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Is Beef Good For Music?

February 9, 2018

Often we hear about artists having some beef, everyday there is something new. The beefs can be intense! Kinda makes you wonder if WWE isn’t benefiting from it someway match after match, battle after battle. beef after beef, figuratively speaking of course.

(Sometimes literally!)

One of the most memorable so far could be Taylor Swift and Katy Perry and their incredible fight on Twitter (and later on other platforms).

Some call it “feud”, some call it “beef”, others call it “stupidity” and me, I call it “Business”.

Let me explain why I believe that beef can be a necessity in the Music Industry and why sometimes, it is a great idea to go from there.

Before we start anything, if some kids are reading this article right now, I want you to know that diminishing people with a malicious intent is not going to make you a better person and that at no moment you should intentionally get violent towards anyone or anything.

This post is about a business technique not an enabler of violence or negativity.

When I was 18, I had my own good old rock band, we were rehearsing in my Mom’s garage, we had our bad boys’ attitude and of course, all wanting to be the best cats in town.

Until a second band came, made from friends of ours, or friends of friends of ours, and without any surprise, we started a little competition.

All this was pretty friendly, little verbal shots during live performances, little remarks on local interviews, a reference in a lyrics from the other side… That was pretty funny for us.

Let alone our respective fans.

Yes, our fans, and theirs. They the ones who took it absolutely to the heart and this, was pure gold for us and for the other band.

So, now put everything into perspective, it was 2008 we were simply local bands, social media were not incredibly developed (Instagram didn’t even exist) and so the game was totally ridiculous at our level.

But the fans were crazy about it.

Some would try to public shame us, our fans were trying to sabotage their live performances because they knew somebody at the festival, their fans were putting their merch out there at our concerts, some of our fans got our names tattooed on their body… Yes. That was pretty overwhelming at our own scale.

Now, take a second to realize what this means when we have two artists or bands who are on a Major level of the game.

Let’s go back to Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. These two singers are already selling millions of albums and are also racking a nice sum out of their personal brand, but when the beef comes in the air, the sales don’t drop…

They explode.

The Majors (Universal, Sony, Warner…) completely understood it, and way before that, but nowadays, it is even bigger simply because social media is making room for the instant clap back, that viral pic or video. INSTANT DRAMA.

I don’t know if you ever saw a post by Taylor Swift, but at some point in the comment section it was flooded by snake emojis, making it absolutely unreadable.

That is just the tip of the iceberg because beneath the noise, the sales are dramatically going up due to the fans being now hardcore fans.

Beef is important in certain situations and that becomes a strategy that us advisors, may recommend to our clients when we know the artists are stronger mentally than the situation itself.

Sometimes it is very well done and you barely realize it has been made on purpose and sometimes it is just so obvious that it doesn’t work at all yet it is enough for a little spike of attention like Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj on the 2015 stage of the MTV VMA.

Sometimes it is also very dramatic because it goes way beyond control or because the artists legitimately have some real anger towards one another like the East Coast — West Coast rivalry in the Rap genre.

However, in general, we can say that beef is a good strategy! Not only will the sales go higher because the fans feel like it is helping you but you will start to have some people who gather around you and your brand and make die hard fans.

Always take an Advisor on that trip though, because it is a very rocky path and it requires experience to be sure you can come out on top!

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