How Amoeba Music Inspires Their Audience With Video

I’ve written before about how video is an amazing way to give your audience access that they would never get otherwise. Since then, I’ve gone down a deep rabbit hole with another great example of this and I wanted to share because while this example is quite specific (and delightful) I think the concept behind it is extremely adaptable and relevant to just about any audience.

If you’re unfamiliar with Amoeba Music, it is quite possibly the best record store in the world. They have two locations in the bay area, and one in Hollywood. I’ve spent way too much time and money at Amoeba in my past, and it is one of things I’ve missed most after moving back to Indiana. Their selection is ridiculous, the staff are incredibly knowledgeable, and everyone in the place is way cooler than you.

But that huge selection is also the biggest detriment to the Amoeba experience. Since they pretty much have everything, even choosing where to begin can be a bit overwhelming. So, if you’re Amoeba, how do you point your customers in the right direction? Well, one way is to use influencers to tell you what they think is cool, and let that start the conversation.

Years ago, one of my favorite parts of the Amoeba experience were the little books they had printed up that would tell you about all of their staff, what kind of music they loved, and what records and movies they recommended to people with similar tastes. But in the digital age, how do you raise the stakes a bit? Well, this is Hollywood, so why not take advantage of the many celebrities that come into the store? Let them tell the customers what they’re buying. It gives the star a chance to brag about their taste and how cool the music they love is. And if done well, it can inspire any fan of that person to get to Amoeba to buy the music they’re recommending.

Enter “What’s In My Bag?”. A series of short, and fairly unproduced YouTube videos where you get to watch musicians, actors, filmmakers, and comedians tell you about all the cool things they think you should know about. It totally works. I’ve spent way more time than I care to admit watching these clips and I have a running list of music that I can’t wait to dive into. I’m probably not going to make it to LA any time soon to go to Amoeba, but you can be sure it will be on my list of places to visit once I do get there.

So, dive in! Find a celeb you think would have cool taste and see what they’re getting. But if you need a starting point, here are a few of my favorites:



Jason Cooper