Each week, we meet an up-and-coming music biz talent. Here, we hear the story of George James, founder of Be-Hookd Digital...How did you break into the industry?
While studying commercial music at University Of Westminster, I took an internship at Southern Fried Records. I wanted to be in A&R but those jobs were impossible to get and I ended up creating MySpace pages and running club nights. I secured sponsorship from Eastpak, who supported my DJ gigs. Those gigs caught the attention of digital agency Punktilio, who hired me as an assistant to the account director. My first job was to establish social media channels and a fanbase for One Direction during their time at The X Factor live shows in 2010, that was my lucky break.
Why is your company unique?
Our USPs are our ideas and our relationships with the talent and clients we represent, and the fact we started in music. There’s no better place to hone the art of what we do than implementing successful campaigns for artists. If you ask our clients how our service differs from other agencies, you’ll get the same feedback every-time: Be-Hookd bring ideas. We have moved into TV and tech, working with ITV, BBC, Twitter and King Games.
Why is social media important to the music business?
Since I started Be-Hookd in 2014, I’ve seen how much importance has been placed on businesses like ours. We’ve been able to turn campaigns around through fanbase incentives. You can’t beat an engaged, fertile fanbase, it opens opportunities. We manipulate global support through social media, whether it’s blowing up one of our artists on Spotify or creating a bang during their first radio play to engage more playlist support. It’s all about showing the fan power in real time. That’s what gets stakeholders listening.
How can the business improve its digital footprint?
Be aware of emerging trends in the territories we don’t focus on – there are always opportunities to engage fans on new platforms. We’re currently looking at how we do so using WeChat advertising.
What are some of your biggest success stories?
After building the fanbases of One Direction and Little Mix, I worked with The Script. We developed a new fanbase called #TheScriptFamily. We’ve broken records with it and trended above most major TV shows, the band now has more than 20 million fans across social networks. In 2016, we worked with King Games for the launch of Farm Heroes Super Saga. We secured Rita Ora for the campaign and managed all the relationships and content.
How do you see the future of digital?
It’s going to be less about broadcast and more about breaking into the conversations between fans, that’s where the magic is happening.
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