How the Music Industry is Evolving with Digital with Lindsay Williams
Sr. Director, Digital Partnerships at Capitol Records, Lindsay Williams, joined the Business of Social to discuss the changes in the music industry over the last 10 years. How apps and brands like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, YouTube have emerged as major players and where she sees the industry going next.
She gives her advice of all of the apps and platforms she relies on day-to-day, the importance of having a fluid relationship with partners and why your personal brand is so important..
Here are the highlights:
[15:20]: Do Brands Understand Who Their Consumer Is?
David: “The idea of personal brand. You say that everybody has a personal brand whether you like it or not. Would love to just get your thoughts on why you're so passionate about that and why you're out to help people with that”
Lindsay: “Guaranteed, whether it's LinkedIn or Facebook or Instagram, pick a random person maybe you went to highschool with or you went to college with. You kind of have an idea of who they are. "Oh that's the person who's really negative" or "He always talks about that he loves pizza"
That's a personal brand. Whatever people think of you in terms of how they associate you is what it is. So I take clients through that a lot too, what are you known for but what do you want to be known for? And let's make actual steps to get there.”
Hi Guys. She is the senior director of digital partnerships at Capitol records, Lindsey Williams joins us. Lindsay, thanks so much for the time. Hey, no, I'm so excited to be joining. Thanks for having me. Yeah, absolutely. All right, so I always kick things off with a random question. I know you have out. Yeah. You're a proud owner of a golden doodle. Oh my gosh. Yes. The best dog movie of all time is,
oh my gosh. Okay. No question. I think it's homeward bound. That's a good, we, it's so funny. We have like a, we have an open floor plan now, so we have like a TV and sometimes movies will be on and the other day we all freaked out because homeward bound was on and it brings me right back to being like 12 years old. Um, but yeah, I would have to say homeward band.
Did you ever watch a wishbone as a kid? Do you remember that? That's TV, so, oh my gosh. Wait, what channel was it on? It's on, it was you do Disney and Nickelodeon, but yes, it's like a terrier that went through history. And like, I don't know. That's right. Oh my gosh, that's really good show. Um, awesome. So I'll want to get into your story a little bit. Uh, cause you spent quite a bit of time at the grammys before going to the Capitol or go on the Capitol records. So, um, tell me about your story a little bit in and what's led you to where you're at today.
Yeah, definitely. So I always wanted to be in the music business. I was a huge fan of, of pop music and, and boy bands. And one day in high school I was like, I'm going to be in the music industry. And I had no idea exactly how to get there. And my senior year of college I interned at universal music group distribution and I interned in the digital marketing department. And at the time I, I obviously being a product of this generation where I was on the message boards and I was online and AOL and aim. Obviously I was savvy but I wasn't [inaudible] name was a great tool. Oh my gosh, I know. Rip. Yeah. Um, but I wasn't aware of digital marketing as a, as a job that I could get into. So as I learned a lot in the internship, it actually, I literally was there right when social was taking off.
Well, and what year was this? So this was 2008, so 2008. A digital marketing role in 2008. I mean that's, that's cutting edge.
Yes. No, definitely. Um, Angela Sanchez, who was the head of the department at the time, she had created this internal digital marketing team under universal distribution and it was an amazing internship program. So literally there's about 20 to 30 interns a semester where we were like on the message boards talking about albums that were coming out, you know, pretending to be other people, you know, doing, doing the, you know, organic, organic marketing and social was just starting to take off. And I had just, so is the days were still like on my space, like doing my space pages for artists. But Facebook hadn't yet crossed over into being a platform for marketers and for artists. Exactly. And Twitter was just bubbling up. And then literally it was right at that peak when they were like, okay, we need someone to oversee social. They're like, Lindsay, you should do. And I was like, oh, oh wow. Because it was a brand new position and at this time, not even my bosses, no one knew exactly what that was.
It's so funny you say that because so many people have joined me on this. So, and it's, that's exactly their story too. Like yeah, I think Lindsey knows social, can you just like run it? And that's only spawned a whole new industry of professionals, which is awesome.
Oh definitely. And so when I stepped into that role, it was a community manager role, which again was like a wood, which was like a newer title at the time. And so really what I was tasked with, because I was at universal music group distribution, which is basically the umbrella of labels, capitol, Interscope, Def Jam Republic, I worked with all of the labels to help. Like one of the things I remember having to do is when Facebook rolled out URLs, I was like consulting, helping consolidate. Like Nicki Minaj is 20 Facebook pages to try to get, I don't know if you remember that time when there was like so many road pages and no one knew what the official one was versus that one. So it was like during that time
how many people, a lot of people learn Cody now with their myspace profile.
Yeah. Oh my gosh. I think that everybody like of, you know, my generation has a little bit of html knowledge.
You helped run those pages. How much drama was it for? Like Nicki, Manassas, top eight as well.
I know, right? Well, at the time I wasn't helping run the pages. Thankfully I was helping. Since I was sending centrally at university, I was kind of helping Jess with some of the, the logistics of making sure that those, those pages were like optimized and good to go. So thankfully I didn't have to worry about the topic for her at the time. Um, and then what, I was there for a couple of years. I was ready for a new challenge. And funny enough, I ended up meeting my boss at the recording academy or the Grammy Awards on Twitter. Um, we met on Twitter and just like had, you know, built a relationship naturally through random moments on Twitter because we were both obsessed with the platform. And then an opportunity came up to head over there and I was so impressed. Her name is Beverly Jackson and she just really, really is such an innovator and thought leader in that space.
And she really pushed me to think differently when it came to digital marketing. And at the recording academy I had the opportunity, obviously everybody knows the grammy awards and I was so proud to be able to work on the grammys because for at least four of the six years that I was there, we were the top social television event just under the Superbowl. So meaning more people talked about the grammy awards on social online than any other television event. And outside of that though, I really got to explore things like working on music cares, which is under the recording academy, which is a nonprofit. I'm working with Grammy Advocacy, which, you know, focuses on policies for tens and songwriters and working with the Grammy Museum. So outside of this huge giant entertainment moment, I was also able to really tap into all these other industries, basically like nonprofit and politics and things like that. And then I was there for about six years and about a year and a half ago, almost two years ago, I came over to Capitol as a director of digital marketing. Um, I was ready to kind of expand my skillset and to continue to grow in this space and, and yeah. Which led me to where I am now, which I am going to be the, uh, senior director of digital partnerships, which just happened within the past month. So I'm really excited to kind of continue to build those relationships with our [inaudible].
Congratulations. I think we're good luck. I think a lot of people recently get promotions before they come on the podcast too.
So you're, you're like the whisper.
Yeah. The digital marketing whisperer. Why don't we book you on the podcast. Good things happen. Um, well I want to dig in actually to to the grammys and capitol records as well. But first, I don't know if you're geeking out as much as I am about IGT v and it being in stream now. Yes, cause I think with you guys too, I just thought, I mean music videos alone, there's a huge opportunity may be on the on nab, but my personal opinion was I think Instagram originally tried to make a product that would go head to head with youtube and kind of be a standalone product like whatsapp, like messenger potentially and always. This was a, an amazing feature on top of Instagram that and now that they finally I guess caved a little bit and said, you know what? Let's put it you where our money is and let's put it in stream. I'm super excited for this and want to get your thoughts on on it as [inaudible].
Oh my gosh. I'm glad you brought this up because I remember when IGT, IGT TV was first announced. I was like, this is huge. I know. I was like, this is going to be massive. This is now the first step into, okay great, we're all cool with vertical video. Yes, we're becoming more integrated in the stories across platforms, but this is the first time that there's any long form video in vertical form. And then it launched and I remember we got some artists on board and it was exciting and then people didn't really watch it. And then all of a sudden you start getting this negative narrative from people being like, oh this sucks or this isn't that great. However, I always knew it was going to take a little bit of time before you know Instagram and so users figured out, cause it's not a natural thing. Every time there's a new product people aren't going to be, oh yeah, I'm going to change my user behavior. And all of a sudden start.
And it was just a messy, messy rollout in terms of you just didn't know when new content was uploaded. There's like this little weird logo on your top right of your screen. There's also a a different app. Which one do I go to? So it just kind of, I was clunky.
Definitely. Yeah. And now the seamless integration, I mean it's like, it's so easy. You're watching and you're like, oh yeah, I do want to watch more so than you instantly tap and you get to watch the complete. So I think it really does it change the game. And I think from the music industry perspective, always our challenges are making sure that we, we, we have deals in place and because of the fact that we need to be monetizing our content because we need to protect our creators, which is our songwriters and artists. And so I think what happens is there's always new features that are launched and then it takes us a second to figure out what the best way is for us to utilize the platform. But in the meantime, from a digital marketing perspective, we can't like wait for certain things. So we make sure that there's other content on there. Like, you know, fun episodic content or Q and a interviews. Exactly. Bts content, things like that that we can make sure fans are still engaged.
Well, I'm kind of Banca, we recently just wrapped the sag awards and that was before id TV made this change. But I think what I would do, and I would love to hear from you and from a Grammy's standpoint, once you upload full accepted speeches and just, yeah, just say it like continue. If it's longer than a minute type deal, just continue watching.
Oh, absolutely. And 100% I mean, that's the content that people want to see and that's why it was so funny being at the grammys for as long as I was, I always joke that my first Grammy's, which was 2012 man, those were simpler times. I always joke, I was like, they want you like a one woman band too, in a sense. Yes. I, yeah, yeah. For even
we were looking from afar, it seemed like you were just like doing it all type deals.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it was, I mean, obviously for the day of show, like we have like a few people there, but like up until then it was, it was just like literally myself and my boss at the time. Yeah, exactly. And um, oh my gosh. Simpler Times in 2012 text tweets, maybe a few photos on Facebook. And then fast forward to my last Grammy's, which was snapchat, Instagram live, Instagram video, Instagram stories, Facebook video, Facebook live, Facebook three 60. Yeah. Um, you know, snapchat story. I mean it was just, it's, it's incredible to see how many things are coming out now. Yeah. And, and so to your question about like how would you integrate Instagram stories, it's finding that cadence of, okay, what is the content that fans want to, um, are most interested in? When do we, when do we put this content in front of them? We do want them to tune into the show itself, but as we know so many times now, people are just tuning in for the greatest moments. So it's finding the best ways to utilize all those various features. Like when do we do the Instagram live versus the Instagram TV videos?
Yeah. And I think the, the one minute limit has been limiting in some factor because Instagram is still by far the most organic, uh, play in social right now. I mean sometimes a hundred times more organic engagement than Facebook or Twitter. Right. So now that you can upload like an award show speech or a music video or a behind the scenes, just, um, the, I'm excited for it. I think it's gonna definitely, uh, be. So going back to the grammys for a little bit, what was your favorite part about working?
What'd the grammys? Oh my goodness. I think there was so many different aspects. I think that especially when you look at how the grammy awards changes someone's life, I think that's something just from like, you know, an emotional level. It was always incredible to see. Obviously what you see on the award show, there's actually 80 categories, only eight are given out on air, which is unbelievable. Um, I mean for me it was more about seeing the artists that were from John, like from the world music genre or from jazz and seeing how that really changed their life. So that was more on an emotional level. I think two things in particular I really love. Number one was the show itself. I always joke that we were air traffic control. We always had defined 100% yeah. Yeah. We had to find the best ways to communicate.
So the thing is, as we know about social, whether you're as a brand, whether you're participating in the conversation or not, it's happening. And so I know that whether we did nothing, people are going to still talk about the show. But I took a lot of pride in finding the best ways to put gas on the fire. Yeah. And finding the best ways to create content and create experiences across platforms that fans were going to get really excited about. And then the other thing that I actually really enjoyed, and I think it was because it was a challenge, was working on grammy advocacy, which was all again, all about advocating for musician's rights on Capitol Hill. That's a whole different industry that I had to like get in tune with. So yes, it's music, but how can you then create messaging about policies and how do we get our community engaged?
Our members of the recording academy engaged in that space. And I was able to go to our grammys on the hill event or their grammys on the hill event two years in a row in DC and to walk the halls of the Capitol and hear musicians talking about why these policies are gonna impact their lives as songwriters. You know, not just the big superstars. It's not just about them getting more money, but about these songwriters who are in these working musicians. I think that was something that I really enjoyed doing. Cause also it was a challenge of finding that way to then connect on a digital, on a digital perspective.
What is, um, an underrated skill needed to be successful in the crazy aboard sales space? [inaudible]
oh man. It's, I mean, I know that you guys have worked on a lot of award shows, so I'm sure you can, you can attest to it as well. I think that the award show space from a perspective of, you've got to know, especially in digital marketing, you're going to get the negative feedback. Yeah. Every year, every single year. You know, you're gonna get the negative feedback. But I think the thing that you need is you need to be nimble, especially because it's live. I mean, I always felt like it was big game. I would get so nervous and I was like, even though we had like everything in place, but you have to be ready to pivot, whether it's the conversation that's going on, whether it's all of a sudden in a moment, you need to make a quick decision and, and, and um, and go with it.
Yeah. Like the Pharrell hat moment at the grammys, it was like, I mean, that was a huge, um, you know, so you have to be nimble enough and confident enough to make those decisions in real time because of the fact that you literally don't have any time to think and you gotta just be ready to go. So I think that's like probably one of the biggest things because of the fact that it moves so quickly and then literally it's over in the night and you're onto the next. You gotta you gotta be ready to catch. Yeah,
I totally agree. I think what's funny, and I s I said this on Linkedin a few weeks ago, but like four years ago when we worked the SAG awards, we had like six people on the ground. Yep. And then this year we had like 27 different people involved with like red carpet activations and different people running all the different platforms. And it's really turning into the equivalent of the TV production because you would have to have somebody running. I do stories and that's all they do. That's their number one job. Yup. Somebody uploaded all the acceptance speeches and moments to Facebook watch. Somebody's focusing on community management. All of a sudden this social media strategies is taking a village to run, which is so crazy to see that.
Yeah. And again, like when I first started, it was maybe like four of us running for my first show by the, by my last show when I was overseeing everything. I mean there was probably 20 people and same thing. I had one person focusing on, you know, Instagram news feed, one person focusing on Instagram stories, one person focusing on snapchat because it does need that dedicated focus. Whereas before we could probably [inaudible]
and by the way, I walked away thinking that we could have done 60% more, you know, like if I 100% if budget was there, I would have had apply 40 people, two people on each platform and we could have, we could have hit every moment type deal. So, um, one thing, is there one thing that surprises you now that you've kind of took a step away from the award show space and award season? Anything that surprises you that award so's don't pay enough attention to or don't plan enough when it comes to their social strategy?
Yeah. You know, I think one thing that we always tried to do, and I think we could have always done better was my boss at the time was really great about me making sure that we were included in even looking at script developments from the show. So being able to integrate and know when those moments were coming. I think sometimes, yeah, I think social can be more of a reaction. Even those who are working at the award show. And I think that and and that's also just a product of the fact that production versus the show or kind of like to, you know, there's different teams working on various things, but she was always really great about making sure we were integrated so we made sure to create content, whether it was quote card, so literally as that quote was happening we were going with it rather than it may be happening 10 1520 minutes, 30 minutes later. And so that, that is something that I think can continue to happen more. And that's something that actually not just award shows but in the digital space I'm trying to focus on more is how to create that seamless interaction between like offline and online where it feels like it's all coordinated and there's, it's a great user experience. Just overall.
Yeah, it feels like, I mean you cannot have a marketing meeting without social being present and can't have a social media without marketing. And now, I mean with especially with production as well, um, how are you expected to be on the offense rather than a defense? If you want to cover an event and you have a connection with the production team, that's a pretty important piece of the puzzle.
My Gosh. Yes, definitely. And I think you even look at it when, um, you look back at the, the big Oscar Twitter moment, the selfie moment with Ellen and that was a true integration with the Twitter team, with working with the, with the host. And sometimes those moments don't always get to happen, you know, because all those elements have to come together naturally. But I think that when it does, it creates a lot more, you know, great content
and like we always talk about like the Golden Globes Oprah moment a couple of years ago. And you know, the reason that took off to your point is there's 25 people in a room from Dick Clark productions. And the second that happens, they get it up on social, on every platform and they boost it with paid media and it starts to take off and Twitter helps it get into a moment and all these things are again, it's not just that stuff doesn't just kind of happen randomly. There's a lot of thought that,
yes, exactly. And I think that's where my philosophy always was with the Grammy's. Like the moments are going to happen, the conversation is going to happen, but it's how do you put gas on the fire and at what moments do you put gas on the fire and what are the moments that you do focus on?
Love it. All right, so let's get into capitol records. Um, yeah, we'll love to get your overall thoughts cause since you've been in the music industry on the Grammy's side, capitol records side, um, just, you know, with the streaming and play now and Spotify and Pandora and these things, kind of the technology increasing, how has that chains, I mean obviously it's changed the industry in such a huge way, but what are some, I guess the pros and cons that the industries had to deal with with this new technology?
Yeah, definitely. I think that it's so interesting. Ever since I started in the music industry, like now at 10, 11 years ago, there was always this sense of change that was happening. Like ever since then it kind of hasn't stopped because of the fact that obviously going back to the Napster days, you know, ever since then the industry has just been trying to figure out where do we land, where are we focused on? I think now within the past couple of years, the music industry is really finding its sweet spot. So I think at times people, um, the narrative used to be like, oh my gosh, the music industry has just changed so much and it was more of a negative kind of like viewpoint. I think it's more exciting than ever in the music industry because of these changes that are happening, um, with streaming and with the way artists can connect in an instant way and how really there isn't a real blueprint anymore in terms of how to break an artist or how to, how to grow an artist.
And so it's, it's been great to see how the music industry is starting to find its footing a bit of a, of our place within tech and in music because I think that's the biggest thing, right? Is that I think for a minute the music industry was kind of chasing tech because tech was innovating on our space and they were like, wait a minute. But that's ours. Yeah. So then we had to try to figure out, okay, well how are we going to land? Where are we going to sit in this space now? So, um, so it's been exciting. I really do feel the past two, three years especially, there's a lot of momentum and there's a lot of growth in the streaming space because I think it also took a minute for streaming to, um, to hit the masses for people to really, you know, like, oh yeah, I'll, I'll pay my $10 just like I pay my, you know, 10, $12 for Netflix. I'll do the same thing for Spotify.
I, I, and I think when it first came out, there was a, I mean, I think there's even lawsuits and a bunch of stuff in Congress and things like that. It seems like, and correct me if I'm wrong in 2019 even the old school folks understand that we're not buying cds anymore, you know, add Sony music type deal. Like it's, uh, everybody Kinda understands with Pandora and streaming and 5g coming out soon that this is where it's, this is where it is. So let's, yeah, let's figure it out.
Oh, definitely. Yeah. And, and what's interesting too, just on the end from the physical space and, and you'll, you'll internally with the industry as well, there's been a lot of traditional physical focused um, positions and titles that you can see have been changed now to focus more on, on streaming and things like that. However, the physical space is totally not dead, which is still I think would be surprising to especially a lot of people in tech. But what has been the most surprising is the rise of vinyl. And I think that that goes back to the, the, the fact that fans, especially super fans specifically still want something physical. And like I feel like there will always be elements of having some type of physical product, but it's just not going to be nearly to the, the mass that it used to be in. It's not going to be, you know, as wide stream as it was.
So I guess how has that changed? Like the percentage, cause it'd be for Nikki Mahnaz whatever, 2008 the number one goal internally at Capitol records is like let's get this CD printed. Let's get it in target, let's get it all these different things. Um, and now if you broke, uh, Cardi B's new album or what have you, like in 2019, 2020, where do you, like, how has that changed then and what's the first step or the ROI or KPI with, with different artists?
Definitely obviously, um, a lot of the focuses on streaming, but also it's looking at all the, the, the different elements that come together. So especially now when you look at the billboard charts, it's not strictly by, um, by sales, by sales, right? It's by consumption. And then it's like if a song reaches a certain threshold and that's also considered an album. So there's all of these elements, almost like a formula that goes into what then is attributed to the charts, which we still look at. So yeah, pretty soon youtube video views are not going to be, uh, going towards the, the charge, which is going to be massive, especially for artists who get those massive amounts of [inaudible].
Yeah, well I think people under underrate youtube, but that may be the number one place where people listen to me.
Oh that honestly, that absolutely is. Especially, especially when you have territories that um, maybe don't have access to Spotify or some of these streaming services haven't infiltrated there yet. Youtube is still so huge. And so I think when approaching a project you have to look at the project across the board. So not just focusing strictly on Spotify, Pandora about, okay, great. What's our play on every single platform on, on Youtube. But then also, you know, how do we take a song to radio? Like there's different, there's different um, formulas and the different things we need to do when we're, when we're taking a song to radio because radio is a little bit slower than streaming. And so finding the ways that those two work together. So it definitely is project by project depending on what the goals of that that we have for each of our artists.
Walk me through Vivo for a second. Cause I've noticed in the last couple of years I haven't really looked into it. But that's your game for Sir. It used to be where, um, it just wasn't, it just seems like it's all like one big like package now where before it seemed like the record labels are kind of scattered and some were cool with it, some were not. So what's, what's Sainz with VI Vivo on Youtube?
Yeah, I mean really Vivo, you know, years ago, I mean I want to say like about 11, 10 years ago, nine years ago, Vivo was the first one to identify that the, the premium music content, music, video, content on platforms was all over the place. And so vivo was really wanted like the original MCNs when you think about it. And so vivo, being able to identify that kind of gap in the industry, the labels were able to come to the table and, and partner with them on making sure that the premium content was being delivered so fans could experience it in a, in a, you know, a better way. And I think to your point, there was about, I think there was like one or two labels that weren't on board. And I think now identifying that it was the best place for all labels to kind of be involved now. Um, but most recently as of last year, Vivo did away with their actual website. And so vivo focuses specifically on youtube now and how to optimize our videos and make sure that our videos are not only delivered but, but um, identifying all the things that we need to do to make sure that, um, you know, as youtube changes, as the algorithm changes, how can we shift how we market and how we, um, distribute content.
Is that like an equal revenue Sarah monks, almost all the major record labels or how the [inaudible] figures like it just fill it. That would be a huge mess. That it seems like it's worked in some, in some fashion.
Yeah, no, definitely. I'm, I mean, I probably would not be able to speak to the actual specs of the, the actual agreement, but, um, but yeah, each label, I mean I think they each have their, their own deals that they've been able to come to that they're comfortable with.
And then when it comes to different artists are, is it, is it really artists to artists because you see like obviously JZ and title and things like that, but, um, when you guys work with your artists, is that if you're on Spotify or Pandora or your, you know, even on Sirius XM or Vivo, is each artist different and what platform they choose to be on? Or if you're in the capital family, we're going to Spotify no matter what type of,
yeah, no, that's a, that's a really good question. I think it, it definitely is from project to project and I s I think it also, when you look at the genre of music and what genre, um, is performing, obviously Spotify and apple music, um, are going to be the two, the two big players. But then it's also making sure, again, I think that it's super important to be making sure that you're engaged and visible across platforms. And that's also how I approach even with digital partnerships. I think everybody, especially right now is like Instagram, Instagram, Instagram, which yeah, 100% Instagram is super important, but you can't forget to create moments and be engaged on all of the other platforms. And I think it's the same thing when it comes to streaming. As you can just too much focus on one platform, you got to make sure that you have a presence across.
Absolutely. Um, so being in the partners of game, what's one of your favorite, um, I guess partnership campaigns or brand new campaigns that you've worked on?
That's a great question. Um, I have a lot of things that I want to accomplish this year. One of the things that I was super proud of, and actually we worked on Mamma Mia. Yeah. Together. But, uh, last year I worked on an Amazon Alexa skill for Mama Mia. And that was really exciting because I just, because of the fact that voice is so important moving forward. And I think what I learned from that, well, number one, I was just excited because of the fact that there's already huge fan base of Mama Mia fans, um, from the first film. So to create some kind of fun game and experience for fans to be able to engage with, uh, was exciting. So it was a mom and mia finished the lyric, um, finished in skill. And I, I'm excited to see as the voice as voice develops, how it finally kind of breaks through to mainstream and how it becomes something that we're just all using more consistently. And I know that that's going to be something that's gonna be huge for music. And so that was something recently that I worked on that I was really excited about. But, um, but no, that like in a couple of years time, it's going to be something that's going to be just the norm.
Yup. So, um, well yeah, you've met some Mama Mia. So we've worked together on a couple of like influencer. What, what's your approach on influencers? How to use them the right way and kind of what has been most successful for you for you guys?
Yeah, definitely. Every buddy that I work with internally knows that I have a love hate relationship with the word influencer. And I think honestly it just because it's such a loaded word and everybody has a different perspective on what they think that everybody always thinks cardiaslim when you say that exactly, 100% and so that's where my hate part of the relationship comes. And I think as we've all seen with the, the industry, especially with influencers, when influencers first started popping up, brands were like, here's money, here's tons of money. Yeah. You know, [inaudible] in our industry. Yeah, yes, exactly. As long as you post and were great. But I think that brands weren't challenging influencers enough in terms of making sure that they were getting data back. How was that effective? Was it not effective? And then being able to adjust instead. I think it became more of a checkbox to say, hey, we're doing this rather than to truly identify what was the action that their followers then took.
Because essentially influencer is just someone who has a voice into a community you want to tap into, which is not new to marketing. I mean that's what we've been doing in marketing for years is trying to order Nike. Exactly. You got to identify the people that have a voice in your community. But now with the rise of influencers, there's more opportunities for these micro moments or you can tap into smaller bases. And I think that's, that's something that's been really important for me just in digital marketing instead of focusing so much on followers, you gotta look at engagement and I think it's the same thing with influencers. You got to identify the ones that truly have an authentic voice into the community you want to speak to. But also I think brands should start focusing more on, instead of doing like paying for one off post, they need to build a, uh, an organic relationship with these influencers over time instead of just the kind of like, Hey, can you post this when you can? And then what's been crazy, and I'm sure you probably have thoughts on this too, but especially after the fire festival. I mean I think even more, even more people are like, oh my gosh, influencer marketing. That's crazy. Like my brother who works in finance doesn't know much about influencer marketing, but after he saw that was like, man, influencers, I can't believe they can do that. And I was like, Oh man, where do I start? Um,
so funny you say that. I just got off a call. This lasts a week. I won't miss it. The brand Lara, big brand CEO saw the fire festival and he plugged gs a documentary and told his team like, that is just as interesting. Let's do something like that for our brand. So it's like swear to God. But I think from, and I've set out on this show before, like the Billy is a psychopath, but the, the campaign with enough money behind it, if you can get Bella, you can get Jeezy you can get, you know, Kendall, whatever. It was a brilliant marketing campaign, but they obviously they couldn't, uh, fulfill the overall thing. But yeah, it's funny. It's, it's definitely I think opened the eyes to a lot of people, not in our industry. Like wait a second, you can create a grass movement from social, like yes.
And it, and it also reminds me of, and maybe this is our version of it now, is the viral moment, you know, after viral videos became a thing, it was all of a sudden like, you know, you'd be in marketing meetings. Yes, yes. And so I think this is our version of that now. Yeah. Let's get some influencers, you know, so
yeah, those are tough questions. Why, why aren't we going viral? Can we go viral this year? What are your, I'm, I'm just interested your thoughts on like chance the rapper cause he's, he's done it a different way, right? Like with soundcloud and kind of releasing music to the public. Um, and I think he has, he's, I think he's really good in terms of what he wants to accomplish outside of music as well. But, um, do you see more artists doing that? Do you think that's super unique? Like where, what, where do you fall on?
Yeah, I, first of all, I love chance and I think that going back to what I was saying about where I feel the music industry is now, I think for the past, you know, 10 years it was originally like, oh my gosh, ever since I've been in the industry, the music industry is changing. It's not what it was. But I think chance is a prime example of why it's so exciting in the music industry right now because of the fact that you can create your own blueprint and there's a lot of opportunities for creators, for artists to, um, you know, to, to find ways to get their music out. Before you literally were an artist, you needed to have your CD and you needed to get it to someone's label. Yeah. You know, and I think now what we're seeing is that artists are starting to create their own buzz and then we're able to work with them as a label. And I think it's that relationship is, um, is s is kind of how it's cultivated now. Like we're starting to see artists who are creating their own stories and then they're able to kind of transition into the, the, the label, the label world.
I think to your point it's, it's funny cause there's been so much talent, probably birth because of that and maybe 50 years ago there was a lot of talented people that never, never broke up. However, there's also a bad baby. And they said yes, speaking to influencers that make these somewhat Catsy like hooks and then all of a sudden their streams are up on it. Just like,
and I think that that's part of the meme culture. I mean meme culture, especially in hip hop is huge. It is huge. I mean literally there was a great article I read the other day about how means actually impact streams. And so once you get a meme going that maybe has a clip from a song and maybe it is a bad baby song, I mean that song, the streams will go up because you have, you have kids that are like watching and sharing these memes, creating their own means with the song and then all of a sudden that's just part of the culture now. So it's to your point, it does allow for those types of artists and songs to kind of become, um, you know, get into the mainstream. But at the same time, it's, it's really interesting to see how, you know, fans to that and how it evolves and the content they create from it.
This is super random, but watching unfortunately the surviving r Kelly documentary, yeah. Um, people were outraged that his stream numbers went up. And I thought that was a pretty simple reason because of that. Like everybody went back and listened to his music to understand that lyrics. Yes. Based on what was being said in a documentary. But there's a lot of news and probably because they were too far away from the documentary or the industry, but they were outraged. Like he's getting more popular. Like now, I think it's getting more popular. People went back and looked at the, looked at the tape, if you [inaudible].
Yeah, no, I agree. And I think that I'm, of course on one side, it's like you're, you're essentially supporting someone that, you know, we don't feel like we want to support anymore, but at the same time, to your point, I think it was people going back to try to be like, yeah, what did I miss? Or what were those things? Yeah,
yeah. 100%. All right. So I want to get into, uh, be digital if I'm saying that correctly, but I'll be diggable cat totally, totally butchered it. Sorry. Yeah. But I know that you, it's, it's really, uh, you know, big for you and kind of women empowerment, but also like the idea of personal brand. Yes. Um, and you say that everybody has a personal brand, whether you like it or not. Yup. Love to just get your thoughts on why you're so passionate about that and why you're out to help people with that.
Yeah, definitely. So honestly, I think it does go back to when I first started in, um, in digital and social, when I got that role at universal and social and I was so like, oh my gosh, I can't believe, like, how am I gonna keep up on everything? Like, yeah. And also, yeah. Yeah. And it's nuts when you think back and sometimes it hits me and I'm like, Gosh, we're in just such a different world now. But the fact that we're all so comfortable with sharing stuff for the most part, right? Like we at least have that mindset. Even if you're not someone who shares all the time, you at least have the mindset of like an Instagram post or how, how people approach that. 10 years ago we did not have that thought process. So for me to, I remember being so nervous about going on Twitter and being like, oh my gosh, I love boy bands.
Are people going to be weird if I talk about them? You know, it's like you get self conscious. Yeah. And so I remember just kind of making a decision. I love music, I love going to concerts and I, you know, obviously love digital. So those are the things I'm going to talk about. And um, I became more and more comfortable on Twitter. I really felt like I found my voice. I know it sounds really cheesy, but not being able to know that you're putting that out there and whatever people respond. And I remember being so humbled when it was like a year or two later, a billboard did this list of people to follow on Twitter in the music industry. And they had added me to it. And I was like, what? Because usually those lists, like you have to be pitched.
Yeah. Why didn't you say you met your boss at the Grammy's through Twitter. So you've, you've experienced the power of having a voice in a personal brand.
Exactly. And I think going back to your point too about influencers, I think people when they think how they can, um, elevate their personal brand online, they're thinking, well, I'm not an influencer. And I don't want to come across as showing off or cheesy or anything like that. And so really my passion grew out of the fact that obviously it's female empowerment. And I think especially for females, it's, it does not feel like natural to be talking about what you're doing online. And so I really do have a passion, which is why I s I started this on the side was to help female executives build their personal brands because I think that there's so many incredible female leaders out there and in trying to help them tell their story in a more cohesive way so they can be identified as a thought leaders. They are not just within their circles, but to be able to kind of grow their presence online to be seen as that.
Yeah. It's funny you say that cause I think even you and I are influencers in a small way. Maybe it's only two 75 people, like right. Our smaller network, but anybody that's posting essentially has some type of influence. Right. And you have to take a serious, I like this, this a stout on your website too. 82% of consumers are more likely to trust a company who CEO and leadership team engage on social media. Yeah. I don't think enough people understand that. I am searching for Lindsey Williams and I find your Twitter, I find your Instagram, I find your linkedin and I see if you're credible or not.
Yes, exactly. Every company, or especially like at my last job in before that when you see that there's a CEO, a CMO or the executive teams are on social and they're active and they're engaged, it only adds more to the brand.
It's almost like Yelp when there's like photos of the food and then seriously it's like, okay, this place is legit
when you have, I mean I think that for just any company in general, your biggest advocates are your employees. Yeah. And so if, if they're focused on intentionally raising their personal brand in an authentic way, and that's what I'm really passionate about is there's a lot of people who are able to do it in a way that maybe doesn't exactly reflect who they are. Maybe they're able to pretend that they're doing more than they're doing. And things like that. So that's why I'm really focused on a female executives and female professionals that want to authentically share who they are, but also find ways to create more opportunities for themselves. Because I think right now everybody is craving authenticity and they're craving a, a community. So again, going back to what you were mentioning, when you see, um, when you see an an executive that's, that's on the platform and you're like, Oh man, I love what they're doing, or they're engaging or I love how they were able to comment on something that happened with your brand and wow, I have more respect because they did that. I think there's a lot of opportunities there, but I think there's still a lot of, um, hesitation when it comes to that because then you also have to, you know, be transparent.
Yeah. I think to your point about employees being your biggest advocates, I think Twitter's done a pretty good job of this. I'm sure you've seen it Hashtag work where you or whatever it is, but like it almost feels like they're paying, their employees are just so positive about the environment. And that's got a, to your point, that helps with recruitment, that helps with people kind of, um, what the brand and things like that and yeah. And uh, I've had people say that too. Like it seems like you guys have fun at STN, you know, just by phone or Instagram and seeing a hike or a team building or what have you. It suits you don't think about it, but people are, people are noticing about stuff. Oh, for sure. I would love to get your thoughts. So if you sat down with the a female CEO and they're like, Lindsay, like I feel awkward, like I don't want to do this social media thing, but I hear you, I know it's important. What's kind of that foundation that you say, listen, I get it. It's kind of out of the norm for you, but you have to start doing x immediately.
I think the biggest thing is cause that, that's literally the number one thing I get is, is, you know, clients are like, but it doesn't feel right. I don't want how to do it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They're just like, I don't know. There's a way to create, and again, it goes back to the fact that when they think influencer, they think Kim Kardashian, I'm not asking you to be posting like him. Exactly. It all comes back full circle. Yeah. I'm not asking you to be posting about Kim Kardashians and I'm not asking you to share your deepest, darkest secrets. I think that there's a way to create, um, a brand that you will feel comfortable with. So, but it also goes back to like what the goals are. And I think I help, I help, uh, female executives create like three brand pillars to really hone in on it.
Cause I think sometimes it's like, well, I love this and I do this and I focus on this and I don't want to talk about this. And it really is just finding a way to hone in on those key messages that you want to make sure people understand is what your focus is on. Whether it's I'm a, you know, in the food or restaurant business or I'm, I'm really, I'm an advocate for, you know, helping dog rescues, whatever it is. It's being able to hone in on what those key things are and then making sure that there's a consistent conversation that you're engaging around in those. So yeah, that's, that's the biggest thing is, I'm not asking you to post selfies every day, but let's identify what the goals are. And then with those goals, these are the things that you should be doing to make sure that you're engaged in that space. Yes.
Funny you say that because even for me, like I have a back on a radio, so this environment feels more comfortable for me and I like to, I like to learn, it's kind of a selfish endeavor. I wanted to like, you know, Geek out over the industry and also learn from people like you rather than doing a selfie. Like, all right guys, here's my top three tips for Facebook and huddling. Like I just, that's just not me. I understand people that do it really well, but finding whatever your comfort level is is, is the key. Yeah. That's just
the biggest thing is if people don't see it, as we know, representation is like so huge. So if like you just don't see other people doing it similarly than you, you don't really have an idea or a concept. And so the thing that I'm most passionate about outside of obviously wanting to help females raise their profiles in the, in the business space is helping people identify opportunities. I think when when I'm able to help them identify how they can, you know, create opportunities for themselves in, in a way that is, is very natural that it's not you pretending to be someone you're not or you know, editing photos of you. Um, that's where I think the, the sweet spot is. Yeah. It's like a hustle only lasts so long. So if you're going to be, if you're not naturally that selfie person giving advice, you might do it for a couple of weeks, but it's never gonna last because it's not like innately who you are type deal.
And what I always tell people too is guaranteed, whether it's linkedin or Facebook or Instagram, pick a random person that maybe you went to high school with or you went to college with. You kind of have an idea of who they are. Oh, that's the person who's like really negative or that's the person, oh man, he always talks about, uh, you know, that he loves pizza. I don't know that's a personal brand. I mean it's, I almost hate the word two personal brands. Probably gonna come become my influencer word. But you know, that's, that's basically what it is. Whatever people think of you in terms of like how they associate you is what it is. And so I, I take clients through that a lot too is what are you known for? But what do you want to be known for? And like, let's make actionable stuff to get there.
I think this is kind of going off the rails a little bit, but even if you think on the personal front, it's people are becoming their own brands. I'm amazed with these, like photo shoots, he's engagement and then Wayne and then you know, you know, pregnancy photos and like people like creating these narratives and they're having these professional photo suits of like every state. Oh, 100 life. And that's the thing too. It's like I'm in this space and I really focused on the fact that my goal is for it because at the same time it can get me really jaded and be like, oh gosh, what am I doing? Like I'm confident, I'm personally confident in my personal brand, like in the business world, but like my personal brand is just like a dude on the weekends. That's where I get felt super awkward to share all that.
So yeah, no, for sure. I know, I'm sure we can do a whole entire other podcast just on personal branding and that whole thing. Cause I think it is, it's, it is totally off the road. It's funny that you're a year spearhead in that movement because I'm, I don't think enough people talk about it. It's so important to have, even if you're shy or you don't want to be out there, like to have your profile set up and to have a, you know, a space online where people, if they're, if they're doing five minutes of research on you, they can kind of understand who you are, that you're credible, that you're professional, et cetera. All right, so we're wrapping up here, but I want to get some, some rapid fire questions out here for you. Um, first of all, I guess before we get into that, I would love just, I like to ask this question, like how do you approach marketing as a whole?
What's your core belief when you attack any marketing campaign? I think any marketing campaign always comes down to the quality of the product. I think no matter what it is, I mean, obviously if you're a great marketer, then, you know, we're, we're really, you know, we pride ourselves on the fact that we can, uh, you know, put position any way. But I think that you just feel the difference when it's a quality product, but also having a really clear vision of what the goals are. I think sometimes we take the same approach across with anything that we're marketing, but I think that when you have a very clear vision of we're here, we're trying to get here, then it's almost like super easy to then identify like, what are the key touchdowns that we need to do? What are the things, what, what's, what's the narrative we need to shift? Where do we need to be? Um, and I think too often kind of starting something without having a clear vision. You're going to lose already I think.
Yep. All right. So, so rapid fire questions for you. Um, what is the one social or marketing tool that you could not live without?
Oh Man. Does this include platforms or tool tool or the tool? Okay, so my new favorite is planfully. Hmm. I never heard of it. So plan only for basically Instagram and now you can schedule stories. It doesn't go live, but I recently started using it. So you can dot l y it's plan o l y plan. Oh, okay. Yeah, that's a new one that I've been starting to use a lot more. So you can like look at your Instagram feed so you can kind of like map it out before it goes live. You can schedule it because obviously it took a while for, for us to, yeah, exactly. So that's the most recent.
So you can, and you can upload Instagram stories. Yep.
Well, you can now load Instagram stories and then they just released, um, um, some new templates for you to be able to like easily create Instagram stories too.
There you go. Um, I always ask this question even though I know the answer to it, but from a business perspective at capitol, what's the, uh, social platform that seems to be working the most right now?
Instagram. Yeah. I mean that's, that's everyone's focus.
Um, well and that, I guess from like a, an artist standpoint too, I'd love for you to rank order of importance cause this has changed a lot over the last year, year and a half, especially with snapchat, I think. Yeah, kind of falling down, but Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, snapchat, Youtube. Where do you kind of rank that into in terms of where you guys just spent the most time at [inaudible]?
Yeah, I mean, I think youtube, I would even put it above Instagram just because that's just for us visual content. And then I would say Instagram, Twitter, because of the fact that when you, you know, obviously we know the power of Twitter is still, you have your voice there, you can comment on things and be able to build those moments. And then I would say Facebook, um, under that. So Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and then prob, even though Facebook like ads is where Facebook, you know, works for those for us. So, but yeah, I think those were probably generally, and then we still tap into snapchat is still really important. Yeah. Um, as well, what about musically or not? Music talk is huge out. It's funny musically we're starting to transition more into like, okay, cool. Like we kind of rode that train, but as soon as I tick tock has now bought it. Like it's been incredible to see the, the, the growth that it's taken. So it's, it's definitely another real priority platform for us as well.
Um, so for you to, just quick question for you on, if you, if there's not an official music video for a single that's come out, are you guys running, um, official pages on youtube? For every artist and are you uploading like the lyric version as soon as you can? Like great question. That's super granular. But I
no, that's, that's actually our best practice is we try to create, um, when we're, when we're launching a single, we like to create, you know, moments for the song. So not just put everything all at once. So finding the best ways. When we release a song, we usually have, um, a video that goes up that maybe it might just be the album artwork, um, or some kind of visualizer or a lyric video that's still an engaging piece of content that we'll also make sure to like kick up the algorithm on the youtube page itself. And then maybe two weeks later we go with the video, maybe a week or two after that we do a live performance. So that's kind of like how we approach releasing the video content.
Awesome. You mentioned fomo earlier, so that's a major thing with the industry moving so fast. Howard, how do you stay on top of, uh, everything that changes and makes sure you don't miss miss out?
You know, I, it's funny when I was younger it definitely would overwhelm me because I was like, oh gosh, I can't not be on it. But I think that once you identify like the key communities and thought leaders and, and, and people you follow, you start identifying the themes that bubble up and then it also becomes like an instinct based on your industry and what you feel should be the next. So I try not to get overwhelmed with, I don't have to be the first person to know everything cause I also feel that if you're the first to a platform and there's no one there, it's not going to be effective. So somebody else ab tested for that. Exactly. And that's, and that's, and I'm very good with that, very comfortable with that. Which is nice. Um,
one of the last questions for you, it would just be any advice for anybody striving to work in the music industry and become some more like senior level? Like it like you [inaudible]
[inaudible] I would say because of the fact that it's so exciting in music right now is to continue to bring like new and fresh ideas because I think a lot of executives really do look at interns and the younger people that coming into the industry for ideas. And it's been incredible to see how innovation happens, you know, from within. And so I think for someone who's young, like the hungry, do the work. I mean every single person that I look at that I've been in the industry with for 10 years, they were all the ones as interns who no task was above them. You know, they were, they were grinding to, to build the reputation and to build the trust of people, but then also not being afraid to build those relationships and share your ideas. Cause I think it's so important right now to like have those new and fresh ideas, the,
uh, the ca model of working in the mail room first and working your way up. I mean, that's like a [inaudible] that's a classic thing. But that, I mean, that happens in every single industry in every single company. If you're wanting to kind of grind it out in the beginning, you'll, you'll reap the fruits of your labor in the future. Um, well, cool. My last question is if you can recommend anybody in your network that could be the next guest on this sale to provide some value? Anybody that comes to mind and,
oh, cool man. I would say,
one of my, one of one of my dear friends, but who's also doing something really, really cool right now is I'm Alyssa Televic Garcia over at Facebook. Uh, she was just brought on, um, I think it's the past year. Um, now that we have, they're making deals now with the music industry. Nice. Very good. And so, yeah. So, uh, so it's been very, very interesting to come. Yeah. To see how that's been rolling out.
All right, man. I have to ask you for an intro there a lot. Yeah, definitely. Interesting conversation. Well, Lindsay, thank you so much. This is a super awesome and drop.
Oh my gosh. Thank you. Yes. And I apologize for the technical difficulties. Yes,
no, yeah, that's a, that's probably on our, on our end. And then, uh, yeah, I'll, I'm usually like an la like once a week, so we have to finally,
yeah. Oh my gosh. Yeah, definitely. Let me know. Cool. Cool. Thanks so much. Yeah. Then have a good one. Bye Bye.
Oh, there it is. Lindsay Williams. That was a good one. I uh, I'm glad she was just as excited about it. T V as I am. I know it seems like a small, again, I, I said it earlier, but the, the fact that Instagram finally what I call cave, but they realize that IGT v was just an amazing uh, platform update or just an amazing, um, ability to do more on Instagram rather than a separate app. I think, uh, IGT TV will take off now. I mean, I'm seeing it all across my feed where people are now posting videos longer than a minute. You're not limited by that 60 seconds anymore. And you can really grab someone's attention for long form content. If you can grab it in the first 60 seconds, people are going to click and view more and watch more type deal. So she's as excited as I am.
I think in the music industry as well, like we talked about behind the scenes day in the lives, uh, music videos potentially in the awards show space. We're talking about, you know, those three minute acceptance speeches, like all those stuff is fair game now, especially when you want to engage on the, on the most organic engagement platform, which is Instagram. But overall really good stuff. A few things that stuck out to me was her thoughts on influencers. I think a lot of times people, um, you know, people don't wanna be sold to, they want to be a, it needs to be a lot more organic. So her philosophy on let's create this partnership with influencers and have more of a, um, back and forth relationship rather than let's just use this influencer for once and then never use them again. I think, you know, audiences are smart.
They are, they're going to understand that capitol records just paid this person one time and they went away. But if you develop a relationship, just like in any other walk of life, it comes off across even more organic and I think the fan base is more likely to engage with whatever, um, you know, the marketing campaign be. I also think as you guys probably could tell, I'm just really interested in the Spotify and the streaming space and how that's changing not only the music industry but their revenue model. Like 95% of their, you know, revenue, if you talk about 2025 years ago was records and CD sales at a, you know, actual record stores and now we're talking about sifting that entire revenue stream model to the streaming space and to apple music and things like that. And also a really, well, youtube was something in VBA was something that originally they hated probably and now they're starting to say, okay, this is the way the future.
Let's find a way to work with youtube, find a way to work with Vivo and find a way to make that a revenue stream as well. And then she's doing some really cool things on the personal brand front. You guys can look up Lindsay on Twitter, on linkedin. She has a website, a diggable as well. But um, just the, the personal brand, how important it is for everybody listening right now to have some type of personal brand. When people are looking you up on Google, the number one thing that pops up is probably your Twitter, your Instagram, your linkedin. So is important to have those, have those platforms, uh, you know, doing good things for you and kind of speaking to the industry as a whole that you're in. And Lindsey is a great, um, case study for it. She literally got the job at the grammys because she started posting about music and was really a thought leader in a sense in the space. So really, really good stuff from Lindsey, willing to really appreciate it. As always, I want to thank Will Kelly. And everybody that helps us with the show, uh, every single episode, business of social, breaking it down for you, episode 29. We will see you next time and make sure to go on iTunes, rate us five stars if you enjoy the content, if we're dropping knowledge for you, we really, really appreciate it. See you next time.