Best Music Spotlight

The power of mobile: Why apps are useful for artists & bands.

Photograph of the blog post author, Mary Woodcock

Mary Woodcock


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As the technology evolved, musicians, bands and the music industry started focusing on mobile apps and the benefits of using them. There is a huge open market for artists to create great tools to communicate and engage with their audiences, or even to share a new music experience with the world.

There is no need to say that mobile technologies are changing the way people consume music. The audience that listens to music via their mobile devices only is growing year after year as teenagers prefer to listen to their favourite music anywhere on their mobile phones rather than on an “old” Hi-Fi. Instead of complaining about the good/romantic old times, we must grab the opportunity and take advantage of the incredible technology that everyone carries in their pocket nowadays. How can we do that?

STRATEGY: We can’t see the mobile ecosystem just as another one-direction channel where we can spam our fans and followers for commercial use. Mobile ecosystems are a very smooth bi-directional channel and users are aiming for those clever artists that give them the opportunity to interact via their smartphones. So #thinkmobile, be smart and be aware that the best way to get the word out is by engaging with your audience, they are really hard-working people and are willing to give you a hand. Just provide them with the right means and you will benefit from the best marketing strategy that has ever been created: word of mouth.

THINK LIKE A FAN: What would you expect if you put yourself in your fan’s shoes? That’s really the key to succeed. It involves a great creative effort, but it’s not that complicated and the good news is that you don’t even need a lot of money. Here is one very easy concept from Heineken, and all you need is a printer and a QR scanner. Once again, the key is interaction. They want to be part of something that is alive; they don’t want to be seen as the target of a commercial.

GET PERSONAL: If you can offer a personal experience to your fans through an app or using your social channels, they will be delighted. Try to be close to your audience, they really love that. You have plenty of options, just see what others are doing and try to go one step further.

Don’t panic, you don’t need Coca Cola for this. Maybe you can ask your fans to tweet something and until you get a certain number of tweets you won’t perform a certain song… just get creative!

GIVE SOMETHING EXTRA: Once you have done the effort of developing a mobile app, make sure you give your fans some extra content. Maybe you want to share an extra song, some unreleased footage, a new cover song, pictures, access to backstage, some great live pictures of one of your shows, the concert seen in another angle… there are unlimited resources that will make your fans stay tuned to your app, and that means active users, and that’s what everybody dreams of in the online ecosystem.

PROMOTE: Getting the word out is another key point. So once you have released the app, use your social channels to let everybody know about the benefits of your brand new app. Don’t be afraid to use reminders over a certain period of time (but don’t become a spammer!) so that everybody knows.

MEASURE: One of the strongest points of the digital technologies is that they allow you to gather data about everything that happens within your app. So use an analytics tool, there are plenty of them, and try to learn about user behaviour. Where do they come from? How much time do they spend on your app? What type of screen? Where do they click? Once you get to know them, you can focus on giving them exactly what they want and you’ll be adored for that!

UPDATE: do not leave your app unattended for a long time. Make sure you keep it alive and if you are not going to be able to do it, then delete it from the app stores, but do not show an old cheap version of you to the world. Updating content every once in a while is not that difficult and it shows that you care about your music & your fans. Plus, it will help you a lot when positioning your app.

Juan Capeáns is Marketing Manager at Inqbarna, an app development company based in Barcelona specialised in music apps such as Splyce, deej or TunerTool that have reached the top ranks on the App Store worldwide.

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