This one has been bubbling under for a while, since Vincent Bolloré, head of the Bolloré family, the largest Havas shareholder, became chairman of Vivendi, owners of Universal, it seemed like a logical move for both businesses. Whether this was all worked out over dinner at Chez Bolloré, Havas’ chairman happens to be Yannick Bolloré, son of Vincent, or through some in-depth analysis of the music and brand market and a realisation that it lacked a super power, I will never know but it is probably the biggest commitment to cooperation we have seen so far.
So what is it all about? On the face of it and if you read the various press releases the whole thing is about data, lots and lots of data, I’m not going to say BIG DATA (doh!) as that is so 2014. They have even managed to sneak the word data into the collaboration’s name – THE GLOBAL MUSIC DATA ALLIANCE – which I think should be shortened to GLOMUDA for no real reason. There is loads of talk about combining all the numbers that both sides gather on their audiences and using them to work out better ways of combining music and brand to everyone’s benefit. At this stage then the focus is very much on building some really enormous databases and working out some spectacularly complicated algorithms to make sense of them. This kind of analysis will help prove the case for music and brand relationships of all shapes and sizes and I guess it will not be too long before GLOMUDA (trademark pending) becomes self-aware and Ed Sheeran is being hunted down by a cyborg from the future.
For music and brand geeks the GLOMUDA is an exciting project between two real powerhouses in their industries with the very highest level of executive backing. Where I think the real potential for this relationship will be is in a year or two’s time, once they have enough data to create accurate insight into music and consumer trends. If they take this insight and use it as a starting point for some outstanding and innovative creative work then Universal and Havas could be building a market leading platform. But it is just the starting point, both sides will also need to invest heavily in creative talent as translating insight into inspiration is the true key to success.
In the past partnerships like this have not worked as one side saw it as a bit of fun while the other considered it a way to get someone else to pay the bill. This partnership, however, could change that simply because of its scale, the board level support should ensure that the Havas agencies function collectively rather than competitively when it comes to music projects while Universal has a pretty progressive view of brand relationships. Plus if all else fails Mrs Bolloré can always step in and sort things out.
So to start 2015 we have a biggie and one that we will need to observe throughout the year, if anything so we can see what impact GLOMUDA has on Music Dealers (Havas) and Globe (Universal).
Here are links to the Havas press release and coverage in AdAge:
UPDATE: Well it didn’t take long for someone to ruin my BIG DATA avoiding 2015. This article on mediajobs.com gives a more cash focused reason for why HAVAS + UNIVERSAL = DATA, DATA = CASH.
In the past expressing your love of music was about wearing a t-shirt or copying your hero’s hairstyles. Now it is about wearing the headphones “worn” by your music idols and those headphones are seriously big business, $2.4billion to be exact last year.
The huge growth demonstrates the marketing power generated by combining music and brand so it is probably worth listening to the people behind Beats, Skullcandy and SMS.
The next question should be “Can you shift a really crappy set of headphones for £150 simply by attaching a big name music star?”, don’t jump in and say they do that already. With headphones becoming such a fashion statement how long will the craft of high end audio equipment last. Have a read it is interesting stuff.
Brands are betting big on Apple’s new iTunes Radio. With iPhones and iPads around the world verifying updates, big brands are jumping in with the dream team of an iconic brand, iconic hardware and big tunes. With the launch of iTunes Radio (US only for the moment) brands are seeing the value in attaching themselves to a the latest “new” music platform. Brands including PepsiCo, McDonalds, Nissan, Procter and Gamble are paying big sums to get on exclusive terms with the new streaming music service.
A while ago people thought that radio was dead but actually all it was doing was becoming a better platform for a web based world.
We’ll have to wait a little longer to get the service over in the UK but in the meantime we can just read about it and its new “partners” on Ad Age.
P.S. Sorry about the old Apple logo but it is still the best version.