Livestreams, Online Events and Vaping: Opportunities for Brands to Connect With Dance Music Fans

Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.

Dance music’s rising popularity over the years has increasingly drawn attention from companies and advertisers seeking to reach its fans. IMS Business reports that in 2019, dance music was the third most popular music genre with roughly 1.5 billion people listening globally.

My social media market research firm, Maven Road, was intrigued to discover how brand and business leaders can engage with fans of the dance music community. This interest led to research that identified the fans’ consumption patterns and how they have shifted since the onset of the pandemic. We identified three relevant points that marketers interested in connecting with this audience should consider.

Livestreams represent an opportunity for marketers.

Due to the pandemic, dance music culture has permeated online spaces, allowing fans to socialize, share new music and keep up on event information. Fans continue to seek and create communities to stay connected to the “dance music family,” often relying on outlets such as YouTube chats, Reddit forums and Facebook Groups. Consequently, livestreams are now an integral part of dance music fans’ community culture.

We analyzed dance music fans’ activity between 2019 and 2020 on Twitter and found that the popularity of sharing links to livestreams increased significantly. This has prompted fans to participate in paid livestreams. Out of 2,018 fans, we found that 45 percent paid for livestreams, and 52 percent would consider it in the future. Furthermore, when asked if it was worth the value, the majority said yes.

The fans’ increased interest and willingness to pay for the livestreams provide marketers with potential opportunities to engage with the dance music community, conduct digital brand activations and reach users who prefer and continue to consume the music via livestreams.

Reddit and YouTube livestream chats are spaces where fans can find acceptance and support and share how being part of the dance music community has benefited their lives. This provides a natural opportunity for brands to connect with the community through those channels. Although many use Reddit for practical purposes, like receiving answers to dance music-specific questions, many characteristics of the community’s culture, such as being guided by their aforementioned core values, have permeated into subreddit communities, allowing people to not only have their questions answered but to create meaningful connections with like-minded people.

The Rolling Stone Culture Council is an invitation-only community for Influencers, Innovators and Creatives. Do I qualify?

Brands can leverage the fans’ interest in online events and festivals.

The pandemic caused a sharp decline in in-person events and festivals, meaning gatherings that are online are becoming more relevant to the community. This was apparent in conversations we observed surrounding Tomorrowland’s virtual festival, one of the most popular events among the dance music community. Last year, while some attendees expressed a desire to return to the in-person event, we found that many fans preferred the virtual concert because they felt more comfortable.

Online events will probably not replace in-person festivals and raves, but these events are great opportunities for brands. In addition, they can expose fans to brands they may not have necessarily paid attention to at in-person festivals, where they are often oversaturated with advertising and other stimuli competing for their attention. By collaborating with online events, brands can increase their exposure and reach potential consumers.

On the other hand, industry professionals have adapted to generate revenue by leveraging livestream platforms to promote events and by selling merchandise and products as opposed to living event tickets. The virtual event as a concept has led to the opportunity for product placement, which has been beneficial in creating awareness for brands like Absolut, RedBull, Velo, and others. With ads inside the virtual event platform or through product placement, brands have the opportunity to leverage interest in festivals and develop greater customer awareness.

There is a possible connection between vaping and dance music community culture.

According to our study, over half of surveyed dance music fans vape. We found vape consumers in the dance music community were more willing than general fans to pay for a live DJ livestream.

Dance music industry experts recognize the possibility of a connection between vaping brands and the dance music culture. However, for brands to leverage a relationship with this community, they must first be mindful of the fans’ culture and characteristics. Strategies can be effective if tailored toward their specific interests, values and behaviors. Then it would be possible to connect the two interests and approach both audiences.

Brands can get involved in the dance music community, as long as the brands understand the culture first. Take the example of Red Bull, an energy drink brand that got so involved in the music scene through festivals and its studios that the product itself became an afterthought at times. On the other hand, it’s important to mention that some DJs are open to working with brands because it helps sustain them when gigs are limited. Nonetheless, they might only accept brands that align with certain values or that come up with personalized ways to activate their products, such as a contest to win a private show.

Understanding the dance music community, including fans’ interests and behaviors, can unlock many opportunities for marketers. Increasing interest in livestreams and virtual events provides brands with opportunities to connect with the audience and boost their exposure. The way these fans consume music has shifted and has opened new ways to approach this audience.

Source: Read Full Article