Marketing through music


A person listening to music. Music streaming site Mdundo monthly active users hit 17 million.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

In the early 2000s, MySpace became the first social media site to have a million monthly active users, marking the start of digital marketing.

Now, not a single day will pass without one being bombarded with some form of brand marketing on their social media platforms. We now have influencers who are strong on different platforms and brands have to curate their advertisements to suit the platforms.

While the traditional marketing and advertising has stood the test of time, it is time for marketers to move ahead of the curve, expand their ideals of what social networks are and go where their customers are.

Some of these unconventional social networks are music streaming platforms, which saw global subscribers surge 26.4 per cent to 523.9 million during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Kenya, music streaming platforms subscribers for a platform such as Mdundo rose to 5.7 million in quarter one of 2022 from four million in last quarter of 2021.

Music streaming platforms create valuable opportunities for marketers to boost their emotional connection with audiences. Brands have the opportunity to connect with audiences’ branded playlists. Music streaming platforms provide brands with organic distribution through branded and social playlists that can be curated to a brand’s purpose. Secondly, for small and medium sized enterprises, these platforms offer targeted marketing without breaking the bank.

In an era where marketing budgets are tight, music streaming platforms offer a tactical approach for brands to reach a wider audience in a short time. Marketers can also use these platforms to collect valuable audience data.

But it is not only brands that benefit, music streaming platform have put in place legal frameworks that ensure artistes benefit from streaming revenue and royalties.

With the ever-increasing numbers of Kenyans using smart devices and social networks, marketers must seek ways to speak directly and authentically to them as this is integral to their brand survival.

Ms Karanu is the head of brand partnerships at Mdundo