In 2018, a study from MusicWatch revealed music drives social media. Social media users are twice as likely to follow a musician than they are a politician, and 41 percent engage with artists’ posts. These figures suggest influencers in the music industry represent a strong potential for marketing opportunities. Here are 10 of the best music influencers for 2019.
Baby Ariel, real name Ariel Martin, gained recognition on TikTok (formerly musical.ly), a fun app that lets users create short videos where they lip-sync over popular songs. She now has over 29.7 million followers on the app; but that’s just the start. Springboarding off her success on social media, she started her own music and acting career. Her bubbly personality has led to partnerships with huge brands such as Sour Patch Kids and Burger King. In 2017, Time magazine named her one of the 25 most influential people on the Internet.
Pop sensation Katy Perry soared to the top of the charts with her breakout single “I Kissed a Girl” in 2008. She has stayed in the limelight ever since with a string of hits, movie roles, television appearances, high-profile relationships and even her own clothing line. Her Instagram feed is a candy-colored feast for the eyes, packed with fun images, fashion photoshoots and promotions for products she creates or otherwise endorses. She has 84.1 million Instagram followers and another 34 million followers on YouTube.
Loren Gray is another young starlet who got her big break thanks to TikTok. Joining the app while it was still called Musical.ly, Gray quickly gained a following, and she now has 32.5 million fans checking out her 15-second lip-syncs. Her success has led to her creating a social media empire, with 17.1 million followers on Instagram and 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube. She uses her YouTube channel to showcase her official music videos, but also regularly vlogs about everything from her makeup routine to letters from fans.
Snoop Dogg is an elder statesman compared to many other influencers on this list, but he’s managed to stay relevant and has an incredible following. The rapper, actor, producer and entrepreneur boasts over 34.5 million followers on Instagram where he posts “behind-the-scenes” snaps and memes. He also has 5.1 million subscribers on YouTube.
Chance the Rapper
Chancelor Jonathan Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper, owes his success to the Internet. He released his early mixtapes on streaming services, using social media to build a reputation and spread brand awareness. He went on to win three Grammy Awards for his third mixtape, which was a first for a streaming-only album and paved the way for his debut studio album in 2019. He has 10.1 million followers on Instagram.
In the sugar-coated world of pop, few players are as influential as Taylor Swift. Between her chart-topping songs and very public relationships with other celebrities, she’s rarely out of the press. She uses her Instagram feed to share concert photographs, personal snaps and promotions with 119 million followers; and she has another 35 million subs on YouTube.
Pop superstar Rihanna uses Instagram to connect with over 73.7 million followers. Her feed is a never-ending slide show of glossy photo shoots and must-have fashions where she promotes her music and her own makeup brand. She also has 32 million subscribers on YouTube.
You don’t have to have a following like Rihanna’s to become a successful influencer in the music industry. Singer-songwriter Piper Landon has used social media and her own blog to build a loyal audience, which includes 121,000 Instagram followers. Many marketers like to work with smaller influencers, as they often have higher engagement rates than the bigger celebrities do, according to research from Mobile Marketer. As a result, Piper has partnered with a wide range of brands, including Schick Intuition, Rohto Eye Drops, Subway and Hello Fresh.
While many music influencers use their reach to promote their latest album or sponsored products, many also use social media to do good. Selena Gomez does a lot of work with A21, an organization fighting against human trafficking, and she uses her status on Instagram to promote that cause. She has over 154 million followers.
Some celebrities are so huge they need no introduction, and Beyonce asserts that attitude on social media. The pop star regularly adds images to her Instagram feed, which has over 130 million followers, yet she rarely adds any text captions. Here, the images do the talking. Most of her fans are left speechless.
Final Thought: Think Big (or Don’t)
Music influencers range from megastars with millions of followers to micro influencers with just a few thousand fans. All influencers have their place, and in fact, many influencer campaigns benefit from smaller influencers who have stronger engagement with their audience. Whatever scale of advertising you have in mind, an influencer marketing platform is a good way to find your perfect partner.