Up to now, Instagram has been a valuable platform for bands and artists, but news that growth of the platform’s music-focused user base is starting to slow could be bad news for artists.
Instagram is a very fruitful social platform for most artists and bands since the majority of users are so into music. Although that sentiment hasn’t changed, it looks like the platform’s growth is slowing to single digits, which could mean trouble for artists who depend on it for exposure.
While it’s still true that the platform has over a billion users, it appears that the makeup of those users is changing, according to a report by eMarketer.
“In 2019, Instagram’s US user growth rate will have dropped to single digits for the first time to 6.7%, down from 10.1% in 2018. Starting in 2020, and through the end of our forecast period in 2023, we estimate that the social media platform will grow slower than previously expected,” the article stated.
That’s not the troubling part though. It appears that most new users are coming from the 25 to 34 age group. The under 25 age group appears to be going to Snapchat and/or TikTok instead.
So what happens when your users grow older? Like we’ve seen with Facebook, their engagement goes down. It’s just a fact of life. As you get older daily living gets more complicated and there’s less time for online interaction.
Even so, while TikTok seems to be the hot social flavor right now, that might not last too long. Already the service has been banned for members of the United States armed forces over fears of Chinese government spying. There’s a cautious eye on the network from other U.S. Government agencies while potential competitors scramble to get traction.
But if you look back a year or two ago, you’ll see that Instagram was the same hot flavor, as was Facebook before it, and on and on. Next year may have a new social network that will be the apple of user’s eyes (probably teen users at that).
So what’s an artist to do? The best thing is to go where your audience is regardless of the popularity of the platform. It’s always better to become an expert in a platform before moving to a new one, as that can take time from what you really want to be doing, which is creating new music.