To say 2020 has been the most unpredictable year to date would be an understatement. But if there’s one thing we’ve seen musicians and their teams prove time and time again, it’s that resilience and creativity course through their veins.
In the face of unprecedented challenges, we’ve been so proud to see how quickly everyone in the music industry adapted and sprung to action. And within the Linkfire community, we’re blown away by how many of you used our tools to create and maintain connections with fans.
This year alone, Linkfire users created nearly 1 million smart links. Together, you’ve routed more than 1 billion music fans in 193 countries to over 3,600 destinations.
Here’s a look back at some of our favorite highlights of the year.
New year, new link types
You asked for more smart links, and we listened. Our teams came together virtually to build and launch two new link types to elevate your promotions in 2020:
Bio links and reward links
Designed for social media, bio links bring all of your content together in one beautiful and highly scrollable microsite. When done right, they turn attention into meaningful engagement. If you haven’t already created one, now’s your chance to get ready for the new year!
Newest to the family are reward links, giving fans instant access to secret content, coupon codes, and contest entries in exchange for a follow or subscribe. They’re a highly effective way to deepen fan loyalty and drive the conversions that matter most to you.
Say hello to our new streaming data partners
As part of our ongoing commitment to make data more accessible to artists and their teams, we welcomed YouTube, YouTube Music, Deezer, and iHeartRadio to our growing roster of streaming data partnerships. Our other data partners include Apple Music, Deezer, Pandora, Traxsource, Anghami, Boomplay, and more.
Whether you’re an up-and-coming artist or managing a major label release, transparent insights like these are essential for optimizing music promotions, reaching more fans, informing ROI, and getting a more complete picture of the fan journey.
Trends across the music industry
- Live streaming is booming. In response to a worldwide shutdown, artists and creators turned to live streaming from empty venues and their own living rooms to keep music alive and stay connected with fans. The Music and Performing Arts category on Twitch rose by an astounding 524% in March alone, from 92,000 to 574,000 average viewers. Similarly, there was a 70% increase in Instagram Live streaming in the US from February to March. Stay-at-home orders around the globe certainly played a huge role in these spikes, but it’s only going to get bigger post-pandemic: The live streaming market is expected to be worth over $70 billion by next year, and $184 billion by 2027. If you’ve been toying with the idea of live streaming to deepen your fan connections, strengthen your artist brand, or supplement your income, now is the perfect time.
- Music and gaming partnerships have reached new heights. Beyond the usual soundtracks and sync licenses, we’ve seen serious potential in creative collaborations, virtual worlds, digital goods, and record-breaking numbers for in-game performances. It’s an exciting opportunity for artists to tap into new forms of storytelling and diversify the channels through which they connect with fans.If you’re planning on using Twitch or Steam to grow your audience in the new year, be sure to add them as destinations on your Linkfire links, or list them in the “follow” section of your social bio link. That way, you can track your marketing efforts and build followers on your gaming profiles.
- Social activism is taking center stage. Racial injustice is far from a new thing, but the killing of George Floyd—along with so many other Black Americans who have died as a result of police brutality—reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement around the world. The music industry was hit with a sobering reality check about its own history of systemic racism. When Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas (who were both honored with the Executive of the Year Award at Billboard‘s 2020 Women in Music event) launched #TheShowMustBePaused in June, the floodgates opened for artists and labels to stand together and demand change. We saw Universal create a social justice task force, BMG pledge to address historic inequalities in record contracts, artists driving fans to social justice causes in their social bios, and countless other initiatives.
As we look ahead to the new year with cautious optimism, we feel more focused than ever on our mission to bring you unparalleled music marketing tools and insights. Our team is already hard at work on some exciting new developments that we can’t wait to share with you in 2021.
Until then, we wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!
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