With new music popping up on iTunes, Spotify, the X Factor, MTV, Facebook, Twitter and more, how on earth do you even get your new release thought about, never mind actually played? Even the biggest names have had to come up with tactics to create buzz for their releases, from Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly dropping a week early, to Beyonce’s self-titled fifth album coming out with no notice whatsoever.
Maybe the new ‘thing’ is to release your music on dating apps! Yes, I’m talking the likes of Tinder and Grindr…sound weird?
Recently, X Factor winner Leona Lewis made the rather odd move of releasing her new album I Am on Grindr, the popular gay dating app, where users of the app can pay $3.99 (that’s £2.59) for the new release. It does make more sense when you know that her lead single from the album, ‘Fire Under My Feet’, didn’t even break into the top 50.
Jason Derulo also plugged his video for ‘Want To Want Me’ on Tinder. It worked as well, as the company takes responsibility for 1 million of his views. He said of the unconventional move, “I wanted to find a unique way to launch my video. I know my fans are tapped into social networking so what better way to launch it?”
Nicki Minaj sold tickets for her Pinkprint Tour on Grindr a couple of years back and Madonna was at it as well when she ran a competition offering fans the chance to win a live chat with her for the release of Rebel Heart. So is this the innovative, game-changing new way of selling music?
In theory, it is a great marketing technique. The masses are on their smartphones for most of each day, and the majority of the said masses are linked to some sort of dating app. Surely offering discounted rates and early exclusives this way is a marketers dream when it comes to selling music? There is no denying that this method does, and will continue to, succeed for the foreseeable future. Yay for the marketing execs!
But there seems to be limited longevity to this because we all know how it works. The minds behind these companies firstly try to provide us with an app that we didn’t think we needed and can’t believe we were living without. It gets downloaded, and downloaded some more, and everybody loves it.
But then we all know what happens next. They start to thread other channels through it like a messaging service, or its own radio station, or in this case, music downloads, and it all gets complicated and messy and then you suddenly find yourself with your app in the firing line. Anyone remember Bump or Everpix? Exactly.
The masses would eventually come to realise that they are seeing glamorous music videos and attractive model-esque people all over their everyday life already and probably won’t want to be reminded of all the hot people that would never sleep with them, especially when they’re trying to get laid.
Because ultimately, what we really want more than anything, are separate apps for separate activities. Although the introduction of music promotion probably won’t be a deal breaker for already successful apps like Tinder and Grindr, the idea will most likely just fizzle, and eventually fade into obscurity.