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Brands Turn to Music to Market Content, Reach Younger Consumers

Value of the US music industry fell to just $7 billion last year

The 21st century has not been kind to the US recording industry. Since peaking at $14.6 billion in 1999, the business has shrunk to less than half its size, barely besting $7 billion in 2012, according to a new eMarketer report, “Marketing Opportunities in Digital and Live Music: More Musicians Say, ‘I'm With the Brand.’”

To put the industry’s current valuation into perspective, Samsung and The Coca-Cola Co. combined spent more than $7 billion on marketing in 2012. Clearly, brands are in a position to invest, and some see plenty of upside in music properties. As a result, they are getting involved in ways that were unimaginable as recently as a few years ago, including launching new releases, running recording studios, nurturing underground talent, making music videos and creating original programming.

As more brands develop and market their own content, many are turning to music to attract younger target audiences.

American Express, VEVO and YouTube are partners in “Unstaged,” a series that pairs musical acts with established actors and film directors for short vignettes that range from goofy to edgy.

VEVO is also a partner in “Nissan Tracks,” a series that features up-and-coming artists reimagining popular songs. The clips feature Nissan branding, including a “presented by” text introduction and prominent product placement of the company’s Versa Note model.

In September 2013, live entertainment firm Live Nation and automaker Ford Motor Co. launched the web reality series “The Rider Challenge,” which features both established and emerging artists. Teams of contestants compete to fulfill artist riders, or contractual obligations stipulated as a precondition to performing, and drive Ford Fiestas in their designated cities as they go about completing tasks. Winners get to attend a participating artist’s show, meet the artist backstage and advance to the next round. The grand prize winner receives a Fiesta and an all-access pass to all Live Nation concerts for a year.


The full report, “Marketing Opportunities in Digital and Live Music: More Musicians Say, ‘I'm With the Brand,’” also answers these key questions:

  • In what new ways are marketers getting involved in the music business?
  • What are marketers’ goals with these new types of affiliations?
  • How are consumers responding to greater brand participation in music properties?
  • How is corporate involvement reshaping the economics of the music business?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


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