How QR Codes Propel the Music Industry Forward

Live music is facing a slump unheard of in modern history. But the new demand for online music has opened a whole new world of opportunities. By focusing efforts on streaming platforms and virtual concerts, musicians can continue to stay in touch with fans and keep the music industry alive. And when that effort is combined with QR Codes, music promotion reaches a whole new level of success.

How has the music industry been affected by the coronavirus?

While other small businesses like restaurants and cafes have slowly begun to open their doors, the live music industry is left at a standstill due to coronavirus regulations banning large-scale music events. Analysts at Goldman Sachs expect that the live music industry will lose up to 75% in revenue as a result of the coronavirus. It’s hard to tell for sure what will happen to live music revenues this year as long as those events aren’t allowed to take place. But one thing is for sure: the longer it takes to resume, the larger the drop in revenue becomes.

A new demand for online

Despite the bleak outlook for live music events, this unique situation has created a whole new level of demand for streaming music and viewing online music events. In fact, the online streaming market could grow to capture 1.2 billion users by 2030, which is still a massive uptick. Musicians like James Blunt realized this opportunity, which is precisely why he decided to live-stream his concert in Hamburg, Germany’s Elbphilarmonie that millions of viewers attended.

What’s more, even radio listening increased by between 11 and 18% for various broadcasters such as the BBC. So, the lesson here is that the music industry needs to shift its focus to online platforms in order to continue generating revenue, which is never a bad investment to meet the digital demands of the future.

Why the music industry needs QR Codes

How can the music industry shift its focus to online, stay in touch with their audience, and make access to music easy? It all starts with using the right digital tools to do that. In comes QR Codes.

A bridge between print and digital

QR Codes have become a true global phenomenon during the coronavirus due to their most advantageous feature: They create a bridge between print and digital. And not only this, but they also make digital information from print mediums accessible with absolutely no physical touch. This means that if you create something like a poster ad for a new album release, you can use a QR Code on it to connect users with that album, even from a distance. Because QR Codes have no minimum scan distance, they can be used on everything from tickets, to flyers, to billboard ads, and everything in between. With QR Codes, social distancing and public surfaces now become much less of an obstacle for the music industry!

Full opportunities to get creative

The music industry is a creative one, which means that any marketing and advertising campaigns need to reflect the creativity of that particular artist. Here too QR Codes are useful because they are fully customizable and can be styled for any medium. You can give them brand colors, custom frames with a CTA (call to action), styled edges, and a logo in the middle. In addition, you can download QR Code images into JPG, PNG, SVG, and EPS file formats, giving you full control over how they’re used in your own graphic designs. Size them up, size them down, and make your QR Code designs shine so more users scan them and enjoy your music.  

Flexible types of QR Codes

There are QR Codes for every need that work on any medium. Consider how awesome it would be if a fan could see a poster ad for your upcoming album release, scan your QR Code, listen to a sample of the music, and automatically download your album then and there via smartphone. That’s the full power that QR Codes give the music industry!

Examples of how the music industry can use QR Codes

There are virtually no limits to the ways that the music industry can use QR Codes to make not only their music easily accessible, but also market concerts, share sound files and videos, grow social media followers, and even improve band management. To give you an idea of how this works, take a look at the examples below.

Virtual concert marketing

At this point in time, the best way to continue hosting live music events is to focus on online platforms. So, instead of canceling your live music event completely, you can use QR Codes to market your virtual music event with an Event QR Code. Event QR Codes display all information about your event, enable automatic registration, ticket purchasing, and even add the event to digital calendars. You could then create a poster ad with an Event QR Code and hang it in public places, such as the park or public transportation areas. Then, when anyone is interested in the event, all they need to do is scan the QR Code and they can get all the details and buy their ticket without needing to look up anything later on.

Poster and phone screen advocating QR Codes for events.
An example of an Event QR Code for a virtual concert on a poster ad

To mention two further important points, the majority of QR Codes are Dynamic, meaning that you can track how successful any related marketing campaigns are based on QR Code scan metrics. Secondly, Dynamic QR Codes can also be edited after printing, meaning that if you need to change a link or even change your type of QR Code, you can do so anytime without needing to design a new QR Code. It doesn’t get more versatile than that!

Marketing during the concert

Once you host your virtual concert (or even for in-person live music events in the future), you can use QR Codes during the concert, too. You might want to use a Social Media QR Code to grow social media followers who want to hear more of your music by adding it to digital signage. Even if you don’t have digital signage, you can still use QR Codes on something as simple as stationery for users to scan.

Digital screen at a concert featuring a QR Code.
An example of a QR Code on digital signage at a concert to grow social media followers

Sharing music sound files

If you’re a musician who has released new music, you can create a magazine ad promoting that new music. By combining that print ad with an MP3 QR Code, you give readers automatic access to a teaser of the album, and then on that QR Code’s display page, you can list the landing page via the CTA button to purchase the entire album. Because this is a Dynamic QR Code, you can track the entire results of the marketing campaign from the print magazine ad, something impossible to do without QR Codes!

Magazine ad promoting a new song with a QR Code
An example of an MP3 QR Code on a magazine ad for to boost album purchases

Video marketing

Sharing behind the scenes footage for the most loyal fans is easy with QR Codes, too. One example is to use a Video QR Code on band merch such as a t-shirt. To create this QR Code, all you need to do is upload the Youtube link and it automatically converts the video into a QR Code. Then, on the QR Code’s display page you can add a landing page with the CTA button to purchase things like VIP tickets, additional brand merch, or any other special access package that fans might be interested in.

Band merch promoting VIP access to fans with QR Code
An example of a Video QR Code on band merch to promote VIP access for fans

Better music management

QR Codes are not only useful for musicians, but band managers as well. One of the most common ways of using QR Codes is for print business cards, so this same concept applies to band managers. In the image below, a band manager makes it easy for their network to listen to his band’s latest single with an MP3 QR Code. As an alternative, you could also use a vCard Plus QR Code so that anyone you network with can automatically add your info to their phone, or they can also share your contact information with others.

Band manager business card using QR Code to promote band music
A band manager’s business card with an MP3 QR Code to share his band’s latest single

The added benefit here is that print business cards are extremely limited in space and are easily lost. A vCard Plus QR Code therefore makes networking so much easier, because there isn’t even a need to give out a print business card at all. Even better, anytime that your contact details or the song you’d like to promote changes, you can update this without needing to design a new QR Code.

Adriana Stein

Adriana Stein is a Freelance Content Writer for Egoditor GmbH and is originally from Oregon, USA. She is now based in Hamburg, Germany, and specializes in creating and managing SEO and content marketing strategies for businesses across a variety of industries. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn!

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