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Nielsen Results Reveal the Power of Instagram in the Music Industry

Despite the fact that Instagram is almost entirely based around pictures, which obviously don't make any kind of sound unless you print them out and shake them at people, it has a presiding influence in the music world. Millions of musicians, from pop stars to garage bands to buskers maintain a prominent presence on Instagram, but it's never been exactly clear just how much musical influence the platform really holds, until now.

A while back, Instagram commissioned Nielsen to conduct a study into the platform's relationship with, and influence on the music world, and on Monday the results were made public. The aim was to prove that artists who regularly updated and well maintained their accounts saw a beneficial yield offline as well as on, and the results seem to suggest that is exactly the case. According to the report, Instagram users spend 42% more money on music related items during the year, and 30% more time listening to music.

Cue Point
Apparently, 54% of Instagram music fans say that they use music as a means of connecting with friends and family, 47% think it's important to see you favourite artists live and 37% would regard themselves as trendsetters among their peers. Now, this could be case of Instagram use increasing interest in music, or it could be the other way around, but in either case, this testifies to how instrumental Instagram can be in music promotion.

Cue Point
The figures also seem to mirror sales, as most users listen to chart music, with hip-hop and rap in a close second and R&B just behind that. This information neatly mirrors a steady increase on using Instagram as a front-line promotional tool. Drake recently used Instagram to announce his latest album, and Adele used it to build up hype for 25. Being able to broadcast your presence at live events is also a major factor, and more detailed stats in the report reveal that Instagram music fans attend more events than the gen pop across the board, with the gap sometimes being as large as 15%.

In this download-centric modern world, where most music can be found for free on YouTube and piracy is so easy a child could do it (and they frequently do), live music is becoming even more important, especially at a lower level. Take, for example, my cousin's band, Electric Swing Circus. Over the past 4 or 5 years, they have been able to carve out a hugely successful career over the past few years by establishing themselves as a quintessential party/festival band.

They run their own club nights, have a 1 day festival in Birmingham and perform at events which favour themed motifs and dress codes. As such, their Instagram is a huge part of their promotional MO, and they will attest that it's been a huge factor in their ongoing success. People want to post about their events if they go, and that has a distinct knock-on effect, and getting a more personal, travelogue-style insight into what a band gets up to on tour makes the whole thing feel all the more tangible, an effect far easier to achieve when you're not Taylor Swift or Kanye West.

Instagram is growing at a rather alarming rate, and this statistics won't be news to most industry professionals, but we could well be seeing a world where Instagram isn't just a factor in band and artist promotion, but a fundamental front line.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum

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Nielsen Results Reveal the Power of Instagram in the Music Industry Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 Rating: 5

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