Digital marketing, bad business decisions, and music streaming?
Kanye recently dropped a massive album. The catch was that you can only listen to it by subscribing to Jay-Z’s (less than popular) music streaming platform, Tidal. Beyonce did the same thing this week with her album “Lemonade”, and Drake launched “Views” today. Again with a catch. You can only access it through Apple music.
As passionate music lovers and digital marketing enthusiasts, we cringed at this pattern of pay-to-listen-but-you-also-have-to-do-this-extra-step. But we appreciate their natural social media savvy. Here are two good lessons learnt from their social media and some pretty bad business decisions (because they’re human, too)!
Social Media Content
Lesson #1: Know your audience and what they expect from your brand(then exceed those expectations)
Kanye, Beyoncé, and Drake are huge empires for one reason: because they are captivating not only on stage, but on line. They know their audience and what their audience expects of them. They deliver high quality social media content through their favourite platforms. Just take a look at Kanye’s Twitter, or Beyonce and Drake’s Instagram accounts.
Lesson #2: Create discussion
Kanye is best known of these three for stirring things up a little and challenging perception. Beyoncé shattered the illusion that her and Jay-Z are living in a perfect bubble. Their fans eat this information up because they are polarizing! That’s why they’re social media engagement is miles high.
Can you think of any controversial topics in your industry? How can you use them to generate a dialogue?
Bad Business Decisions
Lesson #3: Eliminate UNNECESSARY extra steps for the consumers. It will pay more in the end.
Believe it or not, Kanye, Beyoncé and Drake are, essentially, entrepreneurs. Running a business is one of the hardest things a person could do, and it goes the same for these superstars. Here’s why their recent albums were not released in the smartest way.
Kanye, Beyoncé, and Drake used social media for their album launch/mystery release exceptionally well. But when it came to actually selling the album, there was one blaring issue. They created an extra step that customers did not want to deal with!
In the case of Kanye and Beyoncé, that was the Tidal exclusive release. That means customers had to purchase a membership and use the Tidal service to listen to the album. This would be fine if Tidal was the only player in the game, but many Beyoncé and Kanye fans are already paying for Apple music and Spotify. So, you know what that lead to? PIRACY.
Over half-a-million people illegally downloaded his album JUST TO AVOID TIDAL. The crazy thing is that 80% of those would have happily paid for the physical album and Kanye could have sold more than 40 million copies instead of limiting himself to 3 million Tidal users and 500,000 pirates. It’s the same for Beyoncé, who’s now turning Lemonade back into lemons, and Drake’s Views will not be as high as they could have been (at least not legally).
These moves seem to only benefit the streaming platforms (but we predict, only in the short-term).
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