Lately, pop stars are using dating apps like Tinder, Match and Grindr. The singers aren't using the apps because they are looking for dates, but rather because they have found a new way to promote their music.
Not long ago, when it came to promoting the latest pop music, radio was everything. Record labels furiously competed to get their latest releases featured on commercial radio stations, and radio airplay was considered a necessity to have a hit song or album.
With the influence of commercial radio on the decline and the Internet and mobile technology providing a myriad ways for listeners to listen to and discover new music, record labels and their artists are getting more creative in their efforts to promote their latest offerings.
One of the newer ways to promote music is partnering with dating apps, which often help target the exact demos that labels and artists are targeting with a release. A perfect example is Madonna's partnership with Grindr earlier this year. The dating app for gay men was a perfect place to promote the singer's new "Rebel Heart" album, as Madonna's fan base is largely made up of the same target demographics that use the app.
"You want to go where your fans are, where your potential fans are. And you can't just promote on iTunes — you've got to think of other ways to reach an audience," according to Joel Simkhai, the founder and CEO of Grindr. The app plans to continue working with Madonna during her concert tour and has upcoming collaborations planned with Nicki Minaj and Idina Menzel.
Tinder has also been working with artists such as Jason Derulo and Zedd to promote their latest tunes. Users can swipe right to watch Derulo's latest video or buy Zedd's new album at a discount.
"Music is something that is so woven into the life of millennials, as is meeting new people, that there's just an incredible amount of overlap between the two," said Phil Schwarz, Tinder's head of marketing.
PlentyOfFish has taken a different approach to the trend by actually marketing the app itself by featuring it in various music videos. The dating service has shown up in videos by Britney Spears, Kesha, Lady Gaga and Flo Rida. The service also worked with Gaga in promoting her concert tour.
Mariah Carey also debuted the video for her recent comeback single "Infinity" on Match. The song flopped hard, however, showing that if the music isn't good, the most innovative new ways of promoting it still won't guarantee a hit.