Recently I wrote about how branded content is the future of content.
It comes down to money.
Newspapers, TV, radio, online websites, etc.
Most are struggling to monetize.
A great thing about the Internet is that communication is so free and easy.
Why watch the 6:00 PM news and wait through boring ads when you can go on Twitter and get pretty good or better information in seconds?
Usually without obtrusive ads.
Why pay for a newspaper subscription to read about your favorite sports team when you an get a million opinions, some really good ones, from bloggers for free?
Branded content is content created by a brand or with the financial backing of a brand. The can present the content for free and with minimal advertising because they’re selling a product or service.
I see this in the hunting industry. A company that creates a tree saw hosts a regular web video show. It’s very well produced. They do have a couple sponsors, but it’s mostly a way to raise awareness about their brand and saws.
The Future Of Music
What Napster did in the late ’90s and early ’00s was remove the barrier of how people could listen to music.
The music industry existed in the 1900s not by selling music, but by selling a way to listen to music.
Radio. Record players. Cassette players. Videos. CDs.
Napster and other digital companies made it easy and free for anyone to listen to music and to have control.
People no longer needed to pay for a way to listen to music.
It kind of gets misconstrued by those in the music industry. Artists think it’s ridiculous that they spend a lot of time, money and energy creating a song and it sells for less than a cup of coffee or really is available for free.
It can take me many hours to write a blog post, but I’m not under the illusion that someone will pay me for that time.
There are lots of examples of things that take time that people will never pay for.
The reason the music industry worked is because there was a demand to listen to music. That used to cost money, but time and technology removed that barrier.
Obviously music has been used commercially to sell stuff before.
Heck, even recently the song Hey, Soul Sister by Train seemed to be in every commercial on TV and radio.
Companies need attention to earn new customers. One way to get attention is with music.
If the music is good enough companies will pay to use it. If an artist is good enough they’ll pay the artist to create music that people will love and listen to over and over…and then relate back to the brand.
Record companies may cease to exist in their current form. They can make some money selling downloads and physical music, but it’s not a growth area.
They might exist to market music. That’s important.
But maybe companies that sell goods and services will have music departments or maybe they’ll partner with record labels.
Maybe artists will start their own companies or partner with big companies.
I think about Luke Bryan and his relationship with Cabela’s.
Luke is one of the biggest stars in country music. He writes or co-writes a lot of his songs. But selling CDs probably makes him very little money.
But selling apparel and maybe hunting and fishing gear to his audience? That has potential…
His music attracts people. It earns their trust. They are loyal to him.
Companies need ways to earn attention from potential customers. Music artists have audiences or have the potential to earn audiences with their music.
It’s a partnership that makes sense.
Now, some songs will probably be blatant ads. But I don’t think that will be the case in most situations because nobody will listen.
But people will continue to connect with musicians and their music. They’ll connect with their views on life. And they’ll buy products and services that fit those views on life.
I think music has a bright future. And businesses could have a bright future with music. It’s a great form of content marketing.