Adapting Your Music Communications to Coronavirus

As COVID-19 continues to change people’s everyday reality, it’s more important than ever for brands to ask themselves, “Are we helping, or not?”

At a time when customers are experiencing high levels of uncertainty and anxiety, the last thing you want is to be remembered as another stressor in their lives during a crisis. However, through thoughtful messaging that prioritizes consumers’ needs, it’s possible to become a source of trust during this challenging moment. In that spirit, Movable Ink is sharing industry-specific insight for music brands to offer value and support to customers.

As social distancing has become a regular practice, streaming behavior is shifting in response to changes in people’s daily routines. A decrease in streaming was observed in mid-March, due to a decline in commuting and closures of businesses. Changes in consumption have also become apparent, with more people streaming from desktops, TVs, smart speakers, and game consoles. The types of content listened to has also shifted as people settle into new routines defined by quarantine. Below, we’ve highlighted the standout ways we’ve seen the music industry readjust to listeners’ new norms.

Curate important and relevant information

Within email, best-in-class content presents audiences with valuable programming that reflects their range of needs in the current climate. Some brands have offered special COVID-19 programming, whereas others provide an escape from reality. And in some cases, companies present a little bit of everything, allowing subscribers to pick and choose.

SiriusXM’s weekly newsletter gives subscribers a variety to choose from, reflecting engagement trends observed. This includes workout music meeting a demand for at-home fitness, stand-up comedy as subscribers seek levity, COVID-19 updates in line with an increased demand for up-to-date information, and religious services providing continuity in routine during quarantine. So whether someone is looking for a break from current events or to connect more directly with them, they’re able to discover what they’re looking for.

Offer promotions for relevant services

As consumer budgets tighten in response to the coronavirus, organizations have extended offers to provide resources and services as added value without cost. Not all offers are overtly related to the pandemic, but their timeliness allows audiences to take advantage of their content during a time when more people are pivoting to digital as they stay at home. Similarly, many companies have lifted paywalls as a means of public service, giving people free access to particularly relevant content.

Amazon Music’s promotional trial offers an extended trial period of three months, with access to over 60 million songs.

Create a dedicated newsletter

With the growing landscape of content catering to our new circumstances, there’s a lot to choose from. Dedicated newsletters have been a great way for companies to clearly curate their own offerings and help consumers discover them. As with promotions, we’ve seen organizations position themselves as both hubs for COVID-19 updates as well as destinations for an escape.

Live Nation pivoted to create a virtual hub of online and upcoming performances, along with releasing a Live From Home weekly newsletter to showcase new virtual content. The hero image of the email introduces the concept of their new streaming offering, while links to upcoming shows allow readers to easily attend and stream.

About the author

Naveen Wall

Prior to joining Movable Ink, Naveen worked at multiple brands that are creating innovative marketing experiences for media and tech services, including Shutterstock, Time Out North America, and Global Radio. She joins Movable Ink from SiriusXM, where she ran the brand’s engagement newsletter and supported the roll-out of their recommendations engine that displays real-time information on live ‘now playing’ content.