I’ve got through January and I feel I avoided BIG DATA as much as possible. Now that February has arrived I think I can be allowed one mention of the BIG D. I am no fan of the marketing concept that is BIG D, for me just having loads of data is fairly useless. Data is an ingredient we need to create insight, what I would like to see more of is BIG INSIGHT. So I was very interested to see that GROUP M Entertainment, Sports and Promotion employed GROUP M NEXT to provide GROUP M with some proprietary insight on how people really quite like music, GROUP M, sorry I think I’ve developed a tick.
So the insight has been delivered in the form of a report called The New Music Model for Brands: How Live Events and Digital are Changing the Sound of Things. I’ll summarise it, people like music, they listen to it loads and they like brands when they help them listen to it. OK it’s a lot deeper than than but I think it is better if you read the report itself, its good stuff. If you don’t have the time just yell out “People like music, GROUP M says so” when you are stuck for something to say in a meeting.
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.
You remember that massive internet brand, Yahoo. The one with the fun sonic logo. Well they’ve recently been working on getting better at what they do and working out what it is that they do. As part of this today they announced a partnership with Live Nation to create the Live Nation Channel on Yahoo Screen, bit of a mouthful but I guess you have to spell things out at the beginning and we can always shorten it to LNCYS.
Yahoo is making a play into proprietary content and since music is the most consumed content genre online it makes a lot of sense for them to make it a significant part of their new offering. Live Nation are of course the enormous live entertainment company that put on around 23,000 concerts last year and so they have access to a hell of a lot of content. So beginning this summer the LNCYS will stream a concert a day for a year and they will offer additional content including access to the Live Nation back catalogue.
Now the brand part. Live Nation and Yahoo are of course out selling the platform to brands and they also announced today that they have brought on board Kellogg as their launch partner. According to Jon Suarez-Davis, Kellogg vice president, Media and Digital Strategy, they “know consumers are passionate about food and music”. This is of course the standard issue line from any brand getting involved in music, simply remove the word “food” and replace with the appropriate product category, the key point is that people are passionate about music as proven by Live Nation selling over 60 million tickets last year. Consumers, as suggested by their name, want to consume and if Kellogg’s can help feed them more of what they love, they will get the brownie points. It’s an easy model that simply needs to be backed up by the right activation strategy and delivery of relevant content.
The idea of a new online channel is not really that spectacular these days but the partnership behind this one is what should be focused on. If Live Nation provide great and exclusive content then this could become a interesting alternative to You Tube and Vevo for brands wanting to get involved in music.
You can read the official version of events here.