30 million listeners can’t be wrong!

“Group Therapy describes the relationship between us, our music and our audience and the magic that happens when they interact. Our radio show is our biggest weekly interaction with our fans…. It is global Group Therapy.”

above-beyond-group-therapy

With a weekly audience of 30 million listeners worldwide via its 156 FM and satellite partners, Above & Beyond’s radio show Trance Around The World (#tatw) was renamed Group Therapy from Saturday 10 November – a sign of the unstoppable momentum of the Group Therapy phenomenon.

So now it will be #abgt rather than #tatw – #TATW = #ABGT

And we are happy to report the first 4 sets of #ABGT continue the extraordinary quality of the previous #TATW “handbag”, proving that freemium is an awesome way for musicians and producers to connect and succeed in the connected, networked, social media generation.

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Two Clicks And You’re Out! Facebook ‘Like’ Revolt

The end is nigh for much of Facebook’s F8 mayhem. And among the biggest losers will be musicians, authors, artists and anyone else that tries to blackmail users to use the Like button.

You’ve all seen the trick:

  • click on a link for a “free” download
  • click from a webzine to a bio
  • click on a “news” item for more info

When you click, you arrive at a Facebook request to “Like” (the page, the brand, the artist) before you can go any further.

No more!

Every Twitter account that tries that trick will start to be Unfollowed.

Every Tech blog that tries that trick will be suspect.

There are three key reasons the Like scam will now fail wholesale:

  • when users take two clicks to reach something they should reach in one click, they lose interest rapidly
  • when users click Like they become part of Facebook’s “know you and sell you” data empire
  • the failing Digg, Stumble and similar content farms showed the junk aspect of processes similar to Like

So next time you get a blackmail attempt to Like something, don’t.

Facebook slump in the UK, but youth interests are solid

Although half the UK population is said to be on Facebook, recent statistics show that FB accounts for less than one eighth of UK internet usage.

The infographic below, created by Experian Hitwise, allocates a month’s usage into one hour:

Although all “Social Media” is grouped together, Facebook only accounts for half of that pie slice.

Therefore, the standard web usage of Entertainment, News, Email, Shopping and Travel continues to dominate.

Complete analysis is clouded, however, with a huge one-third of internet time being left vague, called Other. My guess, based on many other surveys, is that Other will include a lot of youth-oriented sites like YouTube, iTunes, Vevo etc. And that’s where the real importance lies!

Live Social-Media Reality Mash-Up Challenge – Whew!

We’re not sure if this is a trend yet, but it could certainly be a trending topic! Take 21 Top 20 stars and create a prize-draw competition for the public, topped with a Reality Show Challenge for the performers. Add in a jetset location like Valletta on Malta and “swag bags” worth $15,000 and this sounds like great fun – and great entertainment.

The excitement comes from imagining your favourite music artists in a live mash-up performance – which then becomes real. As well as the live shows, Festival At Large intend to provide both streaming and download options for the events. Their tag line of “Festival At Large is wherever you are” is definitely making full use of our modern, connected world.

Just one example from their growing collection of videos proves the point. What do you get when you mash-up Miley Cyrus with Chicago in a cleverly synced video? You get this:

Now that you understand the plan, it could be time to get mashing yourself into tip top YouTube form. Rumour is American Idol will be using video submissions soon to help in the heats!

The failure of VEVO gets worse

Despite the ongoing hype by the music industry suits about VEVO being so great, users stay away in droves. Some recent and very contrary views explain some of the issues.

As we noted in an earlier post, VEVO has really low visitor numbers – click here. The news has been getting worse. Even when people visit the site they run away again, fast. Here is the chart to prove it:

bounce rate of vevo compared with youtube and myspace

The higher the Bounce Rate, the less time visitors stay. Google Analytics specialist Avinash Kaushik has stated: “My own personal observation is that it is really hard to get a bounce rate under 20% while anything over 35% is cause for concern. Above 50% is worrying.”

The chart shows YouTube is fabulous, very close to the 20% optimum. Even MySpace, despite its troubles, has still managed to stay below 40%. But VEVO is still climbing, now well into the extreme danger zone.

So it is silliness in the extreme to see Mary McKnight, aka @REBlogGirl at a Major Record Label, make extravagant and incorrect claims about VEVO. She said: “VEVO has really taken off … and is driving in more people than Hulu! The premium content model is leveraging fan base against both artist brand and artist product to deliver exactly what the fan wants – the ON DEMAND ALL ACCESS PASS to their favorite artist. It’s a simple model and it is working on Vevo.”

Except it is clearly not! Why do major music labels continue with this selective blindness to what is really important to fans.

3 clicks and 8 seconds – scary update!

3 seconds to load a web pageThe June 2010 Web Analytic Clinic carried out by Marketing Experiments suggests that your web pages must, within three seconds (yes, 3 seconds), answer the questions:

  • where am I
  • what can I do / buy / get here
  • why should I participate / buy

In the ‘old days’ – 2 years ago! – the mantra was 3 clicks and 8 seconds. The new finding shows that:

  • users are bored with bloated websites
  • users are not happy having their time wasted
  • users want websites to be twice as responsive

Think about TV and the attention span of viewers. With hundreds of channels it’s easy to flick to another one if a show or advert fails to engage. With the web there are millions of ‘channels’ to click to.

The marketing gurus at iON suggest three solutions:

  • answer the what (what you can do) before the why (don’t bore us with how good you are)
  • present the ‘problem’ before the solution (old school marketing speak)
  • back up your claims with credibility (so no boasting or hollow testimonials)

As iON say: “Your website should mimic the clarity of a newspaper headline, not the subtlety of a murder mystery novel.”

The GAP between consumers and marketing – laid bare

Marketing Gap Tracker 2010There are a few ads and marketing campaigns that capture the attention of huge audiences – did anyone mention meerkats? But the vast majority of campaigns fall into the ‘also ran’ category. New research helps us see why.

A 2010 survey of consumers and marketers reveals what marketers believe is important. There is a wide gap in some important areas when we also look at what consumers are influenced by.

It’s no surprise that the highest ranking for consumers is given to brands they trust. Marketers are a little behind on this, but the next three metrics show consumers and marketers are fairly close.

The final three metrics, however, throw large spanners into the hopes and aspirations of marketers and designers. The consumers don’t really care! So it’s thumbs up for:

  • brand/company that’s known/trusted
  • relevant product or service
  • personal, targeted communication

But, and it’s a big BUT, there are very wide gaps in the final three metrics. When marketers rate something as twice as important and, ye goddess, 3-times or even 5-times as important, someone needs to get back to basics. Sorry, marketers and designers, but consumers are mostly looking for quality and relevance. In short, it’s thumbs down for:

  • interesting packaging
  • fun themes
  • design and appearance

Consumers are now a bit too savvy. They can see a great product or great deal, but they can also be turned off by smoke and mirrors. The final message might be:

If you’ve got a great product or service, be straight about it in your marketing.