Brands + Music = Opportunity

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While we all sit here debating how the hell the music industry is going to operate profitably, I’d like to make my case for pushing the brand integration model a bit harder. With digital ad spend in media and entertainment expected to reach over $8.5 billion in the US by 2018, here are four reasons I see corporate cash as the future of music monetization. And a bonus: 18 examples of brands and music playing together.

1) Mobile rules: Do I really have to convince you the power of mobile? Spotify’s mobile ad revenue grew nearly 400% in 2014 and over half of its users are listening on phones and tablets. Mobile has officially overtaken desktop usage and there are no signs of that curve slowing down. Brands and agencies are focusing resources on mobile for acquisition and consumer messaging.

2) Moment-based targeting: Songza, 8tracks, now Apple Music, and a slew of others are pushing mood and event based playlists hard. Spotify even launched a new feature specific to runners, which alters the type of beats it serves based on your real-time pace. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg here, but it’s great news for marketers. Brand advertising is moving beyond demo/geo targeting and into activity based targeting, which is better for both sides of the exchange when qualifying accuracy and relevancy.

3) Still the #1 entertainment source: According to Nielsen, music is the top entertainment choice of Americans. 93% of the country spends more than 25 hours a week listening to music!

4) Music suits native content better than anything else out there: That’s my take and I’m sticking to it. Native (or whatever the hell you want to call it) is everywhere and I’m not convinced it’s just a fad. Once we figure out how to make it suck less, isn’t music set up perfectly for this kind of a deal? Want more music? Cool, Brand X will make awesome playlists for you and sponsor indie bands so they can afford to travel to more shows and maybe even dole out premium memberships to streaming services so everybody wins.

Chew on these for a bit:

Axe White Label

Fender Accelerator Tour

Sour Patch Kids “Brooklyn Patch”

Live at Aloft

American Express Living Room

Acura music ad campaign

Converse Rubber Tracks

American Airlines indie music in-flight

Jeep’s indie ambassadors

Swatch partners with PledgeMusic

Ford’s Pandora playlist

Tinder dips into music

Toyota’s music label

WPP and Alex da Kid launch music ad venture

Marriott and Universal strike a deal

Mountain Dew’s Green Label

Red Bull Music Academy

Pomplamoose and Lenovo

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