Tag Archives: Music

Spotify & Starbucks Team Up for an Interactive Coffee House

By: Lara Greenberg

Three months after announcing that they would no longer be selling CDs, longtime iTunes partner Starbucks announced a brand new music partnership with music streaming service Spotify. Aiming to create what is called a “music ecosystem,” Starbucks and Spotify are working together to make music more interactive and discoverable.

Starbucks, has an impressive history of introducing new artists as well as reviving old ones. Starbucks believes that by pairing with Spotify they can expand their musical footprint. Starting this fall, all Starbucks employees will be given a free Spotify Premium subscription ($10 a month), which they’ll use to select the music that will be played in stores. Customers will also be involved. You will be able to link your Spotify and My Starbucks rewards accounts so while enjoying your Pumpkin Spice Latte, you’ll be able to suggest songs for the playlist as well as give feedback on whether or not you like a certain song.

Starbucks already has over 10 million customers signed up for their loyalty program, My Starbucks Rewards, which allows customers to earn ‘Stars’ that they can redeem in the form of a free drink or free food. As a part of the deal (and as a motivation to attract new subscribers,) Spotify is paying Starbucks for the right to give Starbucks Stars to its members which can be redeemed in stores. By allowing Spotify to give out Stars, Starbucks hopes to gain more subscribers from Spotify’s base of 60 million users.

With Starbucks need for a technological upgrade and Spotify’s need for a big partner with a musical influence, it is a perfect match between the two corporations. Spotify, facing tough competition now that artists such as Taylor Swift have removed their music from the streaming platform, is in desperate need for premium subscribers. Through giveaways such as free app and free song of the week as well as the sale of CDs, Starbucks does a pretty good job of getting people to buy other things besides coffee and as part of the deal, Starbucks will promote and endorse Spotify Premium.

This is the first time Starbucks has opened up its loyalty program to a third party. Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz said, “Our long-term plan has been to create an external ecosystem with like-minded brands that will buy Starbucks stars from us and use them as a catalyst in their own business.” If it proves to be successful, i.e. attracting new, recurring, loyal customers, it will be an influential model for third party integrations.

Starbucks, which has always put music at the center of its stores, can use Spotify to fuel growth and Spotify can use Starbucks to do the same.

As a Spotify Premium and a My Starbucks Rewards subscriber, I couldn’t be happier about this new partnership. This gives people like myself an opportunity to get more out the two things they love most: coffee and music. What song will you suggest at your local Starbucks? Do you think this will be a successful partnership? As always, I welcome or comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Riding the TIDAL Wave

By: Dallas J. Short

It has been about eight weeks, since the mega star press conference that launched TIDAL and #TIDAL4ALL. “TIDAL is the first music service with high fidelity sound quality, high definition music videos and curated editorial, expertly crafted by music journalists.”

Since then, people have been already saying it’s a flop, it’s dying and hurling insults. My question, have these people actually used TIDAL or is it just fun to hate on Jay Z and wish that he finally fails at something? Seems a bit too early to be writing its tombstone. I signed up for the 30-day free trial after the launch and have recently started my paid subscription. There are a few things I would like to address about the TIDAL service.

Jay Z and TIDAL never declared war on Spotify or other subscription services. He previously stated “They don’t have to lose for me to win.” TIDAL, Spotify and others might seem similar, but there are differences.

The sound quality of TIDAL is better. For people complaining about TIDAL costing more, you can pay the same price as other subscriptions and receive the same quality. You are paying extra for the higher quality, which is extremely noticeable through good speakers. I grew up spending my allowance, lunch money and whatever money I could get on music, so paying $20 a month for the high quality version still seems like I won.

The curated playlists are more intriguing. From what inspired your favorite musician, to what your favorite athlete trains to, to what a veteran journalist has created in an audio time capsule. These are not songs randomly thrown together. I’m had playlists from Angie Martinez, Elliot Wilson and the Happy Birthday Stevie Wonder playlist on repeat. “Simply the Best” is the only thing I play at the gym.

The exclusive content, songs and videos. Taylor Swift, who has her music removed from other streaming services, is on TIDAL. Jack White streamed an intimate concert through TIDAL X. Prince, who is usually anti-industry, steamed his live concert in Baltimore. Rihanna, Beyonce and others have released music exclusively on TIDAL. There is behind the scenes of videos and tours. You can win passes to exclusive TIDAL subscriber only contests. (While working on this blog, I won tickets to a private Jay Z concert this weekend, where he will only be doing his B-Sides/less mainstream songs. That alone would cost more than my annual subscription. I created a Jay Z playlist titled “Not a Businessman.”)

TIDAL gives more royalties to the artists. Support the musicians you like, let them be able to continue to create the soundtrack for your life. Yes, I have mentioned the big names and that is what will bring most people in, but TIDAL is about the music and connecting you to the artist. There are independent and underground talent who deserve to make more money from streams.

“TIDAL Discovery is the place for the up and comer. The new kid on the block. The unsigned. The undiscovered. In partnership with PHONOFILE and Record Union, TIDAL Discovery is bringing you the new place to come together. Supported and encouraged by the biggest names in music. With TIDAL Discovery, unsigned artists can upload their original music using PHONOFILE or Record Union and be heard for the first time. The possibilities are endless.”

TIDAL Rising is a featured category below “What’s New” that emphasizes growing musicians. Users can browse by album or by track, check out Q&A’s and learn more about some of music’s more concealed talent. The roster changes and it is not locked in on one genre. TIDAL lists it as “A program dedicated to artists from around the globe who have passionate fan bases and are ready to broaden that base to a wider audience. TIDAL Rising was designed to help accelerate the exposure and give voice to tomorrow’s biggest names.”

TIDAL is not based on making the rich richer, so far, it has kept the fan and the music at the forefront. It is new, it will grow and it will make errors, just as other streaming services have. You have nothing to lose, but trying out a free subscription. I have yet to meet anyone who does not like it. I have heard people just not want to recreate their playlists from other services. TIDAL also have a way import your playlists.

I’m not a complete fanboy here. I am just a supporter of great music, hearing it as best I can, discovering new talent and artists being better compensated. Are you? Make your own decision about it.

Have you tried TIDAL yet? http://www.tidal.com

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Continuously Crafting Compelling Content

By: Jenifer Wetterau

Do you struggle to find interesting, relevant things to post about every day? Spend your weekends agonizing over whether the next week’s tweets will appeal to your audience? Content curation is your solution!

WHAT IS CONTENT CURATION?

Content curation is the process of rummaging the Internet, filtering out the junk, and discovering the most valuable, relevant and helpful content about a particular topic.

By sharing those with your network, you accomplish these important objectives:

-Build your personal brand (reputation) as an expert in the topic

-Be more active and visible on social media

-Enhance your relationships by being relevant

WHY CURATE?

Content is at the core of all digital marketing initiatives, with social media channels functioning as tools to spread it, telling your brand’s story and connecting with customers.

It’s so easy to get carried away with simply trying to create great informative content, but strategic curation of interesting content is also very important.

Sharing great, relevant content is essential in building a strong community of brand advocates. Making the content relevant and framing it in a way that engages people takes effort — you need to put thought and structure behind the content you create and share on social media profiles. The more attention-grabbing it is, the more likely people are to share. People share things not only because those things look good, but also because those things make them look good.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

So what content should you share?

Before you can determine what the best content is to share, you need to get inside the minds of your followers.

Who is my audience?

What problems do they need solved? How can I provide value to them?

What type of content most appeal to them?

Develop a specific, consistent social media voice tailored to your brand’s audience. It may help to create marketing personas for your followers on each platform.

You might want to try asking your followers what topics they would like to read about and use their answers as a guide for your strategic curation plan.

D YOUR CONTENT CATEGORIES

It’s important to thoughtfully select the topics you will share with your audience. A great general rule is to follow the three “C”s: created, contributed, and collected, by providing a mix of:

-How-to and influencer posts

-Leadership articles and guest topics

-Research and analysis

-Light-hearted viral content

-Bold statements

Filter all of these possibilities through the lens of what will be most valuable, interesting and relevant to your ideal customer. By curating a set list of topics, you send a unified message of what your business is about.

MEASURE SUCCESS

One of the most important steps to curating amazing content is to measure the results.

Before creating a single piece of content, determine your objectives and what metrics you will use to measure performance.

Start by identifying the important metrics within five common buckets:

-Awareness: impressions, reach, mentions

-Consumption: clicks, visits, referrals

-Engagement: likes, shares, +1s, time on site

-Actions: leads/sales, PDF downloads, newsletter sign-ups, site navigation

-SEO Impact: increased organic site traffic and activity, increased organic backlinks, increased engagement on specific content pieces

Are there certain articles that get more clicks, retweets and favorites than others? Is a certain topic or interest driving more engagement with your followers?

Since there are seemingly infinite data points that can be tracked, you need to decide which metrics make the most sense to track for your brand. Concentrate on a few so you don’t get bogged down with so much information that you can’t offer easy to digest analysis.

What content do you share on social media sites? Do you currently have a content curation strategy? What elements do you find most beneficial? As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read be social and share.