Holmes Report 24 Apr 2011 // 11:00PM GMT
“Now we’re a part of a totally new music scene, in the future we can say – we were the first!” Swedish top artist Salem al fakir
The music industry struggles for survival due to change in consumption. Good bye albums and records, hello playlists and concerts. Sweden’s biggest music awards faced the same challenges as the rest of the industry but instead of fighting it, they decided to embrace the change and adapt to the new ways of music consumption. And they did it by uniting two separate worlds – Live and digital. We built YouLive an advanced application – the first ever web casted concerts with real time interaction between artist and audience. When the dust had settled, we had created 2.4 million interactions between audience and artists, we had a PR reach of 29 million and a 300 percent traffic increase to the music awards website.
Since the start in 1979, “Rockbjörnen” has been the biggest music award for the people of Sweden, presented by Sweden’s biggest newspaper Aftonbladet. Over the last few years however traditional news media and music awards has lost its relevance in the younger demographic, mainly due to new forms of communication and music consumption. In 2010, it was truly a do or die situation for Rockbjörnen. Focus was to reinstate the relevance for the Rockbjörnen award towards a new target group of highly digital and selective music lovers, and make them perceive Aftonbladet as an innovative news media channel.
The solution was to embrace the two top trends on the music scene – live and digital. And in addition capitalize on the digital sharing potential of their preferred communication channels.
Why do people go to live concerts? The answer is that they want to interact with the artist and other fans and share an experience. They want to sing along, raise their lighters, wish for songs, applaud, make out to a favorite song. So we took all these features and built YouLive an advanced application – the first ever web casted concerts with full interaction. Streamed concerts has been done uncounted times before, but never with interaction possibilities as a real life concert.
Qualitative: Reinstate the relevancy of the Rockbjörnen award by gaining exposure for Rockbjörnen outside Aftonbladet's own channels and in contexts that are relevant for the target group.
Increase traffic to Rockbjörnen website with 200 percent
Make the biggest music event in Sweden
The rapid change of the music industry has altered the platform for music awards completely. Albums and records have been replaced by playlists, and various streaming services such as Spotify have gained ground. The easy access to content has increased the relevance for unique material. As a consequence, live concerts have grown at an explosive rate in recent years.
Previously, artists generally performed at award shows looking for “free” publicity. By turning the logic, YouLive used the audiences passion for their idols, tapping into their news feeds on Facebook and Twitter. Making the artist the messenger, and connecting them to the audience thru live interactions, both the artists and the audience were engaged in the content.
An application that integrated the live feeling with Facebook's unrivalled interaction was created to organize a genuinely live concert online in which the audience could interact with each other and with the performer in the studio in real time. The audience could applaud, take photos, hold up lighters, kiss, request songs etc.
Digital tickets were created to access the concerts. The tickets also offered a way of reinforcing the live feeling and as a tool for distribution, since they were intended for sharing. To build hype the tickets were initially shared in the performers' own channels and by fans on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and sites.
The biggest and most relevant flows of information were identified. With strong content and creative ways of contact, YouLive tapped in to these flows of information to achieve a greater reach. Spotify published the tickets to their 630 000 Facebook members. YouLive was also released to relevant blogs and other music, lifestyle, technology media. When the buzz in social media peaked, Aftonbladet publicized YouLive in its print and online editions.
Seven concerts were created with the biggest artists in Sweden. The artists had a constant dialogue with the audience by showing their actions on a real time updated monitor. And flood of bootlegs, pictures, social interactions and traditional PR followed.
attracted 44,000 unique visitors, from 63 different countries, during 105 minutes, making it the biggest festival in Sweden during 2010 (Goal: 30 000 visitors)
did the application work? It generated 2.4 million interactions during the concerts! (Applauds, raised lighters, requested songs etc)
had a total PR reach of 29 million
increased the amount of unique visitors to the Rockbjörnen website with 300 %, from 85,500 unique visitors during the most intensive period, to 337,000 during the YouLive activity
In addition a new business model for the music industry has been born which puts Aftonbladet in the leading position of new media. YouLive enables a direct interaction between the performers and their most important critics - the fans.