Music Marketing — A Location-Based Listening Experience

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As location-based marketing becomes increasingly popular, the variation of place-centric apps is also increasing, with niche players competing to provide targeted local ads and promotions. The music industry, in particular, has staked out its place in the location-based marketing scrum through the development of applications that combine music and location into integrated marketing tools.

Band Branding
An important part of musicians’ success is their ability to connect with their fans and create “personal” relationships with them. This is exactly what location-based music apps allow them to do. The application, for instance, allows bands to upload their tracks according to location, allowing users on the app in the same location to view all the tracks and download them. This app gives bands interested in creating a local identity within their hometown a great potential to connect with other locals.

A similar app, SoundTracking, utilizes a social network similar to Twitter to create a music sharing experience. Users are able to follow other users and gain followers, and then share whichever song is playing on their iPod or in their surroundings. If users are unaware of which song they are hearing out loud at a store or on the radio, they can hold their phone up and allow the app to recognize the song and then publish it to their SoundTracking profile. This app provides artists with the opportunity to share their own music on their profile to their followers, but also provides them with more exposure as users share music with their followers.

One band, Bluebrain, has taken this concept of location-based music sharing even further, creating two albums that integrate with the listener’s location. Bluebrain’s two albums, National Mall and Central Park, require users to download their application, which tracks their location and changes songs from each album based on their location in Washington, D.C., for the former, and New York City for the latter. As listeners navigate through different zones, their listening experience is altered. So far, these are the only two location-based albums of this type, and both provide a completely unique experience.

Broadcasting Benefits
Bands are not the only users benefiting from these location-based music applications; radio stations have also began adopting place-based marketing techniques to promote their stations.

Recently, the National Radio Systems Committee, seeking a dialogue around how location-based services will influence and change the delivery of radio content and related advertising, issued an RFP. The request underlines radio’s need to reinvent itself in order to take advantage of location. Knowing where listeners are at any given time is a tremendous advantage, and it provides the ability to create new “localized” revenue streams that simply didn’t exist before.

Another way music is being reinvented is via location-based storytelling.  One company in this space is Broadcastr, an app where stories are recorded and shared in audio format, each pegged to a specific location. Users can search for stories by location or category, or may opt to “follow” a person who they consider to be a good storyteller, sorting stories by that person into a special tab. Listeners can rate stories as they hear them. Stories can be shared with others via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Music is simply the next expression of the vast array of location-services that have the power to not just help us get from one place to the next, but to also have an emotional connected experience around a place.

Asif R. Khan is a veteran tech start-up, business development and marketing entrepreneur currently serving the community as founder and president of the Location Based Marketing Association (The LBMA). Weekly podcaster at This Week In Location Based Marketing every Monday. Can be found at @AsifRKhan @TheLBMA on Twitter.

Image courtesy of Flickr user craigCloutier.