In the latest edition of “Beats, Bytes & Brands,” my monthly Adweek column with Clayton Durant, we break down the four music trends that defined the second quarter and the brands that lead the charge:
1. Curation of Sonic Identities to Own Ear Share: As audio content continues to grow in relevance, more and more brands are competing to “own” their share of the ear. There’s steep competition with so many awesome podcasts and playlists floating around, but Q2 saw Alka-Seltzer & Mastercard both launch splashy sonic identity plays.
2. Brands Appealing To “Lean-Back” Streamers: How do brands cut through the noise by leveraging music? Bacardi did a great job of it this quarter with their Music Liberates Music campaign. Through partnering with brands and producers, they were able to drop clothing that turned a capsule collection embedded with QR codes into a gamified point of distribution for a record release.
3. Reaching Superfans Through Exclusive Content: Superfans are like an army ready to be mobilized. Brands and artists that figure out how to tap these super fans in a worthwhile way will always be rewarded. Halsey and Coke showed that with their recent “One of a Kind” video for her new single “So Good”.
4. Live Music to Connect Both Globally and Locally: Post pandemic, the pendulum has swung back to IRL connection. Live Nation is selling more tickets than ever as people are desperate to caption their posts “we outside!” But it’s still an exciting time to leverage new media to connect digitally in tandem with IRL events. One standout activation was the mashup of Doritos, Stranger Things, and Charlie XCX, which included a live streamed show in one of the more innovative ways I’ve seen since the 2020 streaming boom. It had build up, storytelling, fun delivery, merch, and even a photobooth. This is what a livestream experience should feel like!
Looking Ahead to Q3…
We anticipate brands will continue to lean into live music to connect with highly engaged live audiences. This will be a busy Fall with great concerts and conferences!
Online, audiences remain committed to short-form video so we can count on more savvy brand and influencer campaigns utilizing platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Reels. I also believe that health and wellness awareness is on the rise in a big way, and many great brands are popping out of the space ripe for artists partnerships.
We’re also seeing a trend toward big investments in music to scale Web3 strategies. So many exciting projects are coming out of these spaces.
Also published on Medium.