OPINION: It's time to face the music

It's official – music is back, riding a wave of popularity that is outpacing other entertainment mediums. In a world where audiences are fragmenting, the digital revolution is providing more consumers access to more music than ever before. So why are Australian advertisers not taking advantage of this new content landscape? In a time when all advertisers are looking to engage with their audiences rather than just advertise to them, music is the new world order – and music stars are the new movie stars.

Consider this. In the world of social love, music artists hold the top five Twitter accounts worldwide – Barack Obama holds the sixth. Nine of the top 10 online videos of all time are music videos. And last month in the US, Vevo, the world’s biggest premium online music site, overtook Twitter in terms of traffic for the first time – making it America’s second-favourite social network behind Facebook. Meantime, the most recent Nielsen US research shows more teens listen to music through YouTube than any other source.

Viewing habits have changed. People want to consume content when, where and how they want it, be that 2:00am on their iPad on a Sunday morning. This is where music really delivers and commercial TV is playing catch-up.

This year’s top-rating TV shows include The Voice, Australia’s Got Talent and The X-Factor. Nothing evokes a greater emotional connection than music and these shows are great examples of the mass audience that music can deliver.

Yet many advertisers seem somewhat afraid of music marketing and the opportunities it can create, while too many agencies dismiss music as being youth-focused. It’s naive to think music is the domain of youth, especially today in this era of music streaming services like Vevo, Spotify, Rdio and Songl which deliver music on-demand to audiences of all ages.

Music should be looked upon as the Holy Grail for brands. It delivers incredible scale not just in numbers, but in demographics and engagement and offers everything from highly targeted digital ad placement to powerful branded content. Artists and record labels are embracing this space as a way to help them diversify revenue and drive creativity and this is creating endless opportunities for brands to hit the mainstage through clever content-creation ideas. Look at the partnership between Swedish House Mafia and Absolut Vodka, which resulted in a stunning piece of content that is both music video and brand ad.

Music’s time has come. And advertisers should get their groove on.

Simon Joyce
Chief Executive
MCM Entertainment Group

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