Multi-award winning country recording artist Carrie Underwood recently released her latest studio album Cry Pretty to the public on September 18. As anyone can guess releasing a new album requires heavy promotions to turn the artist’s hard work (and if you’re big enough… a record label’s investment) into a profit, especially in the digital age of streaming, and as well-known as she is in the country music scene, even Carrie Underwood isn’t exempt from having to institute new promotional ideas to spread the word of her recent release.
That’s why, this past Thursday (Sept. 20), she took to Spotify to host a Listening Party Q&A, during which fans could tune in, listen along to each song on the album together, ask questions, and hear exclusive facts about the album. I discovered the news of the event after scrolling through Instagram and stumbling across a promoted post she created. While I unfortunately wasn’t able to tune in I was immediately intrigued by the idea as it was my first time seeing Spotify and an artist team-up in this way. (I could write a whole other blog about Spotify’s general bad rep in the music business for decreasing the returns artists/songwriters get and what it might look like for artist to actually have avenues through Spotify that may benefit them now… but I’ll save you from that tangent.)
By hosting this event she and Spotify not only created an opportunity for fans to listen to and engage with one of their favorite artists but also an opportunity for Carrie to discuss the album in more detail, further conveying the significance behind it, and hopefully increase fans’ interest in not just Cry Pretty but her “brand” as a whole. Because of this event, some fans may go purchase the album for either themselves or a friend, and some may go buy the vinyl version of the album for a more unique listening experience. Some fans may choose to purchase exclusive Cry Pretty merchandise in support of the album, and some may even go so far as to purchase tickets to her tour. It’s not enough now to simply ask fans to purchase these items; however, by offering them a unique experience she relays that she is not only concerned with achieving her agenda but has her fans in mind as well. Most marketers will agree that one important way to increase brand loyalty is to make sure consumers feel connected to what they are buying. This Spotify Listening Party Q&A did just this. It intrigued, informed, and entertained. Doesn’t sound like anything to cry about to me!
Now I would love to hear from you! Have any of you ever tuned in to a Spotify Listening Party Q&A, or even heard of this before? I would love to hear some thoughts from the perspective of a fan who is not looking through the lens of a marketer.