My relationship with my Blackberry is one of the most consistent and rewarding ones. I rely on my mobile device for operating nearly every aspect of my day from getting a map to my destination or texting my friends to let them know I will be late. Mobile devices govern many different aspects of a consumer’s life and interactions with the world they surround themselves with.
Because there is such an intimate bond between consumer and their mobile device, the mobile environment offers a new and exciting way for artists to engage with their fans. Fans interact with many of their social networking environments from the website’s native application to their device. With access portals for fans rapidly evolving with advances in technology, it is up to the artist’s to include these mobile engagement tactics in their digital strategies.
Engagement within artist communities is quickly becoming another asset or objective within any digital marketing plan. By focusing both on engagement and data, artists are able to gain a better understanding of their audience while allowing them to retain their interest. As Web 3.0 is replacing the archaic tenets of it’s predecessor, there should be equal emphasis stressed on both engaging fans within a community and being able to collect information about their audience.
Mobile is quickly becoming something many companies and brands are focusing on. The mobile perspective offers a more intimate way of interacting with an audience since mobile devices have become something we use on a daily basis. As mobile continues to grow with technology start ups focusing on mobile transactions, applications, and games, entertainment should help usher in a new way fans can gain access to their favorite artists or musicians.
As more and more fans engage with their friends and social circles in a mobile environment, it is within reason to include mobile initiatives within either an album release or digital marketing plan. With many different options to consider including whether the app should be native or built in HTML 5, there are various ways artists are currently using mobile technology and optimization to reach a wider audience and have a larger impact within their communities.
HTML 5 Now
According to recent market data provided by ComScore, there are over 110 million American mobile consumers with smartphones. The vast majority of these mobile consumers are using either Google Android (50.9%) or Apple (31.9%) phones. Since the mobile consumer in the United States are interacting and purchasing more engaging devices the technology should naturally evolve with the consumer.
While recently attending the “Next In Mobile” seminar in Los Angeles, various technology entrepreneurs offered their own unique perspectives on the subject of application development. As Flash is no longer going to be supported with newer Android OS updates, the basis of interactive mobile web elements will fall in line with HTML 5 and responsive design elements. However the consensus gathered at the recent seminar was that HTML 5 offered the user an inconvenient and insignificant experience. As Flash is phased out the only logical language to use will be HTML 5.
Since mobile consumers are spending more and more time using their mobile devices to communicate with their friends via social networks and their respective applications they are increasingly accessing the Internet through their mobile devices. If more and more consumers use their mobile devices to access the Internet the issue of whether applications should be built in mobile or native environments quickly arises.
Native Versus Mobile Web
As mobile is included within more artist marketing plans, the first hurdle to be decided is whether the application will be native to one environment (Apple iOS, Android OS) or accessible through the mobile web. With either platform there are certain limitations or advantages to engaging fans within the artist’s community or creative marketing implementations. In any case an artist’s analytics should be gathered and researched to best gauge or pinpoint how their audience is accessing their online communities and properties.
A great example of both a native application and creative mobile fan engagement can be found with Slash’s new app, Slash360, promoting his latest album release. The application developed by Mativision showcases both music and an interesting interactive element which allows fans to gain a 360 view of Slash, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, performing songs in the studio off the album, “Apocalyptic Love”. The user can use their gyroscope to view the song from virtually anywhere in the studio while jamming with the band. The song is consistently playing in the background offering the user exposure to the new track and a great insight to how Slash is in the studio. With both interactive and consistent elements of Slash intermixed, the application sets a standard for mobile applications.
As more and more artists like Slash use mobile applications as tools to promote a new album, the precedent for native applications there have been fewer examples of HTML 5 applications being used for artists. An interesting point brought up at the Next In Mobile seminar was their hesitancy to embrace newer technologies like HTML 5. When a guest posed a question in regards to engagement within either a native app or mobile web app, the general consensus was that the app should be native. While no real statistical or empirical evidence suggests that user engagement in either environment differs, it should be noted that native applications are only able to be accessed from the environment in which they were built whereas the mobile we applications are accessible through any mobile web portal.
Since mobile is rapidly approaching the same threshold and value as data, the emphasis in not only digital marketing but mobile marketing should be included within any marketing plan. We use and interact with our mobile devices in a far more intimate way than we do within Facebook or any other technological environment. With such an integral role within the consumer’s daily life, broadening engagement efforts to include those of mobile makes logical sense. By broadening the reach of a marketing plan, artists are not only able to leverage their existing communities but to push the interaction between artist and fan to a further level.