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June 21, 2010 / Julia Hughan

Mallary Hope and social media

Country music (as previously discussed) is unique in its nature of fan and artist engagement. With the dawn of new media, emerging country artists have never before been afforded with seemingly limitless platforms to advance their brand and foster their relationships with fans.

One artist employing these technologies to network and promote is Mallary Hope.

Mallary Hope is a young up and coming artist from Dalton, GA signed to the MCA Nashville roster. While promoting her current single “Blossom in the Dust”, Mallary is also making her presence known in the world of social media.

1) She is active on Twitter on a daily basis

I previewed Mallary’s Love Lives On EP late last year on iTunes and happened to tweet about it. Within hours, I received a reply thanking me for my support. This mere gesture led me to purchased the EP

2) She is present on Facebook and YouTube

While it is often difficult for a fan to feel personally connected with their favorite artists, Mallary engages in conversation with fans, responding to comments and encouraging feedback.

3) On her Facebook page, she personally posts her appearances.

4) She uploads photos on an almost daily basis.

While Mallary’s fanbase is still growing, she is catering to them impeccably. Why is this important?

Audiences who participate in media content are more likely to promote the music through web linking and passing along from one consumer to another through word of mouth at zero expense to the artist or the label.

In addition, she is following the conventional country promotional model – servicing country radio and making her presence known at Fan Fair (CMA Music Festival).

All of these efforts are grassroots but their effectiveness should not be underestimated.



Leave a Comment
  1. Rick / Jun 27 2010 4:32 pm

    While I agree that proper use of internet based “social media” mechanisms can help a new artist build a growing and dedicated fan base, in this day and age I still consider it a small factor compared to mainstream marketing channels here in the US. Australia for the most part lacks full time / dedicated over the air country radio stations although wonderful stations like Today’s Country 94.1 FM out of Gosford NSW hopefully represent the start of a trend. (Although the fact major Aussie country stars, who live nearby in “Hillbilly Heaven”, own the station makes it a unique entity at this time.) Australia does have the widely available cable CMC channel which is the Aussie version of CMT and GAC here in the States, but which carries more market weight down under due to the lack of country radio stations.

    Taylor Swift was one of the first new country artists in recent years to take full advantage of social media but she was also in the same age bracket as many of the primary users of such websites and spoke their language. Taylor was also associated with a new label that was open to innovation and gave her full support and was willing to finance first rate music videos. It was radio’s slow but ever building support of her debut single “Tim McGraw” that brought awareness of Taylor to the vast majority of her future fans, and her music videos added fuel to that fire. Once Taylor caught on with the female teeny bopper and ‘tween crowd she became a pop culture icon to that group and has remained so ever since, a group that still buys music in large quantities as such young females display a real “herd mentality”.

    What was most unusual about Tayor’s approach was not internet based social media but rather than her label created special “pop re-mixes” of some of her singles which did extremely well on many Top 40 pop radio stations! Taylor’s pop re-mixes found themselves being played between tracks by Colbie Caillat, Katy Perry, and Beyonce on pop stations and they sounded right at home. It was this pioneering move by Taylor and her Big Machine label which cracked open the format cross-over door which has now benefitted Lady Antebellum in a similar fashion.

    Currently in the US I’d estimate 80 to 90 % of music country music sales for new artists is initially motivated by listeners hearing them on terrestial radio or country music video channels (for those artists who actually garner some airtime that is). That is where most mainstream country fans spend the bulk of their listening time and get their first exposure to new artists and music. Discovery via social networking, internet searches, country music blogs, and word of mouth makes up the balance and while small at this point its influence is growing.

    To a new artist like Mallary Hope, who has had very limited radio airplay success thus far, building a growing fan base to keep momentum going is crucial to improving her chances of ultimate career success. But like any other new artist in Mallary’s position, if she doesn’t score any Top 20 hits on country radio she will likely be dropped by her label and fade into obscurity like countless talented Nashville hopefuls before her. Now if a new Nashville artist (who hasn’t been barnstorming for years, like Zac Brown) could build a viable fan base apart from radio and video channel airplay on social networking alone, that would signal the dawn of a new day!*

    *-Texas is excluded as many artists develop large and loyal fan bases through continual touring and word of mouth. That phenomenom is pretty much limited to Texas and Oklahoma these days though where the live concert music scene is still thriving.


  1. Digital media strategy analysis and Taylor Swift Twitter Theatre. « Theoretical Country…An honours student's conceptualistions on country music and the digital realm.

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