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It has been a long time since it was common to talk and value social brand´s profiles and public figures when talking about hype and engagement, especially since social networks are in the center of marketing strategies. But, what is the meaning of each?

We often work with these two concepts, and I think this post will help many to understand the social use of music. It really is very simple, and surely we have already heard these words separately in different settings.

What is hype?

Hype is a strong expectation regarding a novelty. The excessive excitement for something we are looking forward to.

It comes from the English word hyperbole, which means the magnification of something. A fact, a product or a report.

It is a usual practice in the marketing world to catch people´s attention and generate a desire to buy. Especially in the cultural industry, when releasing a new movie, series, book or musical album. 


What is engagement?

On the other hand, engagement refers to the connection a brand has with its clients and followers.

A returning customer or a follower keeping an eye on their favourite artist´s post, that “likes”, comments and shares their posts, indicates a good relation between brand and customer, which helps engagement.

To calculate the engagement an artist has on their socials, we have to multiply the total interactions they received by 100, and divide the result among their followers. The outcome will let us know if their fanbase is strong or not.

As a general norm, an engagement over 4% is a really good rate. Between 4% and 1% good. And less than the 1% is low, what means there is almost no interaction from the followers, and that profile specifically does not generate a lot of interest.

It is important to consider that the more followers, the less engagement, due to it being really difficult to reach all of them and make them interact. Nevertheless, when an artist has millions of followers and their interactions involve hundreds of thousands of them, even if their interactions are “little”, the engagement will continue to be good.

It is always important to interpret correctly the data.


Simplifying: Hype means growth and Engage loyalty.

A faithful listener is one who really feels identified with the art of the musician who they listen to, while an artist who is having Hype is one who has gone viral thanks to a promo campaign, for a complete success of their music or for any another reason.


And why are these two concepts so important?

Because they help us to identify what is happening with the artists in aspects that are directly related to the sale of tickets for our event.

Let’s go to the practical:

Rosalía had 20 million listeners and 1.6 million followers on Spotify on September 22, 2019. In this case, the listeners clearly represent the Hype of Rosalía, since each of them had heard by her music at least once in the previous 28 days.

On the other hand, we observe that practically all artists who have that number of listeners have at least 8 million followers on Spotify. What does this mean? That Rosalía was having a great Hype but does not promise a high Engagement, so if they cut off the promotion and their collaborations with other artists much bigger than her, it is possible that her fame began to decline until stabilizing at a point represented by the true followers of the artist, the most loyal fans.

January 9, 2020. Rosalía has 16 million listeners on Spotify. It has decreased nearly 25% in monthly listeners in just 3 months. She now has 2.2 million followers. Her fan base grows little by little.

It is important to always keep these concepts in mind, because during the Hype an artist will sell many tickets, since a large number of people will attend the event for various reasons related to the artist’s novelty, but not for their loyalty to it.

Even more useful is this information for artists you consider great but who haven’t known anything for a long time. An artist may have had Hype a long time ago but had little Engage. With graphs you can analyze this. We explain how in this post.

Rosalía or C. Tangana are good examples to work on these aspects, since they are artists that Sony Music has launched to fame based on large investments in promotion, tracing a very typical trajectory in the music industry. Apart from their talent, of course. I personally value both artists very much.