have influence and staying power on social media.

In an era when politicians are renowned for their use of Twitter, music is a primary driver of our interactions with social media. A new study from MusicWatch highlighted the contribution of music to engagement on social media platforms (1). In fact, 9 out of 10 regular social media users partake in some music- or artist-related activity on the most popular social applications.

The research highlights the importance of music to the social platforms; 53 percent of Twitter users are viewing or interacting with trending topics or want to view posts from friends.  Nearly the same number, 51 percent are using Twitter to follow or get updates from music artists and bands. Half of Instagram users are viewing posts from artists and bands, or viewing their updates. Likewise two-thirds of Snapchat users are sending or viewing photos and videos from live events including music shows, concerts or music festivals. Without a doubt music underpins the conversation on social platforms.

MusicWatch Social 0818 Infographic

Fame may be fleeting on social media, but music artists and bands have staying power- and influence. Of all the types of celebrities artists are #1 when it comes to pull. We are twice as likely to be following bands as politicians, or Kendall and Kourtney. The reason is simple; while today’s tweet or fashion comment is evanescent, users have a sustained interest in the careers of their favorite artists and want updates on their music projects, live tours and lifestyles.

While many aspire to the title of “influencer”, it’s music that claims the top spot. Think social media star and you might be imagining a fitness or makeup guru, or an Instagram model. But it is music influencers who are the most popular to follow.

Together, social media and the music industry create a unique harmony. Two out of three (63 percent) users agree that they are discovering new artists on social media. Almost 60 percent of social media users are visiting streaming services to listen to music after they see an update, tweet or post. On Facebook, the most valued music activity is being able to share links to music from streaming services, including playlists.

The data show that social media derives substantial benefit from the music industry. The music itself is a vital ingredient to the social conversation.  The content stays fresh with constant new releases and tour announcements. Artists make a cultural contribution and are valued influencers. The sustained desire for news about favorite artists engenders engagement on the platforms. Musicians bring a credibility that is sometimes lacking in today’s social spheres.

These benefits accrue to each of the platforms in unique ways. Nearly half of Facebook’s daily users (47 percent) like a music artist or band on the platform. One of three Instagram users aged 13-34 listen to songs that are included in posts. While Snapchat may be the ideal balm for FOMO at live events, over half its users are also using music to drive engagement- subscribing to artist feeds, using lyrics for captions or including in mentions or hashtags. Twitter can use music to unlock the potential of Periscope. Today, only one in five stream live performances or videos from bands, yet video is one of the most demanded categories among music fans. In conversations with advertisers, the social platforms should be highlighting music as a key feature.  Because music has such sustained cultural influence and deep bonds to artists, advertisers can be reminded that these are the soundtracks to our “social” lives.

(1)    The results are based on a MusicWatch study titled “Music & Social Media; A Consumer Perspective”. The study was conducted in April 2018 to 800 social media users. Results for specific platforms were derived from surveying Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat users who used the platform at least once per month. The majority of respondents were daily users. Respondents were also required to listen or purchase music in any format during the prior three months.

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