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The online destruction of events promotion and the music industry

So far in 2019 Social Media companies have drastically limited the reach of Events, how many this have a knock on effect?

Disclaimer: The article below has been contributed by the event promoter or somebody representing the event promoter. As such we take no responsibility for accuracy of the content and any views expressed are not necessarily those of Skiddle or our staff.

Date published: 30th Apr 2019

What difference a year can make, so far in 2019 we?ve seen many memorable events; from Brexit and the demise of the Tory part to the death of Prodigy legend Keith Flint. But the untimely death of Keith Flint hasn?t been the only big blow to the music industry so far this year. The music industry has taken a big hit, what I?m talking about is how social media companies have further strangled the reach for businesses across the board prompting users to pay for advertising to help further line their pockets.

Following Mark Zuckerberg?s scrutiny by the US congress in March and April last year he vowed to change Facebook for the better. To not only make it more user friendly but to ensure its safer and more secure and made to favor and promote consumers content rather then the businesses that use it as a platform to market their products and content.

So how will this have a knock on effect on the music industry? Well, it already has. I?ve run an events company for the past 3 years and slowly it?s been made harder and harder to run promote these events online. And this is only 3 years, I?m sure people who?ve been running events longer will tell you this has been going on for years and the even before this time the battle with social media and event?s promotion has become more and more difficult.

Since the start of 2019 and I?ve noticed a huge decrease in the reach on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. To help put this into perspective; In 2016, 2017 and 2018 my events were reaching between 90,000 people and 120,000 people with a 3 month marketing campaign for an event.

Of course to be able to get this reach I?ve used various tactics including sponsored posts and advertising online. I?m not disputing it?s still great tool, since the internet came about it?s proved to be an incredible form of marketing for all types of business. And I?m sure Facebook spokes people will say it?s been for the benefit of the user, but the moderation that?s been employed by social media platforms in 2019 has also become the demise of many businesses that rely on the online organic reach.

Since I started promoting events the Facebook event reach has significantly dropped. And when I say significantly, I most definitely mean drastically. From an average of 100k reach per event in 2018 to a huge drop in 2019 to 30k, and this is using the exact same tactics I?ve always used as well as an increased budget and spend with social media advertising. That?s a decreased reach of over 66%, two thirds, so events companies who use these platforms have now lost a huge potential market.

When I published my first event online this year I originally thought that maybe I was doing something wrong, although it soon became apparent that it wasn?t just Tearout Events that had suffered. After discussions with friends who hold events up and down the country it seems that they have been hit critically in the terms of their event page reach since the start of this year. So back to the question of ?How will this have a knock on effect on the music industry?? Decreasing the reach of events online will have a huge knock on effect directly in the industry and with the companies that surround it.

Live music events are the backbone of the music industry. Back in the day the majority of money was made was in the studio, but since the 90?s and early 2000?s when music pirating was on the up rise and studio equipment became more affordable the record industry took a huge hit, forcing record labels to close down a huge percentage of studios across the world, and following this drastic change the main revenue soon shifted towards live entertainment and music events.

Many businesses within and around the music industry rely on the success of live music events, many people think the music industry is glorious but behind the scenes anyone who works in the industry will tell you not only is it not as glamorous as it?s made out to be but unless you make it big there?s really not too much money in it.

Artists and DJ spend thousands on studio equipment, mixing, mastering and the production of music, this helps to get them paid gigs where they can afford to live and further invest in their career. Subcontractors such as sound, staging and lighting companies heavily rely on events to make a living and fund their business.

We see venues closing down across the country, venues depend on the money made on drinks brought in from events to be able to pay the enormous and constant increase in costs. In 2018 UK Music said 35% of venues have closed within the past decade, this is a staggering number and can also be directly linked to an increase in what some people (not myself) may call crime. It?s been suggested that due to the enormous amount of live music venue closures illegal raves have been on the increase, with a 9% increase between 2017 and 2018 alone.

After naming a very small select group of people within the industry I haven?t even touched on the people outside of it. You have accountants, drinks suppliers, first aiders, maintenance engineers, electricians and many more jobs that are effected with a reduce in numbers from live music events. So the whole point of this is without live events and even with a decrease in revenue in the industry it affects thousands of people, their livelihood and the economy. This can be directly linked to the heavy reduction in the reach of the potential market online.

So what can events companies do to combat this without shelling out hundreds on online advertising? Well there are a number of ways, What promoters that I know have been doing is resorting back to the old school way, by printing flyers and posters to ensure their event gets noticed. But with that comes consequences, imposed fines from councils and the ever-growing obvious environmental damage that comes with printing and plastics.

What you can do about it is simple. You can help increase the organic reach by using Facebook and Instagram's algorithms to their advantage. By liking and sharing post?s it will help by dictating to the social media algorithms that the post may be interesting enough to feature in many peoples news feeds.

So give your friends pages a like, hit that share button, it takes two seconds and will have a major impact in help driving the music that you love so much and while we?re here be sure to visit my Facebook page www.facebook.com/tearoutevents.

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