Thursday, March 13, 2014

EDM Fans’ Hyperactive Social Media Use Driving Genre’s Success (Study)

Matt Medved/Berlin/Billboard

The only thing the current crop of dance music fans may love more than listening to EDM is tweeting about it.

A new study from online ticketing platform Eventbrite found that prolific social media posting and an emphasis on the live experience were key factors that differentiated EDM fans from their counterparts in other music genres.

Conducted in partnership with social media insights firm Mashwork, the study sought to understand EDM fans’ unique behavioral tendencies and conversational topics by analyzing more than 70 million relevant English social media conversations. Researchers compared a representative sample of 1,000 EDM fans, drawn from sub-genres ranging from progressive house and trance to deep house and drumstep, against a similar analysis of a group of 1,000 fans of ten broad genres like rock, hip-hop, jazz and country.

Eventbrite found that EDM fans are particularly hyperactive in their social media usage. EDM fans tweeted an average of 11 times per day, dwarfing the average Twitter user’s 1.85 times per day. With 1 out of every 3 posts being related to EDM, passionate dance music fans posted about their genre of choice 52% more often than general music fans. While general music fans were also substantially more active than the average Twitter user, EDM fans tweeted about the music they were presently listening to four times as often and generated 72% more conversation on the major topics in their lives.

“The EDM fan’s amount of online sharing is simply staggering,” Eventbrite Head of Music Marketing Martina Wang told Billboard. “They’re the most social of music fans – both online and off. There’s a huge opportunity for EDM brands to harness the power of the dance fan through connecting with them online.”

EDM fans also appear to be less artist-centric in their fandom, advocating for their favorite artists half as often as general music fans. In contrast, EDM fans focused more on the overall lifestyle and event experience, with 14% of all fan conversation concerning subtopics like their event groups and podcasts. These peer influence priorities comport with Eventbrite’s 2013 Harris Interactive survey, which found that 78 percent of respondents were much more likely to go to an EDM show if their friends were attending. Conversely, only 43 percent of other music concert attendees indicated the same.

As much as DJs often complain about smartphones on the dance floor, they appear to be benefiting from their fans’ interconnectivity at events. With 1 in 4 posts about EDM occurring during a live event, EDM fans post about events a staggering 30 percent more than other music fans. This translates into an impressive 42 billion potential impressions for EDM events over the course of a year, which Eventbrite believes can be utilized by savvy brands.

“Engagement at the event itself is critical,” said Wang. “Increasingly we’re seeing mobile apps for festivals and brands that integrate social and group chat features, and use of visible hashtags at the event to harness and collect conversations. Photo and video sharing at the event isn't prohibited, but encouraged.”

Eventbrite found that tweets during live events drove 27% of all EDM purchase decision journey conversation. Images and video also accounted for nearly 1 out of 10 related posts. The study suggests that EDM fans are uniquely receptive to reliving their experiences through event live streams, particularly if such streams can be optimized for the mobile devices that they overwhelmingly use.

“It’s about extending engagement to the other 300+ days of the year when the fan isn’t at events,” said Wang. “So much goodwill is built at the event itself. Brands can extend this conversation well beyond the event through social engagement that brings the fan back to that unforgettable live moment.”

Finally, it seems fans just simply love the music. Eventbrite found that social media conversations about EDM are predominately positive, with love of EDM accounting for 40 percent of all social media conversations. Whether it’s a new track discovery or a picture from last weekend’s festival, EDM fans are overwhelmingly likely to post it to their social feeds.

“We suspect EDM continues to boom because of this overwhelming positivity, affinity for the live experience and hyper social sharing,” said Wang. “It’s the love of the experience that keeps fans coming back for more and promoting continuously to their friends. The fans themselves are driving the movement.”

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