Twitter Turns To Music To Turnaround Slowing Growth Figures

5 February 2016 | 1:14 pm | Neil Griffiths

How the Blue Room can boost emerging talent.

After reports last week suggested that Twitter's US users have fallen by a third in two years, the Australian office of the social media giant has found a way to combat any slow growth figures through the use of the Blue Room — an interactive experience that connects personalities from music, film, sport and entertainment locally and globally with fans all over the world.

Launched in early 2015, the Blue Room was intended to be used as an outlet to conduct Q&As, live performances and unique live streams, however since its launch, it has also proved to be a hugely affective initiative for fans to discover new and emerging musicians, as well as helping artists grow their fan base.

Speaking exclusively to theMusic from the launch of Twitter's new Sydney offices, Manager of Music, Entertainment and Events and the founder of the Blue Room, Jennie Sager, says the impact of the Blue Room upon its launch was instant. 

"When it launched we realised instantly that it was even bigger than what we hoped for," Sager says.

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While Twitter's second social network, Vine, has also experienced decreases in usage, the company is undergoing a transition of sorts, as there are not only talks of the 140-character limit on tweets to be increased, but there has also been a change in CEO, with co-founder Jack Dorsey taking on the role on an interim basis from Dick Costolo who stepped away last year after a five-year stint. 

More concerns were raised when four executives suddenly resigned after Costolo stepped down as CEO, however Sager says that the change has not affected the Australian office's day-to-day operations.

Through the Blue Room, Sager hopes to open new doors for both the company and talent, with a strong emphasis on emerging local talent.

Sager references Brisbane singer Conrad Sewell as an example of what the Blue Room can do for artists, after he featured on a live stream last April.

"He had 5000 twitter followers, he wasn't big enough to do a Q&A, people didn't really know who he was," Sager explains.

"So he came in and performed three acoustic songs…less than a year later, he’s nominated for a ton of ARIA awards, the face of Coca-Cola and he’s got 33,000 followers now. So to be on that journey with him was amazing."

Sewell eventually picked up the ARIA Award for Song Of The Year with Start Again in November.

While Sager concedes that some artists are in a better position to conduct live Q&As in regards to a fan base, she says that there are always ways to promote emerging musicians and bands through the Blue Room.

"That’s when we say, why don’t we do something like MTV Unplugged used to do and do an acoustic performance, give the fans something that’s a different way of seeing you that still feels intimate and special," Sager says.

"Or if it’s someone that is not fully discovered yet, maybe pair them up with someone…so that again, the fans get a unique situation. There’s no blanket rule with the Blue Room, so its not like we only do Q&As and performances or anything, we really look at every single talent and think, 'What’s going to work best for them?'"

A number of huge names have appeared in the Blue Room including Imagine Dragons, Amy Schumer and Bill HaderCody Simpson and many more, though Sager says she is currently toying with the idea of a weekly segment to specifically feature new local talent.

"I would love to see more of that because I think the nature of Twitter, it has such a history of artist discovery, that it would be really great to continue to give those people an outlet in a bigger way."

The success of the Blue Room has resulted in a number of Twitter offices throughout the world launching their own version, including Paris, Korea, Italy and many more still to come.