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    4 Ways the Music Industry can Capitalize on Programatic Advertising

    May 18th, 2015

    Remember the early days of YouTube, before they developed a premium content strategy and it was a cat video free for all?

    I remember refusing to go to the site during its infancy because I was sick of digging through endless hours of user generated content, trying to find something truly entertaining or worthy of social currency. It wasn’t until I started to use it as a music discovery platform that it provided me any real value.

    Flash forward ten years and it’s a ground breaking social network doing 155 million video views a monthly. Of the 155 million monthly views, 67 million come from music related content on Vevo or WMG ‘s YouTube Channels. It’s can be argued that no other industry has effected YouTube’s growth more than the music industry.

    But with time has come evolution in digital advertising buying/planning, and more importantly for this conversation, supplying of advertising to digital video on the web.

    Programmatic ad buying, or an array of technologies that automate the buying, placement and optimization of media inventory, is making it easier for content creators to monetize their digital video without the need of a 3rd party sales team. For advertisers, programmatic ad spending has increased year over year, opting for the pricing efficiencies, targeting abilities, and newfound transparency that it provides.

    With artist looking for ways to offset their declining music sales revenues, digital advertising and sponsorships is providing expediential growth opportunities for artist of all sizes. Here are some steps you can take to capitalize on the growth in programmatic ad buying:


    1. Grow you owned and operated web portals


    Too often we see artist without websites, relying entirely on social networks for fan engagement. This is a big no-no in a digital world where engagement and data are your biggest assets online –which also happens to be what Pandora, Facebook, Spotify, YouTube are doing with the data collected from your fans streaming content on their sites. It’s your content, your audience, shouldn’t you own the data without having to pay to access it?

    Building proprietary websites will solve this problem with the proper content strategy, and will provide a unique platform for fan engagement with huge upside for digital media buyers looking to target your audience. Owning the site will also increase the data collecting opportunities, allowing you to truly understand who your audience is and how they are engaging with your brand.

    1. Find alternative methods for delivering video and audio directly to fan base

    YouTube isn’t the only content platform in town anymore. In fact, the market place seems to become more fragmented every week. But each online video player in the market provides different value propositions and business models for content strategies of all types. The key here is choosing a reliable partner that allows you to achieve your goals be it monetizing, branding, protection, or others.

    Choosing and OVP partner will provide you all the tech you will ever need to power your owned and operated websites, and allow you to strategically release content to your fan base without 3rd parties needing to be involved.

    1. Move digital advertising and sponsorship sales in house


    There are two types of ad sales that you should be keeping in mind: 1) Programmatic 2) Direct Sales

    Partnering with a BrightRoll, LiveRail, Google Direct, and others allow artist and content creators to tap directly into ad networks without egregious 3rd party commissions. At Playwire, we developed an ad module that plugs our partners into nearly ever ad network globally so that providing global ad fill is a more efficient process for our partner. The key here is to remove middlemen when and where your can.

    Direct sales are going to take personal communication with media planners and buyers to develop a campaign that targets your audience. This is best for creating integrated ad programs that may feature branded entertainment, social enhancements, or anything that is highly custom and cannot be bought programmatically. It is also a premium cost for doing so; the more creative and integrated you get for the advertiser, the larger the program will be.

    1. Build multi-platform content strategy content strategy

    If content is king, then distribution is queen and she wears the pants. Relying on one platform for distribution puts all your eggs in one basket, and usually… you don’t own the basket.


    When developing a multiplatform approach to your content distribution, there are two major factors to consider: 1) Syndication to content portals where your target audience consumes or engages with similar content 2) Easy access to content via multiple devices.


    To date, YouTube’s ecosystem has provided strength in both categories for creators. Today, the digital video environment is much more fragmented, and will remain as such with more content outlets looking to capitalize on the digital video revolution.

    A perfect example of multiplatform diversification is Weird Al’s approach to his last album release. For eight days, he released a new music video on eight different websites. Though YouTube was one of the eight choices, the most successful release was, “Tacky,” a spoof of Pharrell’s “Happy,” which he partnered with to release. Tacky received more than 10 million views on the first 36 hours, and helped to secure Weird Al a Billboard #1 album.

    For more insights on digital advertising, tech, and all things entertainment, make sure to follow me here on Linkedin and periodically check in at


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    Apple’s Role in Taylor Swift’s Album Release

    February 15th, 2015

Apple's Role in Taylor Swifts Album Release

It's all about streaming

Last week, it was reported that Apple is close to acquiring Nashville’s Big Machine Label Group. With BMLG’s deal with UMG now over, Apple has set their sights on the independent titan for an estimated $250 million dollars.

This news comes just months after BMLG superstar Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify shortly after earning the highest grossing single on the service. Taylor removed her music after determining the revenues earned from streaming were not not in line with what she believed the value to be, even though she was one of the highest grossing artist on the platform.

I’m always up for trying something,” Swift told TIME about joining Spotify. “And I tried it and I didn’t like the way it felt. I think there should be an inherent value placed on art. I didn’t see that happening, perception-wise, when I put my music on Spotify. Everybody’s complaining about how music sales are shrinking, but nobody’s changing the way they’re doing things.”

Apple bet big on music streaming and technology when they purchased Beats Audio for a massive 3 billion dollars back in August 2014. The price being debated: $7.99 per month, down from Beats’ now-standard — and arguably too high — $9.99 a month, with no “freemium” model. (The sweet spot for consumers, at which profit is maximized for the labels: $3.99 to $4.99, say experts.)

The news of acquiring BMLG could bring together what is rumored to be the most efficiently priced streaming service on the market with one of streaming music’s biggest brands, and the upside could be huge. Taylor still owes BMLG another album, and with it comes streaming rights. If Apple owns the exclusive rights to Taylor’s distribution rights,  they will drive inherently more value to Apple’s Streaming service by being the only media company with access to “Swifties”… or Taylor’s crazed teens fanbase roughly 12-24 year old.

With first-quarter revenue of $74.6 billion as of Jan. 27, Apple has their sights set on more than just streaming. Apple’s presence in the music business, “is to be the music business; it’s not to compete with Spotify.”, says Billboard insider. The proof is in the 800 million credit cards it already has on file — comparably, Spotify has 15 million subscriptions and 60 million monthly users, although the service is growing, headed to an initial public offering.

There is no doubt that the race for streaming control is on (Jay Z’s recent acquisition of Aspiro is testament to that). Music has become one of the most engaging forms of content on the web, which is great for companies and advertiser who rely on big data. But with operating costs so high, will streaming ever be profitable?

Let us know what you think if the comment section below.




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