It’s been almost four years since Lorde has released Pure Heroine, and I’ve been dying for new music. After months and months of silence, I had an idea: I was going to stop googling for information on Lorde’s new album, I was going to unfollow her on social media, and see how I discovered she had new music coming out (if that ever happened).
This is not about me giving up on Lorde – I am still a faithful fan – but I wanted to see which strategies would work best when marketing her new album. I’ve observed that a lot of artists rely heavily on social media to update fans on new albums (not a surprise). But some artists will simply send out a tweet, they don’t follow it on any other platform or stream. Some artists with massive followings can get away with this because the news will be everywhere in two seconds. Some artists are so successful (Beyoncé) they don’t even have to alert fans of new albums – they just release them.
But, it’s not enough to send out just one tweet and expect fans to know new music is coming – it takes a cross-promotional campaign. Or, at least, it should.
I’ve become interested in how artists alert fans of new music. Indeed, I originally only joined Twitter because some of my favorite artists would only update fans via the platform – I was always a step behind if I wasn’t constantly checking their tweets. But then I started thinking: artists should not make their fans work this hard. I mean, they want me to buy their album, why should I do extensive research to find out if they even have a new album?
So I’ve selected a handful of artists (Lorde is the first) that I know are probably working on new music. And I’m not doing my usual extensive research to find out any information. Instead, I’m sitting back and just observing and seeing how they reach out to me.
For the past ten years, Taylor Swift has released an album like clockwork, every two years. So, we were sure October 2016 we would see her sixth studio album.
And then we didn’t.
Then she performed on some Super Bowl pre-show thing (I don’t really follow such events), where she performed “Better Man,” a song she wrote for Little Big Town, for the first time. When I heard Little Big Town’s performance, while Swift wasn’t singing in the recording, I could hear her because of her strong songwriting style. So, needless to say, I was super excited to see that performance.
It was also at this show where she apparently stated that this show was probably her only one for 2017, and that the people in the audience was at 100% of her tour.
Before we get sad, I have a theory.
Whenever Swift releases an album, it’s usually towards the end of the year and she doesn’t tour or perform in the year the album was released – the tour tends to be the year after. So, for instance, 1989 was released October 2014, and her associated performances all occurred in 2015. So, if she releases an album October 2017 – which I sincerely hope she does, and it sounds like she’s making one – then her tour wouldn’t occur until 2018.
An absence of a tour does not mean an absence of an album.
So I was updating my phone there other day, and I noticed you can sort the songs on your phone on iTunes by how many listens, thereby showing which song you listened to the most. Interestingly enough, the song I listened to the most was “Hold Me Down” by Halsey.
I was rather surprised by this because I wouldn’t say this is my “favorite” song – I mean, it would be on a list of songs I really like, but it wouldn’t be my all time favorite. I will say, though, the song has one of my favorite lyrics: “throw me in the deep end and watch me drown.” There’s something about that line that I find rather powerful.
I encourage you to sort your music on iTunes and see your listening patterns/habits. It’s rather interesting, it kind of tells you what mood you’re in. When I first started #PhillipsSongOfTheDay – something that has sort of died out (I’ve gotten busier) – I would choose one song a day, and keep a record of it on my phone (then on this blog). Looking through the list was interesting because I could see my emotional journey or, less cringe-worthy, how my emotions fluctuated over the months.