Pinterest is clearly a social media powerhouse from time spent on site to traffic referrals. But Pinterest still feels like a poor fit for many musicians and changes that could affect discovery, such as the growing array of categories, are designed in ways that make marketing music more difficult. So is it time to explore Pinterest alternatives? Does Kanye West's interest in Fancy signal a new social network for music?
Pinterest continues to outperform many social networks for traffic referral and looks likely to soon pass Yahoo becoming the "fourth largest traffic source in the world." Pinterest also appears to be increasing time spent on site at the expense of other social networks.
So with all this engagement and traffic referral, as well as interest from music marketers, why hasn't Pinterest become a true center for music marketing? Some reasons include the visual focus of Pinterest and the specific demographics of the site but both videos and SoundCloud files are now pinnable and all demographics have an interest in music. Pinterest's audience seems likely to be one that would spend money on music and related merch of the artists they care about.
One aspect of Pinterest I've noticed that holds back individual artists and bands is the way they handle categories. Since individual pins are not tagged, the pins that will show up in featured categories are more likely to show up from boards dedicated to those topics whose pins are on-topic.
An individual artist who's generating lots of pics and pinnable content in addition to videos and audio will tend to pin content that would be tagged in different categories. But the Film, Music & Books section features YouTube videos and an assortment of other graphics related to music such as album covers but none of the other more personal content one might expect a musician to generate.
Though every such platform has its limits would a competitor working related but distinguishable territory, such as Fancy, be a better fit for musicians? Kanye West's recent tweet and pic with Fancy CEO Joe Einhorn received a bit of attention though Apple's possible acquisition generated more visibility.
But Kanye's interest in Fancy and Joe Einhorn seems less a statement about its suitability for music and much more about Kanye's interest in design and business. Fancy's focus is very much product driven, much more a design mag than the upscale woman's mag of Pinterest, and their move into ecommerce fits that focus.
You can find out quite a bit more about Fancy in this excellent interview with Joseph Einhorn that includes history and demographics. He maintains that they are less a competitor with Pinterest and more a competitor with Amazon.
As with Pinterest, Fancy's ultimate relevance to music marketing is not whether or not one is the better platform for music but whether or not one fits a particular act, especially if there's a demographic fit with the audience and a content fit for showcasing one's music and merch.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) maintains a business writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.