Streaming challenger Guvera leverages The Voice

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 30 June 2015

Signing up to The Voice is Guvera's play for critical mass at a time when the category is facing pressure from other streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify, while Apple Music looms in the background as the 800-pound gorilla.

Last week Nine sent out a list of sponsors who had come on board for the current season of The Voice, which premiered on Sunday with a national average audience of 2.08 million viewers.

One of the more intriguing brands to jump on board was Guvera, a locally-backed music streaming company which was founded with plenty of cash from private investors.

It has a presence in several markets, but does not yet have the brand recognition in Australia as its competitors, something which global commercial director Stephen Deane told AdNews was holding it back given it's a majority ad-supported model.

“In terms of creating exposure to create new customers, it's vital because in Australia we're a very strong ad-supported platform, and we're also bringing on a new brand,” Deane said.

“We need to scale up, because as an ad-funded model we can't afford to be niche. It just wouldn't work.”

Deane said it had been looking for an exposure play for about six months, with The Voice deal taking about three months to pull off in conjunction with Nine, Universal Music Group, and Shine Australia.

“We were looking at a few different pieces, but this one just lined up in terms of what we could offer and the exposure they could offer our brand,” Deane said.

“It wasn't so much channel-specific, as looking for a platform that was relevant that could bring ours to life, that could add from a customer-acquisition point of view, and that was relevant from a music entertainment point of view.

“Ultimately, that's what we do. We're music.”

Guvera is delivering a Voice-branded music channel, which will stream original music from The Voice as well as exclusive performance recordings from the top 16 artists.

It also has TV commercials running on the network, and has experimented with TV ads on Foxtel channels.

“It's interesting now we have the traditional TV advertising results and now we have the integration piece – we'll be able to see how it all works together. It's all about testing and learning,” Deane said.

It is currently in negotiation with five brands to sign them onto the platform, and Deane said he was hopeful the exposure from The Voice would help add weight to its case.

“As you can imagine, the exposure of The Voice gives us really good numbers which we can go to potential clients with,” Deane said.

The streaming service is known for creating branded stations within its app, and then embedding offers into the service.

For example, on the app's hompage it has a Contiki Australia channel, with several playlists curated for the brand and special offers sitting alongside.

However, Deane says the service's future is broad.

“Where we see ourselves going is absolutely being a music entertainment solutions business for brands,” Deane said.

“In other markets, we're doing everything from in-store music solutions through to the digital side of things, through artist and talent partnerships.

“A lot of it comes down to what the brands are after.”

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