Major record labels are are finally coming to grips with the fact that we're going to be living in a streaming world where any sales are a bonus. That means their strategy is now changing from one of selling product to one of engagement, according to a great article on The Drum.
The article states that there's now a rethink of how product should be marketed.
Instead of the short "release windows" of the past, labels are coming to realize that the more consumers are listening to an artist's streams, the more money everyone is making. As a result, the marketing cycles are becoming much longer, creating a "continuous loop" that's geared to keep people coming back to listen.
This movement is being spearheaded by Sony Music UK, but other labels are slowly adapting the strategy.
Sony began to look at other industries like traditional publishing and hotels to see how both are courting and keeping their customers, then incorporating that strategy to help increase engagement.
This can only be good for artists, who have long suffered from inadequate promotion when a song or album wasn't an immediate hit.
In the past, there was still a chance that a record could catch fire if a radio station (no matter how obscure) would add the song to its playlist, but in these days of station groups, consultants, and less local radio, that's more difficult than ever. Plus, radio is less and less relevant when there's no product to sell, so any new ideas in music marketing is great news for every artist and label in our new Music 4.0 age.