Social Media in Music – The Manifest

This project is built around the premise of determining the social media relevancy in music of Canadian record labels. Until now, research of this kind has been fleeting. This is especially so in a label structure built around leveraging influence to create market opportunity. The following study was conducted through a series of data pulls utilising Facebook, Twitter and Instagram’s API. The data was then normalised and contextualised through a weighted table.

Asset 1 - Social Media Relevancy Ranking

The Power of Context

The total number of “followers” is important, but there is greater value in active participation. This can be measured through the path of greatest resistance or a reverse utilitarian principle, where a system of measure places greater priority on the actions that require more active involvement from the social audience. Like all great relationships, we too grade on effort.  

Here’s the breakdown across the five metrics used:

Total Social Activity

Social Activity – # of posts – weighted score: 5%

Total Social Audience

Social Audience –  Following across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – weighted score: 15%

Total Social Applause

Social Applause – Likes and Reactions – weighted score: 15%

Total Social Amplification

Social Amplification – Shares, Retweets – weighted score: 25%

Total Social Conversation

Social Conversation – Comments and Replies – weighted score:  40%

Key Takeaways

  • Universal Music Canada –  The major was the top in every category, except social audience. Impressively, Universal Music’s audience size is 63.9% smaller than OVO Sound (the label with the largest social audience), but they had 89.8% more social conversations. The only knock on the label (as with most on this list) is the complete lack of community management. It’s pretty telling when a fast food chain can create more engagement. Imagine the effect of a conversation that people actually cared about.
  • OVO Sound – The “Drake Effect” is almost exclusively limited to Drake. This was somewhat surprising, but upon further analysis the limited engagements on the OVO Sound ecosystem are a direct result of their social strategy or lack thereof. Sparse posting frequency, complemented by pushing Tumblr posts through Facebook, are a strong indicators of “shit, we haven’t posted in a minute.” This is especially confounding since they operate an ecommerce platform.
  • Dine Alone Records – The indie label/hot sauce maker hit well above its weight across the landscape. The label boasted the 3rd highest number of social conversations, right behind Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. This went a long way in securing its position as the 4th most relevant label in Canada.
  • The “ghost town” that is Nettwerk Music Group, Last Gang Records and Constellation Records have a combined relevance score less than Paper Bag Records. Let that marinate for a second. Collectively, they actually have 28.4% fewer social conversations than Paper Bag Records, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll use the the following colloquy: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
  • The best of the rest: Warner Music Canada finished second, largely based on their strong number of social conversations. They had almost the same number of replies and comments as the most socially relevant Canadian label,  Universal Music Canada. To this end, Sony Music Canada, Arts & Crafts and Paper Bag Records were fairly unremarkable, but rounded out the rankings in the fifth, sixth and seventh spots, respectively.


* Author notes: The ten labels were chosen from the over 100 labels across Canada. At the time of the initial pull (February 15, 2016), these labels had the largest social audiences on Facebook and since Facebook is the largest social network, this seemed like a logical starting point. The data set captured and analysed reflects January 1, 2017 – February 28, 2017.

About Author

Tyler Budd is a social strategist.

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