Urban Salons are Game Changing for Connecting Music with the African American Consumer

Wil Shelton African American Entertainment Marketing

The beauty and barbershop is not just the place to go to get the latest hair styles.

This African American consumer has spoken, the question is how the streaming and record industries iterate, grow and migrate with them? While times are changing, and as streaming adoption rates continue to grow among African Americans and the beauty salon industry.

The world has been transformed into a streaming environment! It would benefit streaming platforms to now team up with the recording industry to give the African American salons and their consumers a push. But, more importantly, speak to them in a personal and credible way that has strong roots and cultural touch points in the African-American beauty and barbershop community.

As streaming audio platform companies begin to truly understand what influences the African American consumer, they can position themselves to gain immediate consumer acquisition. In effect, beauty and barbershop owners and patrons can serve as real time ambassadors of audio, music and podcast streaming services to drive sales, growth and profit.

According to Outdoor Advertising Association of America, 21 percent of our time is spent doing out of home activities, but only 9 percent of media spend is spent on OOH media. Sophisticated advertisers will dramatically increase efforts that reach African American consumers where they spend their time.

From the turn of the 21st century to the present, music has always been a part of the salon culture and experience. The stylists, barbers and owners of these shops are very influential with the patrons of their shops. Based on this fact their patrons are predisposed to music which is constantly playing on heavy rotation in the captive and deeply personal nature of their shops. According to RCA Records, EVP, Carolyn Williams,

The barbershops and beauty salons are staples in the African American communities. Offering so much more than just barber and beauty services, they can also be at the heart of where conversations about community, current events, music and entertainment thrive.

Given the evolution of the record industry and proliferation of streaming technology, it’s a natural fit to offer African American salon consumers a new way to engage with their favorite music or podcast.

The Recording Industry of America reports that streaming accounted for 75% of music industry revenues and Hip-hop tracks accounted for 24.7% of music consumption.

With the changing of the music distribution landscape, consumers are seeking channels that provide them with unique and personal connections with brands.

According to Press Play Streaming platforms have made it easier for artists to expose their music to millions of fans. Black listeners enjoy the thrill of discovering new music, but also love the convenience of getting recommendations from trusted sources. For African American consumers, the beauty and barbershop is not just the place to go to get the latest hair styles, but it is also where many of these consumers go to get the scoop on the latest trends in today’s popular culture.

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