Brands and bands are finding new reach, relevance and revenue through in-content advertising
July 21 2021: The advertising and music businesses are both going through something akin to turmoil. At Mirriad we have a solution to help bridge this problem.
COVID-19 has hit the music industry hard. With touring all but completely suspended over the past year, the live music industry saw a 75% decline in 2020, according to Goldman Sachs, with Pollstar quoting a $9 billion loss realised in the U.S concert industry due to COVID-19.
Meanwhile global music revenue declined 25% in 2020 (Goldman Sachs), as the world’s music publishers lost $2–$3.45 billion, according to the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers. These loses have heightened scrutiny around streaming revenue, with 234 of music’s biggest names—including One Direction, and The Rolling Stones—joining the #BrokenRecord campaign, calling for a fairer share of streaming revenues to go to artists.
Case in point, Austra’s Katie Stelmanis says on Twitter that her latest album gained almost 4 million streams, but of the $15,200 it generated she’s pockets $0. Which might be a reflection of Spotify architect, Jim Anderson’s comment to Digital Music News, that in creating the platform, “the problem was to distribute music. Not to give you [artists] money.”
At the same time advertising is going through a shift of its own. The imminent disruption of third party data ecosystems has made present day targeting strategies unsustainable. This huge shift is heralded by the death of IDFA and third-party browser cookies, and is set to not only disrupt independent ad tech, but force advertisers to drastically change their targeting tactics.
To add to the problem, audiences are more empowered than ever when it comes to what they watch and how they watch it. In real terms this means an increase in ad-blocking, ad skipping, and a mass migration to ad-free subscription services to enjoy the content they love without interruption (Netflix reports 203.7 million subscribers and counting). This is especially the case with Gen Z’s, 82% of which are skipping ads and more than half using ad blockers, as 69% of Gen Z’s say they will physically do something to distract themselves from ads because they do not like being interrupted.
All that said, one thing that you can count on remaining constant in this changing mediascape, is the popularity of music videos. According to a 2020 study, ‘Music and Music Videos’ were the leading mobile video genre among Gen-Z’s and Millennial in the United States, with 63% of respondents watching this genre of video.
With over 500 hours of video content uploaded every minute to YouTube, the platform says the music industry globally has benefited from $12bn (£8.7bn) in royalties as of January 2020; it’s possible that by 2025 it could outstrip all other sources, including Spotify as the “music industry’s number one source of revenue”.
What if you could tackle these music industry revenue issues and advertising conundrums, whilst keeping audiences engaged, all at once, with one simple solution?
Music Alliance is a specialist division of Mirriad that utilises in-content advertising to do just that. The initiative is dedicated to growing creative and financial opportunities for artists, while at the same time giving brands new reach and relevance by making them part of the zeitgeist, seamlessly integrated into the hyper-relevant environment of today’s hottest music videos.
The buzz around the initiative has seen Music Alliance make headlines in Music Week, The Evening Standard, Music Business Worldwide, Record of the Day, and The Sun, with labels and management companies including B-Unique, Gerencia 360 and Red Light Management all onboard to help grow revenue generating opportunities for their artists.
“We are excited to partner with Mirriad and feel privileged to be at the cutting edge, opening up an innovative medium of new revenue in the music community… We’re confident that connecting the worlds of marketing and music will add value to artists in scaling their business, while also offering brands a way to naturally immerse themselves in impactful campaigns without interrupting the experience for fans.” — James Sandom, Managing Director, Red Light Management
We know that on average audiences spend six hours a day in video content, and that just 6%, or less than 22 minutes of this, is over-crowded ad space, the other 94% is the content itself.
So why fight for attention in the ad space?
Music Alliance allows advertisers to scale branding and campaign activations within this previously unreachable 94%, to connect with audiences — especially those harder to reach Gen Z and millennials — by targeting across music genres, regions and audience demographics, to create more authentic brand narratives.
Mirriad’s patent protected AI-powered capabilities allow us to deliver contextual relevance in-content for brands in ways that no one else can — something that’s especially relevant in music videos where in-content advertising must be delivered without compromising artistic integrity. We do this by scanning the content for placement opportunities, locales, emotional context and much more, to create huge inventory so we can match brand briefs with the perfect moments for them resonate most effectively. So no more cookies and no problem when it comes to new audience targeting solutions.
In-content advertising also allows brands to directly support creators in non-interruptive ways, without piggy-backing on their content in the interruptive ways that audiences dislike (pre-roll ads we’re looking at you). In fact, Kantar-backed research shows that 95% of audiences like the Mirriad format and say it’s a natural fit to the content. Our recent campaign activation for Mexican beer brand Tecate in Regional Mexican music video content, found 76% of consumers said the campaign made the brand more appealing, as well as an unprecedented 43ppt increase in brand awareness!