"Make Content, Not Commercials" has been my breathless rant for the last 18 months, and brands have both a carrot and stick pushing them in this direction. The stick is consumers increasingly cannot be forced to care or pay attention to brand messages that are irrelevant to their interests. The carrot is a media landscape and distribution tools which support brands becoming content creators and curators themselves. Given my background at YouTube most of my thinking here has been in video but at brunch this past weekend it occurred to me that music may not be that different.
Chowing down Southern comfort food at the Front Porch here in SF my ears kept drifting to the great soundtrack of pop songs in the background. True Colors by Cyndi Lauper, some Pat Benetar, that Australian sprite Kylie Minogue. It was all I could do not pull out by phone and start making note of the great collection, which of course then made me realize what I really wanted: a Front Porch playlist on Spotify that I could subscribe to and listen as much as I wanted.
Brands - especially local small and medium businesses - have a real chance to become cultural tastemakers as we look for curators and authentic connections. In return for providing value in supporting the creators/causes I care about (how long before brands offer to match my donations on Kickstarter?), they get my attention. On Spotify for example, perhaps a playlist owner gets first crack at buying out the ad inventory within the playlist. So for example Front Porch could benefit from me seeing their name each time I access their songs but also insert topical and current brand messages to my engaged ears. And since playlists are evergreen they could constantly be tuning the mixes they push my way.
Spotify team - whatcha think? Will we be seeing brands pushing users to their Spotify pages any time soon?
via Tom Conrad, EVP Product/Tech at Pandora: "brands do this on Pandora all day every day; one of our best opportunities for advertiser"