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Weekly Dispatch | April 27, 2015

Carlos Diaz April 27, 2015 Weekly Dispatch No Comments

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.


Tidal: Free Market Forces Bring Tough Times

If for some reason you haven’t heard of Tidal, watch this two-minute video to understand the magnitude of celebrity, superlatives, and self-congratulation welcoming the streaming music service into the world. While the service was created to bring “fair compensation” to artists, talk of the service seemed ambiguous to me. I watched the launch event stunned by the number of stars on stage, but still didn’t get how Tidal was going to “forever change the course of music history”.



Use a Millennial Mindset to Create All-Access Events – With mobile apps, online platforms, content management systems and a myriad of wireless communications, events are now characterized by multiple dialogues in which event designers and audiences take co-ownership and co-creation of what unfolds, often in real time. This is in large part due to Gen Y’s urging but what many companies don’t know is that millennials aren’t the only generation engaging in this way.

While they may be one of the first truly digital generations, the truth is most of the U.S. considers itself somewhat digitally savvy. According to Nielsen’s 2014 U.S. Digital Consumer Report, Americans own four digital devices (on average) and are spending 60 hours each week consuming content across multiple devices, such as HDTVs, tablets and smartphones.
Also, while millennials are more comfortable with virtual interaction, they’re only slightly more so than their older counterparts. A 2014 IBM Institute for Business Value Millennial Study found 35 percent are happy to use self-paced interactive modules, apps or online simulations, compared to 33 percent of Gen X and 30 percent of baby boomers. The same study found 39 percent of millennials prefer a face-to-face event experience with a vendor or brand in the initial stages of decision-making rather than online. With this in mind, here’s how you can create an event that engages professionals at every age and level for maximum success.


Numbers Don’t Lie: Jay-Z’s Tidal Music Service is Already a Spectacular Flop – Two weeks after Tidal briefly cracked the U.S. iPhone top 20 download chart, the app has crashed out of the top 700. Apparently American consumers have limited empathy towards Beyonce and Nicki. Soon after the launch fiasco, Tidal’s CEO was kicked out in a “streamlining” move.  The new CEO Peter Tonstad, a former consultant for the Norwegian Ministry of Environment, has his work cut out for him.

To make matters worse for Tidal, its main rivals are now surging. On April 20th, Pandora and Spotify occupied positions No. 3 and No. 4 on the U.S. iPhone revenue chart, respectively. This was the first time two music streaming services have hit the top 4 in sales simultaneously. Yahoo! Tech


After Buying TuneCore, Believe Digital Ready to Challenge Majors – Speaking to MBW, Believe Founder & President Denis Ladegaillerie said that in terms of industry revenues from digital platforms, Believe already enjoys a strong distribution market share in key territories – around 12% to 15% in France and Italy, and around 5% in the UK and Germany. This foothold, plus the added leverage from Tunecore, will help Believe “extract very competitive market terms” for its artists in future from the likes of Spotify and Deezer, he commented. “We fully intend to leverage our market share, both to strengthen our service relationship [with digital services] and further improve our terms – whether logistic, financial or promotional,” he said. Ladegaillerie forecast that the combined force of Believe and Tunecore would generate a 2015 turnover in excess of US $250m (€232m), which he estimated was “bigger than any player in the market outside of the three major labels”. When asked if Believe could now press on to challenge the major labels on a digital distribution market share basis, Ladegaillerie said: “We already are, and we will continue to do so. “Depending on the territory, Warner’s market share is not that significantly higher than ours – and they have been helped by the acquisition of Parlophone.”


The Hard Rock Hotel Combines Music & Technology – As an outsider, I assumed the Hard Rock brand revolved around rock music exclusively, however, one trip to any of their properties and anyone will realize its about music as an ecosystem. The Sound of Your Stay amenity program is an all-encompassing in-room music experience that breaks down into three different features – tracks, picks, and mix.. As Watts explained to me, “Given the fact that music fans are consuming music in different ways than ever before, we’re in the process of evolving this program into something truly unique.” The three main technologies of The Sounds of Your Stay program can turn any guest into a full blown musician.While Hard Rock is working hard to make their hotel guests musical gurus, they are also translating their mission to the overall music landscape. At SXSW, Coachella, and other music festivals, they focus on delivering a unique and authentic experience that caters directly to music fans. From Fender guitar stations to create your own DJ mixes, the brand is providing hands-on-examples of how technology is constantly used in the music world. Tech.Co


Hey Millennials: Coachella is Getting Seriously Expensive – Millennials are flocking to the world-famous music festival in the desert. But the hottest ticket in town doesn’t come cheap. Heading into its second weekend, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is attracting a young and hip crowd. Nearly 600,000 festivalgoers from around the world descend on the grounds of the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, for two back-to-back weekends. Music festivals have become an oasis for millennials. According to a new Nielsen report, about 32 million people attend at least one music festival in the U.S. each year, and nearly half, of festivalgoers are between ages 18 and 34.


5 Secrets Of Selling And Serving 80 Million Millennial Customers – Here are five things you need to know about the millennial generation of consumers and what they’re looking for in terms of customer service and the customer experience. Getting a grasp on this information is essential because the millennial generation of customers is about to take your businesses by storm–if it hasn’t already.  These young customers will soon be spending with you (or choosing not to) on an unparalleled scale because this is a generation that’s even larger than the baby boom at its height. Forbes


Turning Artists Into Brands: A&R In The Digital Age – A&R executives are being forced to change their game. This is in part because streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube are fragmenting the music market and leaving their own digital trace, which is then used to identify suitable talent. As well, the focus of modern music marketing is not just paying consumers but consumer brands that are looking to match music to suit their own ends. Brands, of course, strive to make long-lasting connections with artists and customers, expecting to match talent and product to cement a new legion of loyal customers. Hypebot


Pandora to Replace 2 Board Members With Music-Industry Figures – Pandora Media is replacing two board members, both longtime investors, with music-industry veterans, the company announced Monday. Timothy J. Leiweke, the chief executive of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment in Toronto, will join Pandora’s board immediately, and Roger Faxon, the former chief of the music conglomerate EMI, has been nominated and will stand for election at Pandora’s annual shareholders’ meeting on June 4, the company said. New York Times


4 Brands That Make Relationships Central to Content – Being in a relationship signifies a long-term, loyal commitment. The same rules apply in business. Relationship marketing is a way to cultivate ties between a brand and a company. Relationship marketing is usually much easier in channels that have a one-on-one element. But what about in your broader content initiatives? How can you continue to foster brand loyalty and fan excitement from a blog or video series? Well, who’s to say that relationship marketing and content marketing can’t go hand in hand? Here are four brands that nailed the combination- Lays, Dollar Shave Club, Zappos & Kohl’s. Business2Community


Capturing Gen Z on Snapchat Could Gain Long-Term Consumer Loyalty – More and more brands are joining Snapchat and disseminating short form content. Those with loyal teen audiences will thrive by relating to their consumer’s lifestyle in real time, as well as with promotions that display a sense of urgency or limited time offer. This audience has come to expect content that caters directly to them and is a necessity to receive any form of ongoing interaction. But how do brands succeed in reaching new audiences on a platform where users are only talking to each other? It is one thing to develop an identity and hope that your fan base finds you, but for those seeking increased awareness, consider bringing in an ace. There is an opportunity for brands to sponsor an influencer with an existing following. With so much trust between influencers and their audiences, the right influencer with the right brand will speak volumes to a targeted following. Go where your audience is already engaged to relate to your core demographic and form new connections among like-minded individuals. Snapchat also provides brands with an easy avenue to experiment for those not ready to embark with a fully integrated marketing communications plan. Pull back the curtain and don’t be afraid to show your true self, the real you, the behind-the-scenes production and preparation. After all, everyone can relate to a silly face. AdWeek


NBA All-Star Damian Lillard Becomes JBL® Brand Ambassador – HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated HAR, +0.90% the premier audio, infotainment and software services company, today announced that two-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard will serve as a Brand Ambassador for the company’s JBL® audio brand. Lillard will participate in JBL marketing and awareness initiatives, which will include brand advertising and integrated social media and content programs promoting the brand’s audio products. Lillard is the first player to be signed by HARMAN since the company announced in September 2014 that it was launching a comprehensive multiyear marketing and licensing partnership to become the official headphone, speaker and audio partner of the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA Development League (NBA D-League), and USA Basketball. “Music has always been a major part of my life and my workouts, and it amplifies my motivation to deliver my best performance in every game,” said Lillard. MarketWatch


Project Music startups unveil ideas to industry leaders – The app calculates an individual’s unique hearing traits, decompresses an audio file and dramatically improves a song’s overall quality. Davis, who provoked oos and ahs from the crowd when he demonstrated the technology, said the young firm already has a letter of interest from Nissan to improve the audio quality of music played in their vehicles.

KaraoQ turns karaoke into an interactive, social media-based experience through a free app that allows DJs and performers to choose their song, know when it’s their turn to sing and pay fees to jump to the front of the queue. CEO and founder Michael Amburgey said the company would make its money by taking a percentage of tips and bump fees paid to the DJ, but also capitalize on drink deals and sponsorships targeted at karaoke lovers. The Tennesseean
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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