Queen. U2. Bruce Springsteen, Madonna…. whether it is a well-known artist or an underground band, they have one thing in common. Performing for an audience is what they live for. The rush, the applause, a crowd that adores them, live is where it happens. CD, radio or Spotify is nice, but a live gig is what really drives them. And in today’s digital age we live in these days, ‘live’ can be taken to a whole new level if we apply it to communication.
The most common form of live communication is physically being present on-site (f.e. Conventions, conferences, product presentations, at shopping centres), to communicate with customers. A live event is a perfect way to transfer company visions and values to a target audience. The music industry is a great example of a business that is suitable for this form of communication, whereas festivals, gigs, performances are the backbone of the industry.
Shifting values on marketing communications
The three most important values of marketing communications are Knowledge, Brand Attitude and Behaviour. Every marketing communication campaign starts with increasing the knowledge about a product or brand. The potential customer has to know more about the product you are trying to sell. Second, the prospect has to have a positive attitude towards your product or brand. Once your customer knows why he likes your product and why he needs your product, buying behaviour has to be stimulated. This traditional way of transferring marketing goals to communicational efforts is a proven one when it comes to introducing an artist into a market. But when we look at communications during performances, marketing communications are suddenly not as effective. Instead of knowledge, brand attitude and behavior, we should shift our attention to experience, contact and emotion.
Tapp Your Music
A good example of shifting values in the music industry is Tapp Your Music. This app lets visitors of festivals vote for songs on the set list of their favourite band. The band, which has the same app on their laptop backstage, knows what the audience wants to hear. Fans in the audience use their smartphones to vote for tracks and get in touch with the band. How does it tick the live communication boxes?
Experience: the crowd experiences the show as ‘tailor-made’
Contact: the app makes sure that even prior to the gig, the crowd is in touch with the band
Emotion: interactive communications on-site. Festivalgoers form a democratic party that, as in a real election, votes for what should be played by the band.
The future of music is emotion
This app is just a first step towards live communications at festivals. Being present at a festival and playing a set isn’t the main goal anymore. The band that interacts with its audience in the best possible way, and wins over the crowd. Music is emotion: make it tangible, reachable, and shareable. A shift from user-generated content to user generated experience.
To what extent will this form of live communications be embraced? That really depends on the crowd’s demands. Artists will have to be creative, make sure to offer a superb product. Live-Karaoke, Live-Songwriting, Live-Poems readings, Live-Line dancing: as long as the crowd and the artist get in touch, share an experience and an emotion the market will adapt.
Bruce Springsteen was one of first artists who did something similar, with pieces of cardboard and pencils. It’s just a matter of time before cardboard and pencils turn into tablets and smartphones.
Top photo: Shutterstock / Christian Bertrand