#Live & Later

Happy Anniversary @Twitter

Over the past year I have thought a lot about how music data is currently being analyzed (like a calf at a new gate). Before we try to analyze data from interactive channels we will first look at who does best “at what” and try to solve for the most valuable use case. Overall I hope this post will help us all better understand the relationship between Twitter and Music.

What prompted this post was when I heard a CNBC host say Twitter was a store. It is easy to see that Twitter is not much a store as it is customer service. Breaking down the customer service chain the most direct connection between brand and product is the manufacturer and the user (or the architect and the home dweller) This bond of trust is bigger than the realtor, who acts as a salesmen in the process, but will not incur any responsibility if the house collapses. (i.e. No Skin-In-The-Game)

~Musicians are on @Twitter and so are their fans

For the musician who wants to keep in touch with their fans this is best done via Twitter.

Let’s say you are a fan of music and your favorite band/artist are soon coming to town. You bought tickets to the show but you also enter a contest to upgrade to a VIP meet-n-greet. Luck strikes and you win the contest. In an email from the VIP tour department you’re told that the meet-n-greet will happen one hour before the show, and will take place backstage. Deep down you know your time will be limited and you won’t be the only one in the meet-n-greet. Due to the timing of the meet happening just before the show, you also know it won’t offer much time to interact with your favorite artist/band. Just imagine if the meet-n-greet was post performance. The excitement to see a band after their performance grows as the show goes on through the night. This time slot would be even shorter plus you would have to deal with family and friends being backstage after the show which would limit your interaction even more.  So the strategy is in place. You show up early, park, enter the venue, find a security guard and tell them you won a VIP meet-n-greet, security finds the right individual working with the tour staff and directs you to a holding area. Once the entire VIP group arrives everyone gets to go backstage. (The dynamics change if it is a band or solo artist, but for the story we will stick with a solo act).

Next, you enter through a door near the stage, file down a hall and wait again before entering the area (probably the green room) where you will be lucky enough to get to interact with your favorite artist. There are roughly 20 people in this line. The VIP assistant states that there will only be time for a photo, no autographs (as signing papers or ticket stubs takes way too much time). Unknown to you, and the group, there was a snag in traffic and ground transportation has just relayed to the production staff that a wreck has the artist held up just a few blocks from the venue. The VIP assistant has a schedule to abide by and turns to the crowd to make an updated announcement. “Those individual photos can not happen, but instead there will now be two group photos of 10 people each. Remember, we are on a time crunch and that showtime stamped on your ticket has to happen the way it says. The show must go on. But do not fret, you still get to meet your favorite artist.”

It’s time and timing is everything. You dressed for the occasion, you have your brightest and biggest smile on, and you even popped a mint. The VIP assistant (or Tour manager, friend, whomever) walks towards the corner of the room where the entrance door resides. A hush comes over the lucky twenty and in walks ________________. Your mouth gets dry, your palms sweaty, and your eyes bug out of your head. You’re about to cross a major one off of your bucket list. The first of two photos is your group and lucky you, you are placed right next to ________________. You have a quick second to say something before the photo. If the first thing that comes out of your mouth is a Facebook post, you have failed, but not you, you’re a smart fan. You get that artists are crunched for time like everyone else and you decide to drum up the best 140 characters you can think of in order to make a simple but lasting impression on your favorite artist. One of the best interactions has just taken place, and you will remember this experience for life. Score. A direct message, reply or mention from__________ is sure to be a backstage moment.

There will always be more people tweeting at the artist from the crowd, you will know them because they usually scream “i love you” or their favorite song’s name or may even try to heckle the act, but have no fear these folks rarely get a response from the stage.

Some extra tidbits…


Enlarging the character limit goes against economics… the less characters, the more valuable the tweet. (see: rare metals)

The internet is about speed; 140 characters are quicker to read than 10,000

If someone unloads a Facebook post on you in person you will probably feel drained. 140 characters are closer to how we communicate face-to-face dialogue.

Technology: do more with less (a whole EDM post can be written about this statement)


Interactive transactions with those outside of our circle adds to our knowledge base.

Sharing information on Twitter and being able to connect with those who share similar interests is by far one of its most valuable use cases.

The Facebook pie is mostly those we have already interacted with in real-life. Rarely do you add a friend on Facebook whom you have never met, but following someone on Twitter that you have never met is half the point.

The connection process on Twitter essentially connects those who have never met in person but who may share similar interests.


The effects (80%) of Facebook are caused (20%) on Twitter or What happens on Twitter is talked about on Facebook.


Twitter = Activate (set in motion, initiate, turn on)


Facebook = Disseminate (circulate, distribute, spread)

The news rarely reports on a Facebook post

“Tweet us your photo” (says CNN, The Weather Channel, etc)

or “Use hashtag ___”

Miracle on The Hudson… Political conversations…. Copyright…

~Customer Service vs. The Storefront

Facebook is a much better retail store than Twitter.

Retail is about traffic, about volume, about quantity.

Musicians mention their merch table and future shows from the stage but rarely sell t-shirts and tix from the stage. (Artists should stop trying to sell stuff from Twitter/The Stage)

Facebook is more similar to the “Merch Table” than it is to “the show” or “backstage”. The storefront is Facebook , the distributor is Amazon, and customer service is Twitter.

Twitter is like Google because Twitter is where we go for deduced information.

Amazon is to Facebook (stuff everyone needs, people you already know)


Google is to Twitter (information aggregation and relative, real-time search capabilities)

The distributor is Amazon, and the aggregator of deduced information is Google.

In the near future Twitter will need to become even more like Google (with modifications) or be bought by Google. Imagine Google’s page rank/algorithm, sharing which links are most associated with Twitter and then a tractable source from where the links originated before they were disseminated.


A way to look at Facebook being the “store” is to look at the average age of those who purchased Adele’s latest CD. It is the same average age of those who use Facebook. 40+  which have the bulk of the money and are most likely to use Facebook as a store.

With some 2014 info from @NestaMusic

EDM fans tweeted 1.85x more than the average Twitter user at 11 times a day. Approximately 1/3 of those tweets were about EDM. These passionate EDM fans posted about their genre 52% more than the broad genre music fans. EDM fans also tweeted about their listening behavior four times as much as other music listeners and generated approximately 72% more conversations on the major topics in their lives. They post about events 30% more than other music fans, with 1 in 4 posts about EDM occurring during a live event.” 

~Business of Live

Music fans engage with music in a multitude of different ways, but the the closest possible engagement between a fan and the music happens at the live show, and Twitter is live.

Live context is volatile, uncertain and complex. How does Twitter incorporate a LIVE music experience inside their product?

With Twitter it is better to have perspective than process. Facebook is the other way around.

How to build business from these areas comes first from understanding what they are great at doing and then build a data narrative from that, not the other way around.

So here, in the age of the disappearing salesmen (and a probable reason for the nostalgic effect of “Mad Men”) one who claims an ability to market on Facebook, but has no intention to work customer service on Twitter, is not ready to add value to the overall pie. We can not put live in a box.

Customer service is best done Live.

Entities who have the experience servicing the music customer in live events are accustomed to complex structures and managing uncertainty at the speed of live.

How to help Twitter therefore becomes how to the incorporate a LIVE music business experience inside their product.

~Twitter and Music

Like most musical artists, Twitter is misunderstood.   

There will always be less people backstage, or at the live show than outside looking in.

(Twitter: 320 million

Facebook: 1 billion)

Four of the Five most followed profiles on Twitter are music related.

Around ninety percent of people have a relationship to music. This metric tells us all we need to know about what the most valuable use case is.

What happened to Soundcloud/Twitter merger?

“Earlier this year (2014) a survey found that @twitter users share @soundcloud links more than any other music service, including @spotify

If Twitter attracts music fans, it’s simple to see that their business should have executives and/or board members who understand the business of music fans, especially if they have real-time transactions and live customer service experience.

For every person who says they don’t use Twitter, there is a musician out there who does not understand why everyone is not using Twitter.