Social networking services from MySpace to Bebo continue to increase in popularity, and as they do, for many in the music industry their kinds of service offerings represent a significant marketing opportunity.
According to a recently published survey by Entertainment Media Research (and OLSWANG) two in five social network users have music embedded in their site profile, and on Bebo and MySpace that number jumps to 65 and 63 percent respectively. 27 percent of respondents in the same survey also indicated their social network services were regular sources for discovering new music.
Armed with this kind of data, and more, Blue Note, the venerable Jazz label owned by EMI, has planned to relaunch their promotional website as a branded social network and music store of their own later this month (According to a Billboard report) .
Blue Note, which was named after music notes played at a lower pitch, was formed in 1939, phased out in 1979 and reborn in 1985. Since 2006, the label has been home to a number of EMI imprints that specialize in music aimed at more adult-oriented audiences. The company’s client roster is home to many well known musicians including notable newer names like Norah Jones and legends from John Coltrane to Billy Holiday to Miles Davis. Typically, the demographic of Blue Note’s listener is adults over the age of 35.
The decision to create their own social networking enhanced site and store is a bold one, but arguably it is smart. Major social networks, while widely used, skew younger in the demographics of their users. With each successive drop in age, usage goes up. Those above 34 are not primary users and they’re not well served. Yet upwards of 31 percent of music downloader’s are 35 or older.
Blue Note will try and engage the group more directly, try to provide a service that better addresses their needs. Given EMI’s open acceptance and leadership in DRM-Free music, any likely music sold will almost certainly be unencrypted.
The site relaunch is expected within the next two to three weeks.