Crowdsourcing has been growing in popularity among marketers in recent years and offers numerous ways to engage music fans. The buzzword is derived from the concept of outsourcing a service to a crowd, instead of seeking answers internally. Essentially, it taps the consumer masses for collaboration and feedback.
Today crowdsourcing continues to evolve, with a variety of industries using it for product development, research, and marketing. In return for participation—usually done online—consumers receive prizes ranging from cash to gift cards to artist merch.
Crowdsourcing fuels peer-to-peer marketing, where fans encourage their friends to participate, and share videos, exclusive content, and coupons.
The music biz has been using it for fan engagement, such as recent initiatives by Paul McCartney and Florence and the Machine. The industry brains behind the famed Beatle created a contest where fine artists designed a work inspired by his music. A similar competition was held to design a dress for Florence and the Machine singer Florence Welsh, which solicited 60 million votes according to a press release from Talenthouse, the social crowdsourcing company that was tapped by Universal Music Group for both projects. From a marketing perspective, it is a way to drive traffic to the artists’ websites and social networks, as well as engage consumers who entered the contests or voted for the winners.
Social media is a key component of most crowdsourcing websites, because the companies require a Facebook or Twitter account to log in. Some, like Talenthouse, run user voting through the social media sites. Connecting through Facebook allows marketers to gather the user’s FB info, including gender, list of friends, “likes,” email address, and access to post to the wall, with user permission.
Numerous crowdsourcing websites have popped up in recent years such as Krush.com, Crowdtap.com, and Prizes.org. Each site works a little differently, but they mostly have users answer polls, solve problems, or give feedback on products. Among the big-name brands on board are Old Navy, American Express, and Adidas.
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About the AuthorSarah Skates is Sr. News Editor of MusicRow Enterprises. Now in her eighth year with the company, she contributes to musicrow.com and the print magazine. She welcomes your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send press releases, photos, and news items to email@example.com.
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