In this interview Jessica Page talks about her time in the music industry, from her origins at startups and in media distribution, as well as about her current position at Mom + Pop Music and current social media marketing strategies.
Guest post by Veselina Gerova of The Message
Hey Jessica! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I’ve been working in music for about 7 years and I’ve worked on many sides of the industry. From startups to media and distribution too. A little over two years ago I made the switch to the label side when I moved over to my current position at Mom + Pop Music.
We’re a lean team so that means most of us wear multiple hats. For instance, part of my role focuses on creating digital strategy around content rollout through our artists’ digital channels, building and maintaining websites, creating and building out artists’ email lists and essentially, making sure they have the best visibility possible via all of their digital properties.
Additionally, I handle key DSP relationships with Spotify, Vevo, YouTube, Pandora etc. I’m there to make sure our partners are getting all the info they need to ensure that our artists are getting their fair share of love and attention. I also run point with our 3rd party international partners in LATAM and EU/ASIA/AUZ who assist in aligning campaigns on a global level with DSP’s and at times with radio and press.
Also, can you tell us a bit about the company you work for, MOM+POP Music?
We’re a NYC based indie record label which got its start about 9 years ago. Our roster includes artists like Flume, Courtney Barnett, Neon Indian, Tash Sultana, Alina Baraz, Lucius, Jai Wolf and many more. The company was started by Michael Goldstone (Goldie) who’s an A&R industry vet to say the least.
In the past he’s signed Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, Tegan and Sara, Regina Spektor, Against Me! and many more. A few years into M+P’s creation Thaddeus Rudd became Goldie’s business partner. He’s also an excellent A&R and radio promo man. Thad is responsible for bringing Flume, Jai Wolf and Alice Merton to the label as well as a few others. They run the company together as Co-Presidents.
What is your position there?
My title is Director of Digital, but as I explained that means a lot of things.
You’ve worked with some big names in the music industry. Can you name a few for our readers?
Most recently I worked with Flume on his sophomore album Skin, which later went on to win a Grammy for Best Electronic Album. I also worked with Courtney Barnett on her debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. They were both amazing projects to be a part of especially since they were executed with all indie labels across three major territories. I really feel like we all achieved something incredibly special and I’m proud to have been a part of it.
Being in the music industry requires you to work with a lot of artists. How important do you think it is for musicians to connect with their fans online?
In most cases it’s number one most important thing besides making amazing music. Fans are not only invested in the music, but also the artists who make it. They want that direct connection and I’d say that type of connection almost always equals fan loyalty.
Is it important for musicians these days to be innovative when it comes to technology? If so, why?
I would say so. Technology moves fast and fans are continually adopting new platforms/ways to communicate. If artists aren’t on board to do the same they lose the ability to connect to their fans. I wouldn’t recommend trying every trend that pops up, but it’s important to pay attention to what’s working and where fans are living/communicating.
Speaking of innovation, Messenger bots are the “new big thing”. Tash Sultana is one of MOM+POP’s artists. How do you think having a Messenger bot has affected her social media presence?
I think the sentiment in the industry is that Messenger bots provide the one-on-one connection that may have been lost in the evolution of Facebook’s platform. Because in it’s early days we’re still figuring out the best strategy around this new technology.
I can say that on the most basic level, Tash’s fans are engaging with the bot. Not only are they opening the message, but they are clicking the links included in the message.
As for her presence, she’s able to have a more intimate relationship with her fans and engagement is significantly higher than with a standard Facebook post or even promoted post.
What can musicians use a Messenger bot for?
Musicians can use the Messenger bots to communicate with their fans one-on-one as opposed to blasting out a message to everyone via a Facebook post. Really it’s all about being able to provide a more intimate connection.
We are working on campaigns to premiere content exclusively via Messenger in hopes of rewarding fans who are the most engaged and already using the platform. We also hope to bring in new fans that way which will, in the long term, build out our ability to message with them one-on-one.
Should artists have a strategy when it comes to Messenger bots?
I think all artists should have a strategy when it comes to communication and marketing especially when using a new technology. That said, there’s lots of room to experiment so I think artists should get creative and see what resonates with their fans.
If so, any tips & tricks you’d like to share about such strategies?
When setting up the bot it’s important to let fans know why it’s been setup and what it’s purpose is. For instance, you can let them know it’s a bot and not every message will be directly from the artist, but that they can come there to get any info they would like and of course, premium content etc.
How do Messenger bots differ from social media posts in your opinion?
Well for one, the engagement rates are much higher. Traditional posts don’t even come close. If artists are selective about the content they push out and the messaging around it, there’s definitely a greater potential to drive awareness and solicit a response.
What are the marketing advantages of having a Messenger bot? (for artists)
We’ve reached a point with social media where it feels like you’re spending loads of time shouting into the ether.
With a Messenger bot it feels like a fresh start. You have the ability to reach fans that actually want to hear what the artist has to say and share. That feels like a pretty invaluable tool.
Do you think a Messenger bot can help with one’s brand building? If so, why/how?
Sure. I think all forms of communication can help with this. Personality plays into perception and the overall brand of the artist. The intimate connection that the Messenger bot facilitates allows all of that personality to shine through.
What do you think the future of Messenger bots will look like?
The technology is in its earliest stages so it’s hard to say. It seems that as AI tech develops it would certainly play a role in the next gen of Messenger bots. We’re all waiting to see the new tools develop and looking forward to finding creative ways to use them.
You can follow & say ‘hi’ to Jessica Page on Twitter here.