Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Importance of Brands in the Digital Age

The music industry is dynamic. It has evolved from an industry dependent on recorded music revenues to relying on artist brands. While there is still a market for physical distribution, streaming has changed the landscape of the industry. Anyone with a mobile phone or computer can access music for free through platforms like YouTube and Sound Cloud. With this immediate availability, more people are turning away from paid subscriptions, which has made profitability more difficult within the industry.

Labels have thus focused on marketing artist brands to create value beyond purchased downloads. The key is to be authentic, relevant, and transparent. In the music industry, transparency is especially important in three key relationships: label to consumer, label to artist, and artist to consumer. While physical purchases are declining, there is a clear demand for authentic music. Take Adele, for example. She released a new album in 2015 that could only be purchased through Apple Music. She broke all records for album sales and was named top Global Artist for 2015. While Adele may be the exception, her success shows that people are willing to pay for music.  In an age where musicians can promote music through free social media platforms, competition is at its height. Artists, and music companies who represent them, need to create value for consumers. It is crucial to connect with consumers on a deeper level than product value and price. Consumers want to feel connected to the products or services they purchase and align these with their own interests and values.