This is a guest post from summer intern and Shazam’s biggest competitor Madeline Sall. Follow her on Twitter, subscribe to her playlists on Spotify, and see how many times she’s listened to “Call Me Maybe” on last.fm (Hint: it’s a lot, don’t judge).
If you wanted to listen to music in the early 20th century, you had three options: attend a live concert, listen to the radio, or buy a record. Today’s music landscape, by contrast, is much more fragmented and is moving online.
In 2011, the average monthly number of hours that people in the US listened to music online increased 50%, which means we are collectively listening to 1.3 billion hours on average per month. That’s a lot of potential advertising time! With this many distribution channels, how do companies and advertisers figure out how to best reach the right listeners?
Here are three best practices from a frequent target of music-service advertising (me):
1. Don’t judge a customer by her Top Songs
Top tracks only provide a partial picture. In combination with information from Facebook’s Open Graph, advertisers can build more complete profile of individual listeners that does not just reflect the summer’s biggest hit. Longer listening trends are more revealing than short-term spikes.
2. Please don’t stop the music
Advertising interruptions in music-listening are generally jarring and too easy to mute. If you do choose to go this route, make it very relevant (see #1) and provide an interactive element that takes the listener off of the service without further music interruption. Don’t make Rihanna mad.
3. Brand your musical taste
Creating a branded playlist or app can help brands put themselves in front of listeners in a less-obtrusive way than audio ads. Spotify will be adding applications from Reebok, Intel, and AT&T over the next few months, and the McDonalds ListenIN application is live now.
Online music services are a great new space for advertisers but proceed thoughtfully so you don’t end up in the danger zone.