Is music enough or do fans seek a memorable music experience?

If you still haven't heard about 𝐁𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐞 𝐄𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡, most likely you are 35+ or you don't have teen kids. Although she is only 17, her popularity exploded in a flash. So, what is the golden formula to be successful in the music industry?

The music industry, as one of the hardest industry to break into, has changed remarkably over the last 20 years. Although we tend to listen music more, record labels and artists are having less revenue. About two-thirds of it now comes from streaming. Seems like music is not enough anymore, plus the competition is strong. Artists always say to be authentic and true to yourself but is it enough?

Music publishers are finding new ways to let fans interact with releases and artists. Sony launched a music experience at its 𝗦𝗼𝗻𝘆 𝗦𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗡𝗬𝗖 location last year and hosted a pop-up in SoHo that featured private concerts, music customizations and weekly online shows. Using technology in their live performances has become more common, especially Augmented and virtual reality, animating album covers or creating 360-degree experiences for fans.

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

Case #1: Billie Eilish (Interactive Music Experience)

To celebrate the launch of Billie Eilish first studio album 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗪𝗲 𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝗙𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗔𝘀𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽, 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗗𝗼 𝗪𝗲 𝗚𝗼? Eilish and Spotify launched an interactive music experience. Spotify designed the 29Rooms-like experience to take fans inside each of her 14 songs. It was inspired, she explained, by her synesthesia: a neurological condition that basically means every song she writes has associating colours, textures, scents, shapes, and feelings attached to it. Each room had a handy guide on the door that breaks all of those elements down, giving you an idea of what you're in for.

“I wanted a project that wasn’t just a bunch of songs put together and [once] you listen to them, it’s over. I wanted it to [include] the whole body and energy and every sort of sense. I wanted it to literally be an experience.” - Eilish said in a video.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗲 𝗘𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗵 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 took place in Los Angeles for one weekend only. Fans went crazy and tickets quickly sold out. Although she has a big label name behind her name, seeing her doing something that only well-established artists are doing is definitely noteworthy. Eilish’s album was also promoted across digital and social channels with a YouTube front-page takeover, as well as localized display ads on UberEats. Eilish also played the food delivery service’s show at SXSW in mid-March.


𝗢𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝟮𝟭, 𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟵, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗯𝘂𝗺 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗽𝗿𝗲-𝗮𝗱𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝟴𝟬𝟬,𝟬𝟬𝟬 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝘀𝘁.

Case #2: Dawn Richard (3D animation, Virtual Reality, gaming and 360-degree live experience)

Another notable artist is Dawn Richard. Dawn is famous among the music community with more than 14 years of music experience. The real shift in her music happened when she became an independent artist. For the last few years, Dawn was experiencing with 3D animation, Virtual Reality, gaming and 360-degree live experience.

Dawn Richard started with Virtual Reality technology in ‘Not Above That’, a music video experience that turned the viewer into the pilot of a spaceship on an intergalactic journey and recreated Richard and her dancers as digital sprites on the ship’s interface. The video was the next step in a process that began a year earlier when Richard released the‘𝗧𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝘅 𝗝𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗗𝗲𝗮𝗻’ video, which used motion-capture choreography to turn the human form into diamond and black onyx creatures.

Her album, Redemption, is being released on a 𝗨𝗦𝗕 𝗻𝗲𝗰𝗸𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗩𝗥 “𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗮𝗰𝗲𝘀” 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗯𝘂𝗺. She also performed in YouTube’s first-ever 360-degree concert.

“When you close your eyes, ‘not above that’ feels visual, it feels like going to another place” - Dawn Richard

The music industry, as much as it seems glamorous and posh, at the end of the day it's just an industry as any other. Singers are singing because they have a talent, but if there is not good marketing behind the artist name the artist can go unnoticed. In the business world; unprofitable. Having a good product or service is not enough anymore if you can't provide extra value. It is a competitive industry and they need to offer something memorable and relatable to their fans if they want to stay at the top of the game.

User experience and storytelling has always been, and will always be an important part of every business. Future sales of products and services depend on how loyal your customers are and what value do you provide to them.