Music and advertising have had a tumultuous history. The capitalist marketers of the world (i.e. you and me) have long sought the cool credibility of popular music for our messages and we have convinced, cajoled and essentially bribed musicians to give us their songs for… well, a song.
That said, there have been hold-outs. Jim Morrison once threw a major temper tantrum when he found out other members of The Doors were considering temporarily changing the lyrics to Light My Fire to “come on Buick, light my fire”… I think I have to side with Jim on that one. Apparently the band mates are still wrestling with this issue though, as they recently came close to accepting a similar offer for a Cadillac ad. We all remember the very personal stand that Metallica took on Napster. But 12 years later, they ultimately linked arms with Spotify (and even with Sean Parker, Spotify board member!) There are numerous examples of recording artists becoming the “face” of a brand. Most recently, it was Rhianna for Dior; before that, Will.i.am signed up with Intel and, oddly, Alicia Keys once put on a pantsuit and went to work at Blackberry. Then there was the time Eminem agreed to rap bash Betty Crocker instead of his mother in a live rendition of one of his biggest hits… OK, that didn’t actually happen, but is it that far fetched?
The point is, recording artists almost can’t resist pairing their music with advertising. It’s our belief, here around the House that the allure is so strong because crooning and convincing is such a perfect fit! Ads and adulation, power chords and persuasion – it’s one of the most symbiotic relationships you can find. Today artists at all levels of the musical food chain are exploring new avenues to commercialize their art. Even the mighty Taylor Swift appears to be wavering in her resolve on the issue.
Not long ago, the multiplatinum artist made a big to-do about not allowing her music on streaming service Spotify. However, now that she’s going along with Apple’s streaming plan, her big spurn is looking more like a big spin. Ms. Swift has proven before that she can marshal the forces of PR around a good story, but is she really going to pass up the Spotify pay cheque forever? No way. Before the year is out, we predict she’ll be making playlists and giving sneak previews to the legions of streamers out there… And who would blame her? Spotify now reaches 60 million people with 20 million songs worldwide, and they’re pioneering new ways for ads and music to come together online. For instance, here are 5 cool tools you should look at using in your marketing:
- In-Stream Audio Ads – these 15 and 30 second interstitials are essentially the same as traditional radio ads, just online. They play between songs while listeners are streaming music of their choice or listening to playlists created by others.
- Advertiser Pages – these are large visual ads that temporarily takeover the screen while the user is searching for music. They are essentially oversized leaderboards with a timer and a close button.
- Sponsored Sessions – these mobile-only ads give listeners the option to have 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening on their mobile device in exchange for taking in a sponsor’s message at the start of the session. It’s a bit of an odd concept to have ad-free music brought to you by an advertiser, but nonetheless listeners appreciate the feature and view the sponsor positively.
- Playlist Targeting – Spotify now enables marketers to tap the specific moods and mindsets of its listeners. There are numerous playlists available to listeners with titles like “Feelin’ Good” and “Young, Wild and Free”. A marketer who sells cars, for example, might want to sponsor a road trip-themed playlist. The idea is to match a message with the most receptive audience.
- Video Ads – With all media, there is a natural progression towards moving pictures and Spotify is no exception. Very soon they will be offering video content from broadcasters such as Disney, NBC and ESPN as well as original programming that promises to uncover interesting themes and stories in the music available on the site. The video integration features will afford marketers a deeper, richer more immersive experience to embed themselves in.
We recently became intrigued about all the developments in the audio ad streaming market and talked to the sales team at Spotify, as well as competitor sites Shazam and Songza, to get the lowdown. Give us a shout and we can help you integrate an online radio campaign with a traditional radio campaign – or just help you add some groove to your online marketing. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and see if we can’t light your fire.