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  • 1.
    Edlom, Jessica
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Bringing the digital Swedish music brand alive2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Today, Sweden is one of the world's most successful exporters of popular music and has become a powerful brand: manifested as "the Swedish music wonder". The brand is built by many actors, for example by the organisations Export music Sweden and Musiksverige. This paper is focusing on cases from 2016 building the Swedish music brand: including the website Swedish affair and digital platform Showcase Sweden, a collection of creative works from Sweden: music, games, clothes, films, advertising or TV-drama. Around the digital platform physical nodes are built, in order to create real meetings with the target groups – which seem to be important in an overloaded and "noisy" social web. For exampel the Nordic Light house was created on the big music festival South by South west in Austin, US, having show cases, workshops and networking for the music industry. During the festival there was also active work to engage audience at the venue in social media; to use the hashtag swedishaffair, create and spread pictures/films of the festival activities. This co-creation was seen as important in the on site brand building and the extension of it. Research shows that a brand gets stronger when it is involving with the audience, and creating first hand experiences and feelings, more than the digital media can do by itself. This study is looking at the implication personal and place bound experience has on a social web campaign, using concepts as digital communication, social imaginary, cultural, place and nation branding.

  • 2.
    Edlom, Jessica
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Building authentic music brands on the social web2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Music brand building has drastically changed the last decade. Today you need to be present indigital and social media all the time, to be able to interact with your audience. But knowinghow to do this in a successful way is not easy, as we are overloaded by media messages andtired of advertising. Research shows that the core of successful communication and brandbuilding is creating relationships, emotions and a "feeling of true"; authenticity (Beverland,2014; Aaker, 2014; Arvidsson, 2006; Greenberg & Kates, 2014).This study is focusing on how strong music brands are built today, and more specifically whatrole authenticity plays and how it is manifested and created. What impact do social mediahave on how strategists and artists think about and work with authenticity? Todaybrands/artist has (at least in theory) the possibility to be communicating directly with theaudiences and fans – but what is needed for this to happen? If authenticity is a cornerstone inmarketing and identity building: is the artist's "own voice" a necessity and is it important tolook at the artist as "true"?This study has a qualitative approach, based on deep interviews with stakeholders in themusic industry: artists, communication strategists, management and record companies, bothindependent and major ones. The theoretical base is interdisciplinary: media andcommunication crossed with marketing perspectives and cultural studies, to be able tounderstand this highly commercial and at the same time creative industry, based on artisticvalues.

  • 3.
    Edlom, Jessica
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Fluid communication strategies in music online brand building2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper sets out to explore Swedish music brand building and how the brands are built and managed strategically. Normally this kind of communication and marketing demands high level strategy, but research shows that the social web rather demands flexibility. It is more important for a brand on the social web to excel in execution, rather than planning. It is equally important to create engaging content that helps content to be shared.

    The study has a qualitative approach, based on deep interviews with stakeholders in the music industry: artists, communication strategists, management and record companies, both independent and major ones. The music industry is a diversified: from small independent artist without representation or money, to big artists with manager, record company and marketing professionals working for them. Of course these different conditions effect the ways of reaching out with music and reaching audiences. The aim of this study is to understand how the online communication work is created and steered in practice in this industry, and the power relations between the different agents in it.

     

    The study shows that social media have changed the ways organisations music brands are communicating with target groups and building brands profoundly: the social channels are central in connecting to customers and fans but hard to navigate and. Therefor strategies are needed to do it in a desirable way, but the execution of the strategies and plans largely.

    In order to steer the communication in the right direction, there is an experienced need of having a flexible strategy. Everything can happen when communicating with the audience, if you are a communication expert or not. Therefor openness, flexibility and a fluid strategy is absolutely necessary, to be able to follow and react to what happens. How this is done in practice is based on level of professionalization and independence regarding management and also due to personality and interest of the artist. In some case management and the strategists are curating the content in social media, both by using data, listening to and adapting to the target groups. In other case the artist is “let loose” in social media for real, sometimes according to plan and sometimes totally out of this. 

  • 4.
    Edlom, Jessica
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    “Personal with an ulterior motive”: A qualitative study of authenticity in Swedish music brand building in social media2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    For music brands the ways of reaching an audience have drastically changed the last decade.

    In the social web-era it is no longer a question of using digital and social media or not as a

    music brand, you need to be present and interact with the audience on social platforms. But

    how to succeed with this is not easy, as we are overloaded by media messages and tired of

    advertising. Research shows that the core of successful communication and brand building

    is creating relationships, emotions and a “feeling of true”; authenticity. This study is there

    for focusing on how strong music brands are built today, and more specifically – how

    authenticity is manifested and created by the different agents of the Swedish music industry.

    This study has a qualitative approach, based on deep interviews, during spring and summer

    2016, with 14 different stakeholders in the music industry: artists, communication strategists,

    management and record companies, both independent and major ones. The theoretical base

    is interdisciplinary: media and communication crossed with marketing perspectives and

    cultural studies, to be able to understand this highly commercial and at the same time

    creative industry, based on artistic values.

    The results of this study show that all music brands are communicating on the social web.

    It is seen as crucial to connect to customers and fans in a personal and communicative way.

    The aspect of authenticity is seen as central. It is also a paradox: you need strategic brand

    building to become a strong brand, but at the same time it aims at being perceived as

    authentic, and this sometimes collide with the calculated communication strategy work.

    Authenticity is defined and manifested in different ways, depending on artist and strategists

    and in some cases the genre and audience. This difference is often related to the level of

    independence, artistic integrity and professionalism. When having a high level of artistic

    values, authenticity is defined as something “real” and important, something that requires

    the artist’s own voice on social media. At a high level of commercialization on the other

    hand, authenticity is seen as important, but as a strategic and calculated tool. It is then not at

    all seen as interesting or important if the authenticity is “real”, only that the brand has a

    feeling and image of it.

  • 5.
    Ryan Bengtsson, Linda
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Media and Communication Studies.
    Edlom, Jessica
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Media and Communication Studies.
    Fast, Karin
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Media and Communication Studies.
    "#LookWhatYouMadeMeDo" Mobilizing fans in the contemporary music industry: - the Taylor Swift case2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    On August 21, 2017, American superstar Taylor Swift launched an immersive marketing campaign for her upcoming album “Reputation”. Her first action consisted in a 10 second black and white film clip of a rattling snake. The clip was posted simultaneously on her personal Facebook and Instagram accounts and, generated massive response from her fans, who immediately started to speculate about Swift’s intentions with the video footage. The clip was the first of several efforts to invite consumers to participate in the album’s transmedia marketing campaign. The rattling snake video was followed by an international social media campaign effectively interconnecting diverse digital media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr). The campaign involved very few traditional media appearances, but relied all the more on fan-based content and fan-initiated events. The fan base was anticipated to co-create content and take part in different joint events, not only online but also offline through for example pop-up museums, home-visits, and pop-up stores. 

     

    The music industry utilizes transmedia marketing due to its potential to foster fan engagement, or, as we understand it in this paper – fan labour. Fans produce and circulate content and facilitate the engineering of targeted marketing initiatives. The Swift campaign is thus an up-to-date example of how contemporary transmedia marketingemploy offline and online spaces to mobilize fans across and beyond media platforms. Buthow do fans responds to transmedia marketing and how do they navigate, act and perform across these online and offline spaces?

     

    This study investigates fan labour through a digital multi-method approach to the Swifttransmedia campaign. By collecting data from the artist’s social media accounts and hashtags specified by the campaign, we capture fan responses, actions, interactions and productions related to ‘laid out’ trails between the campaign’s online and offline spaces. The quantitative material allows us to map how fans move in the marketing time-space. Furthermore, the quantitative method guides us to places where more advanced forms of fan labour occur. As to deepen our understanding of how fan labour is performed within the Swiftmarketing universe, we complement the big data sampling with qualitative studies of specific transmedia places of engagement.

     

    Our results show that Swift fans (or ‘Swifties’) follow the paths prepared by the marketers. By placing events in different campaign milieus and by taking full advantage of technological affordances, fans are encouraged to migrate between campaign places. We identify different forms of labour in these places; notably, fans produce and share content with campaign producers as well as within their own networks, thus giving the campaign access to their social media networks and their productions. However, our study also detects instances of fan resistance. Fans use their voice to question specific campaign activities or if they feel sidestepped. Ultimately, our paper scrutinizes the blurry interplay between industry and fan engagement in transmedia spaces and offer – much needed – spatial perspectives on fan labour.

     

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