Guest Blog: Empowering music discovery through gaming

  • Peter Larson
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Kevin Deakin is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Musicplode Media Limited and wrote the following blog for us.

Kevin is responsible for the overall business strategy, driving commercial partnerships, and liaising with music rights holders. Kevin has held senior roles at a number of ITV contractors, developing agency and client relationships as well as commercial roles at key radio media sales houses, and was the first ever in-house sales representative for the London based radio station Jazz FM.

Many moons ago on a hot summer’s evening in my garden I was hosting a summer party for my company, my employees were enjoying the beers and the bbq, but as I looked around, I realised a party game would really help the vibe. So I went and grabbed all my CDs and challenged everyone to game of guess the song clip. Hours later and my guests were still playing, shouting out songs and artists and impressing each other with their music knowledge. The next day, as I painstakingly placed every CD back in its case, many of my staff went and bought the music they had heard the night before; reconnecting with old classics and excited to hear more from bands whose music they had just been introduced to.

Everyone who works in the music industry and indeed every music fan has played a game like this at some point and I knew I had hit on something. I researched and was surprised to realise that no one had actually released a game like this, so I quickly trademarked the name ‘Beat The Intro’ and the rest as they say is history…..the game was born. Reflecting on how the game came to be, what I find most interesting is the music discovery element and how through gaming fans are engaging with old classics but also new music.

The power of music to conjure up nostalgia and positive emotions amongst fans is something we can all relate to but harnessing this in a format which leads the listener to act upon is what is most intriguing. It’s an alternative way to get to the music fan, outside of the established channels of communication. By interacting and having fun with music, discovery means so much more to the fan. Then there’s the competitive element too. Fans sometimes want to outdo each other or perhaps challenge a mate to compare who really is the music buff when it comes to knowing their music.

However, it’s not just the rediscovery of once loved songs this type of gaming empowers. By challenging yourself to new music or new artists, by default fans are introduced to new music. This is where the industry can really capitalise upon – promotion of new music to an engaged player, perhaps introducing a new artist.

Beyond music discovery, this format of music marketing offers other promotional opportunities for the industry. It’s proving harder and harder to reach a young audience, especially outside of the traditional ways – so gaming should seriously be considered as a method to reach them. For example if artists are looking to promote forthcoming albums, singles, tours or a new product line – then this can serve as an additional promotions channel. Since we launched the app two months ago in collaboration with PlayStack, we’ve had over half a million installs and it was selected by Apple as their ‘Game of the Day’ – so we know what huge potential gaming has in music.

What’s also interesting for the current music ecosystem is how useful this type of app can be for rights holders. In a world where streaming and downloads are important, we’re seeing that once fans have played a game they are then going onto streaming or downloading that particular song – they are reconnecting or connecting for the first time with that track, and thus having a positive impact on the music industry.

Our game is now available on Android devices which means even more fans can play it, opening up a bigger, highly engaged audience for the music industry. Check out the app for yourself and test out your Music IQ to see if you really have the best ears in music! It’s available from Apple’s App Store for iOS or from Google Play for Android devices

Kevin Deakin, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Beat the Intro – 28th June 2019

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