Artist Branding in the Danish Music Industry: A study of Universal Music Denmark and its Artists on Creating and Sustaining Brand Identity in the Technological Disrupted Market of the Danish Music Industry

Ulrik Svinding

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

National music industries and markets all over the world have been affected by the technological disruption. In the Danish market, the Danish label Universal Music Denmark have had to make considerable changes to adjust to the new conditions of the market. Changes in the dynamics of media have challenged the company and its artists their branding strategies. With the implementation of new strategies and labels and artists now use social media as an essential part of their promotional strategies. It has meant a restructuring of Universal Music Denmark which now relies on data-gathering techniques to form the commutative strategies of their artistic brands. On the artistic level, these are forces to formulate and create strong brands as the role of the record label has changed. Image, identity, and self-understanding are but a few of the necessary considerations that artistic brands have to consider to stay unique and relevant within the Danish music industry and media landscape. This thesis investigates how two artistic brands experience, reflect and strategized the development of their brand. Furthermore, it studies the role of the new Universal Music Denmark its practices and role in helping its artists. In the first example, an analysis of the commercially successful band Scarlet Pleasure serve as a present success story in the commercial market of the Danish music industry. The pop-band signed to Copenhagen Records, one of many sub-labels to Universal Music Denmark a subdivision of the largest music label in the world Universal Music Group by applying the internal facets of Kapferer’s identity prism. On the other hand, the band Julias Moon quickly rose to successful heights in the years of 2013 to 2015 before the band dissolved. Throughout its live span, the band faced turbulent times. At first, signed to the record label Nordic Music Society, however, because of radio success the band signed as part of Universal Music Denmark. Both musical acts broke into the commercial sphere of the Danish music industry, but only one survived. As shown, Scarlet Pleasure successfully adopted a clear understanding of their brand and formed a vision which aids the band in communicating with their record and partners. Julias Moon, on the other hand, fell short of establishing a clear objective and self-understanding which could serve as a guide for the members of the band resulting in disagreements on the same parameters. The new and rejuvenated Universal Music Denmark have taken on the job of assisting artists to reach online audiences through the mentoring of its artists and the implementation of visual and textual tendencies to create awareness and likableness through imitation of patterns. According to the relevant theory explaining the internal process of creation, this new practice may have a severe impact on the longevity of artistic brands as these through the adoption of imitating online patterns may affect the uniqueness and significance of the individual artistic brand. Therefore, this thesis discusses the importance of creating, developing, and the sustaining of strong brand prisms in order to balance the unique offering of brands. These risk, over time, to decrease through an unbalanced focus on the consumers themselves and their immediate reactions which will mean a loss for both the artistic brands and Universal Music Denmark. Changes in consumption patterns have meant for changes in the importance for musicians to create memorable live shows. It is a result of the new dynamics brought on by the adoption of streaming services which have affected the profit margins of artists in the national market. With the increasing importance of live music as an economical source for many artists, this makes for an additional perspective. Applying the framework of Pine & Gilmore to the two cases, this thesis finds that, as a successful live act, Scarlet Pleasure show tendencies which correspond with the internal design principles needed to create memorable experiences. Furthermore, the theory implicates and highlights the complexities which exist within the Danish music industry of live music. The need for independence and knowledge gathering for artists seem to hold immense value as to how live shows as memorable experience can develop and make for a an artistic platform capable of growth.

EducationsMaster of Business, Language and Culture, Intercultural Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages73