How Social Commerce Is Changing the Music Business


As Steve Jobs famously said, “The first iPod…didn’t just change the way we listen to music — it changed the entire music industry.” The combination of the iPod and the iTunes music store together introduced a new way to purchase and listen to music. Today, social media is giving us a new way to discover new acts and share our favorites.

Music marketing has always had a social aspect to it, whether it was going to live music clubs, playing records with a group of friends, tuning into a favorite radio program, or sharing a set of headphones. Now that we’re all connecting via social media platforms, of course, music has arrived there as well.

psy pic

‘Gangnam Style’ from Korean singer Psy took off because of social media marketing. Social commerce will make or break future Gangnam Styles. 

Building a New Model

There’s a sea change going on in the music industry right now, where the old business model is crumbling. What will replace it isn’t yet clear, but there are promising ideas in the landscape. And social media will certainly play a role.

Remember the summer of 2012? That’s when the K-pop super hit “Gangnam Style” by the artist Psy became an international phenomenon because of social media. To promote the song, Psy’s music label uploaded the video to YouTube and tweeted it to fans. The video quickly went viral, which led to articles in Billboard and The Huffington Post, as well as TV coverage on CNN (and The Today Show, as seen in the photo here). Soon, the song was everywhere. The video became the first to hit one billion views on YouTube in December 2013, and has garnered another billion since.

But how will future Gangnam Styles be made in the social commerce age? Read my full blog on LinkedIn to learn more.

BBM Joins the Party

As I can’t talk about BlackBerry products specifically when posting on LinkedIn, I wanted to add here that we’ve been working to integrate music into the BBM platform over the last year, and recently added some great new features.

Show What I’m Listening To allows you to share what you’re listening to on your device with your BBM contacts. Show What Others Are Listening To lets you see what your contacts are playing in your Feeds. We recently extended this feature from the BlackBerry OS to iPhone and Android.

We’re also expanding our one-click commerce offerings. Now, you can click once to buy tracks you hear through nobex, akazoo, 7 digital, langit musik, Melon (langit musik and Melon are two of the biggest online music streaming sites in Indonesia), and via media (a South African mobile services provider and content aggregator for South Africa and Nigeria).

As we at BlackBerry envision messaging to be the entry point for the burgeoning mobile economic ecosystem, we see apps like BBM as the key platforms for music fans to discover, listen to, and buy music. And as “Gangnam Style” proved, social media can take music to the world state faster, and in a more spectacular way, than ever before.

About Matthew Talbot

I am the Senior Vice President - Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry. I have extensive International Management, Sales and Marketing background in Mobility and Cloud technologies, Financial Services, Telecommunications, and Content in both a “Start-Up” and Public company environment. This includes stints as a senior executive at SAP, Sybase, Mobile 365 and others.

Join the conversation

Show comments Hide comments
+ -
blog comments powered by Disqus