Twitter 140conference 6 – Twitter and the music industry

So much more than just a discussion of what Britney Spears says on Twitter, this was good look at how Twitter helps artists, labels and fans, and cast a glance at how the hell the music industry is going to cope with the internet. Albums, you might be interested to hear, will be dead in 5/10 years.

Andrew Davis – panel host
Mpho – singer
Manny – DJ
Ebony – digital marketing manager at Warner records
Tommy D – music producer

Qs to Ebony
How do you deal with Twitter?
Ebony:- it’s latest platform for us to conquer, no-one in the major labels are experts in it. Newest form, people used to getting what
they want

Do the bigger artists tweet?
Ebony: A lot of artists do actually tweet themselves. The best tweets are from people doing it themselves.

Qs to Mpho
Do you think Twitter has changed the relationship with your listeners?
Mpho:
It’s made it more instant, and makes a personal dynamic between an artist and their audience. The character limitation encourages artists to just say what they think, it’s more convenient. And you know what your audience are thinking.

Audience getting more involved in your life?
Mpho:
Yes, laugh, you have to expect that. Some level of accountability is acceptable.

Qs to Tommy D
Does Twitter help get fans?
Tommy D:
In music there are two kinds of fans… diehards and casual dippers, with Twitter you can clue in much better to what they want.
Idea now is to drip feed music, in the past it was a big timed album campaign. The concept of the album as we know it will be gone in 5 to 10 years.

What do you mean by drip feed? 5 mins or once a week?
Tommy D
: Depends, you can gauge interest well on Twitter so you know when to ramp it up or pull back.

Qs to Manny
Is access to artists and big names useful?
Manny:
Yes, great way to speak to artists.

Tell us about your recent happy experience with Twitter
Tommy D:
Have just spent the weekend DJing for Beyonce, Jay-Z and Rihanna, and a twitpic I took got RT-ed so many times I ended up in the Mirror. Received lots of congratulating tweets. Twitter’s one big happy family.
You can get your thoughts across and your personality.

Qs to Ebony
Advice for a new artist using Twitter?
Ebony:
Keep in contact with people, with fans, with labels. Labels listen more to fans now they can hear them directly on Twitter.

[Diversion into the future of online advertising] Online ads will drastically change with twitter, where previously I booked an ad with MSN targeting 20 year old females, now i profile them much more directly on twitter by the words they’re writing.

Ad formats will change too… you can include a twitter feed on your advertising – could go good or bad.

Keep in contact, listen to what people want.

Are there any artists who tweet well?
Mpho:
I follow artists who are friends of mine, because i’m more interested in them.

Tommy: I really like John Mayer’s tweets – they’re humourous, sometimes quite abstract. With music you’re connecting to people on lots of different levels, on Twitter you get a stronger idea of their personality so that helps you understand them, so you connect stronger and deeper with their music.

Ebony: Twitter’s like a diary form – write what you think when you think it. Someone like Chipmunk is v honest in his tweets
which is great you feel close to him. But – doesn’t always fit in with how the label wants to market the artist.

Do artists need to Twitter? like should Eminem tweet?

Tommy: Eminem comes from an age – oh god – only 5 years ago, when you didn’t need to. Depends on your target audience, are they younger? are they digitally savvy? In general it’s about catering to your audience.

Is Twitter a help or a hindrance to the music industry?
Manny:
It’s a help

Mpho: The music industry needs all the help it can get. Tho sometimes it’s a pressure on an artist.

Ebony: The pros outweigh the cons, if you need something, someone will come back with the answer.

Q from the audience: Do you follow p-diddy and why?
Tommy: Yes, but he does overpromote. There’s a problem with over-promoting… i think it’s an american thing

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Shiny verdict: interested by Tommy’s assertion that albums will be replaced by a musical drip-feed in the very near future, and Ebony’s predictions about advertising.

Anna Leach

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