Here we are – through the Holidaze and almost into a new year.
It’s been a strange and bumpy journey for many of us. My social feeds are flooded this week with friends and acquaintances who have Covid and so many of us had to cancel plans (not to mention gigs and tours) we were really excited about. All of us are craving IRL experiences but many (like me) are hesitant to return to venues and anything indoors.
I asked my team, which is growing as we also adapt here at Cyber PR to all of the nuances and changes that keep coming our way, to weigh in on what we should know for 2022…
Here’s what we think.
Music Marketing Predictions for 2022
Marketing Prediction #1: Mindset and Vulnerability
Mindset and vulnerability will be your superpowers in 2022. In this crazy journey of peaks and valleys I have noticed a trend. Musicians who are not afraid to be vulnerable naturally have a deeper connection to their tribes and fans.
The emails from artists that I can’t wait to open and the posts that actually get into my feeds all have this one thing in common: the posts SAY SOMETHING – they go deeper. Our VIP artists, who I coach, that decided to really share experiences, feelings and thoughts this past year also experienced deeper connections and more meaningful interactions. This made a huge difference when it was time to ask fans to take actions such as listen to new music or buy.
Vulnerability is scary.
In fact, most of us spend an enormous amount of time trying not to show vulnerability because it somehow might mean that we are weak or not successful. It’s so much easier to just put a pretty filter on a well composed photo; but I challenge you to take a chance and allow your people to see more of you – however that may show up.
Which brings me to mindset.
Put simply this is a collection of beliefs that make up your mental attitude and filter how you see the world. If every artist who posts is annoying or too self promotional to you and you hate watching other musicians who are putting themselves out there – this says much more about you than about what you are seeing. Instead, try to reframe what you see and ask yourself “what is it I like about what I see here” or “what part of this musician’s actions are admirable or even bold and daring”. You might have a shift in your mindset to allow some profound shifts. If you think music marketing is impossible, it will be just that. If you look at it as a learnable journey, you may have a profoundly different experience and relationship with it.
Marketing Predictions: #2 – NFTs
Director of Social Media & Design
The world of NFTs is only just getting started. With COVID cases rising, fans are searching for any way they can feel closer to the artists that they love. An NFT gives them a way to own something exclusive, plus it’s digital so they will have it FOREVER. This is just the tip of the iceberg with virtual merch and experiences in the music industry. I think we will see not only the rise of NFTs but many new digital remedies for the in-person experience that music fans are desperately craving.
Marketing Predictions: #3 – Fan Engagement Through Creativity
Social Media Assistant
As live appearances become scarce once again, engaging with audiences will reach a new level of creativity. We’ve been here before and fans are getting tired of the 2 year old break from in person events. Artists will have to find new ways to interact and engage with their audiences not just through live streaming, but through contests, bundles, and various unique experiences. If you were contemplating whether or not to join social media platforms, now more than ever do you have your answer.
Marketing Predictions: #4 – Live Performances and Live-Streaming
I believe house show tours and one-off events will thrive in 2022 due to the fragility of the music industry in the loss of small venues and revenue. The bigger artists and “Money Makers” will lead in festival bookings and venue bookings, leaving the smaller markets for musicians to thrive. TikTok will be the new standard for artists, and live streaming at a professional “show quality” level will be the new indie wave. Grassroots movements will be key, and the creativity of the indie artist will bubble forth in new ways.
Marketing Predictions: #5 – Live-Streaming and Online Presence
It’s possible that 2022 is the year Covid-19 goes from pandemic to endemic–meaning we’ll have some variant of it hanging around always, like the flu. But then there will be another superbug soon enough. We will have to accept certain permanent lifestyle changes. Many venues will remain skittish about live shows, especially those with middle-aged audiences. It will be more important than ever for musicians to master live streaming and other forms of direct-but-virtual engagement with fans.
Touring will shrink for all but the mega-acts; creating a cohesive brand and solid online strategy will be the whole game, or almost all of it. There’s a tremendous opportunity here for musicians to use their guts, charisma, and creativity to join, build, and even lead genuine communities of like-minded souls who need music and connection in these challenging times.
Marketing Predictions: #6 – DIY and Home Concerts
While DIY shows and venues had previously been the domain of college bands and indie acts, they will make a comeback in 2022 as the new heartbeat of the music industry for any act that isn’t playing arena concerts. Creativity and ingenuity outside of typical gatekeeper culture will allow newer and unsigned acts to flourish.
Marketing Predictions: #7 – Fan Engagement and Live Performances
Over the course of the past couple of years Independent musicians have been getting more creative in their tactics to reach greater audiences not only on digital platforms, but on social platforms as well. This will continue as the pandemic hasn’t let us return fully to a sense of normalcy. This also makes artists push their own boundaries beyond creating music and submitting onto platforms. Artists will continue to use platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to keep fans engaged, especially younger audiences.
I sense in the earlier part of 2022, we will see live streams making a bigger comeback as live music is canceled, while our Spring and Summer will be up in the air again. I have friends who tour internationally in well-known bands whom I’ve spoken to recently who aren’t ready to get back on the road anytime soon. It’s too much of a risk to their crew. Understandably.
Marketing Predictions: #8 – Social Media and Live Music
Abbey K. Olson
There will be more intimate performances by way of small venues and live streams through websites like Volume.com or Sessions. These platforms allow more people to “attend” a live show while staying true to the live experience. I also think that TikTok will become the number 1 source for generating a buzz for musicians and artists alike because its format allows a unique outlet to present your creativity and collaborations. It’s where most of the youngest and newest music listeners are and you can’t generate this kind of attention on Facebook or Twitter.
Marketing Prediction #9: Sync Licensing, Revenue, and Unique Sounds
Our most trusted bio writer, master wordsmith and the only man who collaborates with our team
The virus upsurge right now will pass, but there will be more Covid-19 bumps in the road. Musicians and venues will have to get used to cancellations and rescheduling as we navigate these uncertain times. Musically, there will be a return to organic sounds as people long to play with other musicians and create music away from computers. Revenue streams for musicians will grow more into sync licensing as that world becomes more accessible through apps and assorted platforms pairing indie musicians with big-ticket opportunities.
We hope you have an amazing fresh start to 2022! If you’re looking to start the year with more tips and tricks, download all 8 freebies here.