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Weekly Dispatch April 13, 2015

Carlos Diaz April 13, 2015 Weekly Dispatch No Comments

Weekly Dispatch – April 13th, 2015

This is a weekly digest of the top news at the intersection of the music industry, brand marketing and commerce compiled by Carlos Diaz & Music Audience Exchange.

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Toyota Markets to the Beat of a Different Drum – Brands across the globe are increasingly recognizing the difficulty of capturing consumers’ attention with traditional branded content. Today’s consumer expects richer experiences that are original, engage multiple senses, and that are actually worth their time. Brands like Toyota are well aware of this trend, and are pouncing on the opportunity to stand out among all the noise…By Rosemary Waldrip: Link



Firestone to be present at UK, European music festivals — The marketing department at Bridgestone Europe is putting in overtime to assert the Firestone brand’s cool credentials. The company says Firestone plans to reassert its presence on the European market as a “dynamic, energetic and above all cool brand for the young and young at heart,” and these efforts include the brand’s sponsorship of music festivals in Spain, Germany, France, Poland, Italy and the UK. The ‘Firestone Music Tour’ will be present at major festivals in these six countries during the summer. By Tyre Press: Link

American Airlines turns to indie bands for in-flight music — American Airlines only started playing indie music on board its planes in October, but reaction from passengers was swift.  “Different types of music have been tried over the years,” Brian Richardson, director of in-flight entertainment and connectivity at American, told Mashable. “It wasn’t changed very often. It was generally the same kind of soothing spa music every time you boarded or deplaned.” The airline recently announced a $2 billion investment in “customer improvements,” and in-flight music is one part of the “new” American. It is trying to make more than just superficial changes, and renew its image without losing a valuable brand history while doing so. By Mashable: Link

Daddy Yankee Teams up With MetroPCS for Billboard Latin Music Conference Panel — Reggaeton artist, Daddy Yankee, is working on a new partnership. The artist is teaming up with MetroPCS to collaborate on maximizing their outreach to consumers. He will join MetroPCS for a panel at the Billboard Latin Music Conference on April 28 at the Ritz-Carlton in South Beach, Miami “…how brands, music, marketing and advertising are blending in the new music business environment” and a “Mexican Millenials” panel on April 29 which is described as: “a new crop of bilingual, bicultural regional Mexican acts is pushing boundaries with innovative social media strategies and groundbreaking music.” By Music Times: Link

How Toyota does ‘heavy metal’ music — Bustling auto plants around the world create symphonies of clacking metal and tools every day as vehicles move down assembly lines. Toyota is embracing this fact in a new music-driven Corolla marketing push that gives the sedan’s assembly process the orchestra treatment. Toyota Gifony allows people to mix the sights and sounds from the automaker’s plants in Blue Springs, Miss., and Georgetown, Ky., into rhythmic videos showing how the 2015 Corolla comes together. By Automotive News: Link

SBTV’s Jamal Edwards: make brands part of the audience’s lifestyle — Brands need to view working with the likes of SBTV as collaboration, says founder Jamal Edwards. To engage with a youth audience, brands need to be integrated into the audiences lifestyle in order for the partnership to be ‘symbiotic’ says SBTV founder Jamal Edwards. Last month Marketing spoke to Edwards as part of Ad Week Europe. The youth media entrepreneur discussed how he’d found success working with brands, without losing any credibility with his audience. “If you look at a lot of young people, [using the] iPhone or wearing Thomas Sabo – [it’s] how you put it into content. It’s symbiotic. Brand gets return on investment and the audience doesn’t look at it as a massive piece of branded content,” he said. By Marketing Magazine UK: Link

Asos eyes emerging artists on Vevo to deepen ties to 20-somethings — Asos has snagged the first brand partnership with Vevo’s platform for emerging acts as the retailer channels its pared-back marketing spend through digital initiatives it knows will boost awareness among 20-somethings. The fashion store will host performances, interviews and behind-the-scenes stylings of artists such Sinead Harnett and George The Poet on its own YouTube channel. By The Drum: Link

NRA sings the praises of Music Row partnership — NRA Country was created as a lifestyle brand of the NRA in 2010 and aimed to develop partnerships with country music that would benefit both industries. NRA Country planned to feature artists in ads and editorial products, putting the stars in front of the NRA’s more than five million members. In return, NRA Country gained visibility among country music fans.  “The people who support what the NRA supports are the same people, generally speaking, who support country music,” said country singer Craig Morgan, who is also an NRA member. “And from what I’ve learned, demographics dictate just about everything.” By USA Today: Link



Music streaming demands new wave of licensing rules — The system was never fair, but it worked well enough to give us a lot of music in the analog age when listeners mostly bought the music they enjoyed. In the age of music streaming, the U.S. Congress tried to adapt the law. The unfortunate result is a broken system that pays songwriters almost nothing from streaming services. Lawmakers and regulators know that this has to change. Just last month, Congress introduced reform legislation entitled the Songwriter Equity Act. Likewise, the U.S. Copyright Office published proposed reforms last month. Imagine a future with website services that list songs, their available uses and prices, all available to commercial users at a mouse click. Imagine platforms enabling easy online negotiations of licenses. The result will be a more efficient music licensing system, while listeners will have the same ease of streaming and buying music. Imagine the benefit to music lovers when songwriters are finally treated fairly so that the next generation of songwriters does not disappear. It’s easy if you try. By The Chicago Tribune: Link

A guide to the season’s best music festivals — Music festivals are as synonymous with summertime as backyard barbecues and umbrella-clad cocktails — and with dozens happening between now and Labor Day, there are plenty of choices to match your personal music tastes. By USA Today: Link

Tidal’s exclusive Beyoncé video preludes the next round of music streaming wars — The first, on Saturday, April 4, was a surprise video from Beyoncé, featuring the star wearing pigtail braids and playing a baby grand piano while singing “Die With You,” a song celebrating the seventh anniversary of her marriage to Jay Z. The second exclusive, launched the very next day, was Rihanna’s “American Oxygen,” from her upcoming, as-yet-untitled new album. Both videos are enjoyable, but will they be enough to convince users to switch platforms? It might not even matter. Exclusive music might not garner Tidal a huge base of users today, but it could be the first step in the industry’s transition to making almost all of its revenue from streaming. Tidal currently is marketing itself via two major calling cards: high-quality audio and the promise of big-name exclusives. By Vox: Link

With boom, music festivals become big business — Music festivals have witnessed a boom in the past few years, with new events proliferating that cater to every taste and region in what has become a vital source of revenue and publicity for artists. Coachella, often considered the tastemaker of US music events, opens Friday in the southern California desert at the start of the busiest season yet for festivals. “I think music festivals are basically the future of the industry. It’s the only area where you are really seeing a lot of growth,” said Parag Bhandari, the head of UG Strategies which recently launched the Uphoric digital television network dedicated to covering the global festival circuit. “It’s really the last area in the music industry where there is real money to be made for artists,” he said. By Yahoo! News: Link

SFX Creates Team to Offer Marketers Consumer Insights into Electronic Music Audience — SFX Entertainment announced the creation of its new Audience Insights Group, to study electronic dance music (EDM) fans and understand their interests, attitudes and behavior, while providing marketers with ideas about how to connect with this audience. With that, the Audience Insights Group released its first report, The Electronic Music, Technology and Youth Culture Study, which found that millennials don’t see electronic dance music (EDM) simply as a music genre. To them, it’s bigger than the music – it’s a culture and a way of life. By Business Wire: Link

17 Young Innovators Shaking Up the Music Industry- Meet the next generation of app inventors, startup founders, label owners, tastemakers, managers and promoters. The music industry isn’t dying; the old way of doing things is dying. Just ask these 17 movers and shakers, all under age 30, who are changing the game and keeping the music biz alive and well. None of them is a professional musician; they’re all power players making an impact through other avenues. Some are inventing novel ways of distributing and consuming music with forward-thinking technology. Some are making old formulas new again by embracing the beauty of vinyl, or throwing dance parties – in the morning. Some are shaping the tastes and trends of rappers and ravers to come. All are bringing a fresh dose of blood, sweat and tears to the creation, discovery and sharing of music, and all see a future wide open with possibilities. By Rolling Stone: Link

Coachella is Next in Brand Frenzy for Music Festival Fans — For two weekends this month, the Empire Polo Club in the southern California desert will be filled with a marketer’s dream: throngs of influential, open-minded and ready-to-spend millennials with plenty of time to kill. Brands are following these desirable consumers to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Sponsors lure attendees into amenity-laden tents, with air-conditioning to provide a respite from the hot sun and a place to charge a cellphone. Then they try to wow these would-be shoppers with flashy displays, elaborate new product pitches and plenty of freebies. Fashion retailer H&M has a 360-degree mirrored “selfie station” and will give attendees chances to try Oculus virtual-reality headsets. Sephora is offering a do-it-yourself makeup bar with its private-label beauty brand and a vending machine that dispenses free products to people who post a photo to Instagram with a designated hashtag. And Absolut Vodka will be serving up specialty draft cocktails as it unveils its new illuminated limited-edition bottle. By The Wall Street Journal: Link

DOJ eyes music regulation update — The DOJ’s review is ongoing, and any recommendations are not set in stone, the sources said. The agency’s review is part of a broader battle in Washington over who gets paid for music as consumers increasingly use streaming services like Pandora and Spotify rather than buy CDs or downloading mp3s. The debate is also underway in Congress, where the House Judiciary Committee is looking at the music licensing system to determine whether reforms are needed. By Politico: Link

Tuning Music Royalties to the Times — The entire U.S. system of music royalties is confusing, contradictory and inequitable, a monument to more than 100 years of haggling among creators, purveyors and users. To call it Byzantine maligns that great empire.  For one, a musical composition (“the publishing” in music-industry parlance) and its recording (“the master”) receive separate copyrights, with separate licensing systems. There are dramatically different rate-setting mechanisms: Broadcast radio pays royalties for the composition, but nothing for the recording. Digital media—Pandora and satellite radio, for instance—pay for both, but nobody pays for recordings made before 1972, which are not protected under federal copyright law. (They may soon carry a royalty in certain states, thanks to lawsuits filed by former members of the Turtles.) Hardly any music licenses are negotiated in the free market. By The Wall Street Journal: Link



1.5 Million Activated The New Spotify-Backed “Playstation Music” In One Day Early this year, Sony announced a partnership between its Playstation brand and Spotify, and it looks like gamers everywhere are responding positively. In just one day, over 1.5 million users logged into the new music app on their consoles during the first day of availability, according to the company. The newly-dubbed Playstation Music (which is basically nothing more than Spotify on the gaming console) was officially launched on Monday, March 30th, and so far it’s looking like users are enjoying the service. Some of these gamers may have been using Spotify before (and it is likely that a sizeable chunk already were on the streaming site), but Spotify has probably also seen a healthy uptick in their numbers as well. By Forbes: Link

Carlos Diaz

Carlos Diaz

Carlos is Chief Revenue Officer at Music Audience Exchange. Previously, Carlos built and operated large sales organizations for marketing and technology companies including ReachLocal, Neustar and Hibu.
Carlos Diaz

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