Gupta Media & The Music Industry

Background:

The ever-evolving digital landscape has drastically changed how we consume music and how we interact with our favorite artists and musicians. Music is more accessible than ever with the advent of streaming and platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud. Similarly, the barriers between an artist and their fans continue to collapse as social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat grants us a more closer, and sometimes intimate, connection to our favorite stars. The implication of these changes, for advertisers at least, is a shift towards messaging that is more nuanced, targeted, and precise, with the intention of reaching the most connected of fans at the moment when they are most likely to buy.

The folks at Gupta Media, an online marketing agency specializing in search engine marketing and social media marketing, are leaders in this field with an emphasis on data-driven and technology-based approaches to digital marketing. As a Digital Media intern at Gupta Media, I have first hand experience with how the company collects data and uses this information to drive campaigns for a variety of artists ranging from global superstars to up–and–coming bands, to great results and success. Expanding on my presentation from last week, this post will detail, in further depth, Gupta Media’s role at the intersection between social media and the music industry as a whole.

Four Pillars

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Gupta Media’s media strategy revolves around the concept of the Four Pillars representing four unique advertising tactics to reach fans, which they have found to be the most effective. These tactics include: Search, Retargeting, Connected Fans, and Past Purchases. Rather than just solely relying on demographics like age or income, Gupta Media is rather interested in recency and intent. How recently have you engaged with the artist and what was your level of purchase intent? If you search for Adele on Google, you will see an ad for her music above your search results. If you have engaged with an artist by watching some of their videos, you might later see a YouTube banner ad about their new album. If you like or follow an artist on social media, you will see integrated ads on these platforms regarding new music and concert tickets. And if you previously purchased music from the artist, all of the above applies. In addition to these Four Pillars, placing more weight on significant intent is important in honing in on these tactics to further reach the right audiences. Visiting an artist’s website for example shows greater intent rather than just watching one of their videos on YouTube where it is easy to jump from one video to the next. Within YouTube itself, more weight is placed on users who have Liked or Shared a video, or Subscribed to the artist’s channel as they are actively engaging with the content and artist rather than just passively watching a video.

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Leveraging TV Appearances

Leveraging artists’ appearances, performances, and promotions on TV shows is a great opportunity to turn buzz into sales. Televised performances are significant as it is a chance for a national audience to see and hear an artist’s new music, potentially for the first time. The unique targeting capabilities of social advertising allows us to reach a narrowly defined group of users who are just discovering or becoming fans of an artist directly after watching them perform on TV. Twitter is a great example of this as many people simultaneously use Twitter while watching TV and award shows. By running a keyword-targeted Twitter campaign, you are able to reach users who have recently searched for or tweeted about an artist following their performance. Similarly, platforms like Facebook and Instagram allows for targeting users who are interested in the TV show and most likely watched the performance. Overlaying different interests and likes such as the TV show, similar artists, and retailer brings you a more qualified audience of users who are interested in the TV show, like the artist or similar type of music, and buy music from that specific retailer (often iTunes, Amazon, or Google Play) based on data. Leveraging these platforms successfully captures this heightened interest during an TV performance and effectively drives music sales.

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5 comments

  1. Very interesting blog post! I interned at a digital advertising agency this summer and it is crazy how data is out there from our online presence. I am a believer in using data and consumer insights to help drive and navigate campaigns and creative and you do a great job explain how your agency does that specifically in music! Also haven’t really thought about how big of an impact tv music has on us and the music industry. It will be interesting to see the campaigns you mentioned will change as the music industry changes and tv as well.

  2. cattybradley · ·

    I think your work with Gupta Media is really cool. I like that all decisions rests on the data you have regarding a particular artist and user base and target ads have been turned into a science. I am curious how Facebook’s video view inflation affected Gupta’s campaigns. Does a user have to watch a video for x amount of seconds to get targeted advertisements? Is that something Gupta controls for so they aren’t wasting ads on a user who only watched for 10 seconds by accident because it popped up on their timeline?

  3. alinacasari · ·

    Interesting post! That sounds a like a really cool internship. I think it’s weird to consider how much information we provide to companies so that they can make so many different inferences about us. I’m sure it’s super helpful for companies like Gupta Media, but it is kind of crazy to consider. Personally, I really like being targeted for things that I’ve viewed or liked or had some sort of engagement with – that way the ads I have to see anyways are at least for something I’m interested in.

    Leveraging TV appearances is also something I never really considered an important factor before but it seems valuable. I think the combination of TV with social media has been much more prevalent recently. I’m curious as to what will happen in the future with these interactions. It seems like today most popular shows have many more social interactions to connect the show with the audience. Adding in the artists seems to add another important layer for the music industry.

  4. Great post! It’s amazing how Gupta is analyzing all of our social media interactions to create custom music listening experiences. I’d be interested to learn whether larger bands/artists benefit more from this experience as smaller artists. If I listen to one Justin Timberlake song and three song by a relatively unknown indie band on Youtube, will I be targeted with more Timberlake or indie ads? Also, I wonder if Gupta can track specifically what songs are featured on a TV show and provide targeted ads in that manner. For example, if I watch Grey’s Anatomy and tweet about it, will I be shown ads that feature the latest Feist song from last week’s episode?

  5. Nice follow up to your class presentation!

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