Some new-ish Comscore data feels like a rather big wake-up call. If 8% of internet users account for 85% of clicks, why do we ignore the vast majority of web users in our metrics for display ads? We are still, far too often, applying old DR methodology to non-DR communication. We really need to begin to build better metrics, not just in terms of 'brand effect' but also in what people do offline not simply online. It's something CMOs are looking for - a recent survey by the CMO Club shows that nearly 2/3 of CMOs say their most significant challenge with digital is understanding how online marketing programs impact people offline. Yet we still treat 'online' as it's own discrete world far too often. Yes, online is fantastic in part because it is measurable, but just because we can measure something doesn't mean it's always the right thing to measure.
Following on a musical vein, I was a little shocked last week to see that the Sugababes, a fairly big band in the UK, have lost their last remaining original member but are carrying on to make a new album. You could argue that this is merely the natural conclusion of how the music industry has treated brands as entertainment franchises. I rather prefer the thought someone left on their wikipedia entry: "a hollow, machine-like representation of the music industry's deconstruction of music as an art form". Maybe this is all OK if we believe bands are brands but when the product's fundamentally different surely the brand should be as well?
Really interesting piece of analysis by The Times Lab on the changing landscape of revenue in the music business (in the UK) between artists and the industry.
A few things jumped out at me:
1. It's the graph the music industry doesn't want you to see. It shows how artist revenues have actually increased in the era of file sharing while the revenue going to the industry has decreased. So, if you're business model is purely one of content distribution it's perhaps time to exit.
2. The fastest growing area of revenue is that of live shows. As the post points out, "at some point next year revenues from gigs payable to artists will for the first time overtake revenues accrued by labels from sales of recorded music". Not sure if this is a case of more people going to shows, more shows occurring or more profitable deals for artists, but it does suggest to me that this is perhaps evidence of the fact that we tend to enjoy doing stuff together. Perhaps music is the ultimate social good, rather than the private good record labels would like it to be.
3. Arguably, the last century of recorded music has been an anomaly in how we consume music and we're going back to how we have always enjoyed it - live and together. The content distributed is perhaps really no more than a calling card and artifact of something far bigger and more powerful.
That's the question posed in the first installment of Spur, from Redscout and psfk. Does the way we think about and practice planning make us impotent or are we neutered by the factory like structure of some agencies?