What Social Media Has To Do With Record Sales

social media and the record industry

What does social media have to do with record sales? As it turns out, a lot! This may seem obvious to you, as it certainly does for me, but research has shown that “social media has a concrete and measurable impact on sales, certain metrics more so than others, and can serve as an aid to the industry when it comes to determining where to focus marketing efforts”. That’s huge!

A simple example: Back in the day you’d wait to hear the new single on the radio from your favourite band. Then to hear it again you’d have to wait until they played it again and chances are you’d probably miss it. After a few weeks of waiting for the single or album to be released you’d rush down to your local record store and pick up the album. Nowadays (do I date myself using that word?), you can discover new music or listen to your favourite bands on many different media sources, you can interact directly with the artist and other fans, and you can share your music all with a few clicks or taps. It’s awesome! “Last year alone, more than 3 billion fans played over 60 billion songs on various online music platforms”.

Does Social Media Impact Record Sales?

Hypebot.com has a post that looks at this question:

“Does this social media activity actually lead to album or track sales? Which of the countless networks actually matter? Radio spins have long been considered the industry standard for predicting sales, and with good reason, but is that still the case? By combining radio and iTunes sales data for thousands of artists with social media data from all the major networks, from Facebook to YouTube, to Twitter and Last.fm, we found good reason for why the industry should pay attention to the rest of the numbers.

In our analysis we focused on measuring the impact of social media on iTunes digital sales, both album and track units, initially looking at same day correlations between social media metrics and sales across all artists. This first-pass overview of the data confirmed suspicions that social media numbers did indeed correlate to sales; certain metrics even more so than radio spins. A particularly interesting phenomenon we discovered here, is that there is a difference in the metrics that are relevant to track sales versus album sales”.

Read the rest of the story here.