||Streaming Audio Services Tune in Sponsorship
Properties That Draw Music Lovers Should Put Streaming Audio Companies on Their Prospect List
The growing popularity of digital music is driving new sponsorship activity on behalf of streaming audio providers.
Case in point: Nearly all of the major players in the category have signed new deals over the past seven months.
Recent deals include TuneIn, Inc. and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell; Rdio, Inc. and Live Nation Entertainment (Faster Horses and Watershed country music festivals); and Spotify Ltd. and the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and Vans Warped Tour.
In addition, Pandora Media, Inc. this year hosted the second annual Pandora Discovery Den during the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference.
Sponsorship activity in the category is expected to heat up even more as streaming audio continues to grow in popularity. Music streams rose by 24 percent to nearly 51 million in the first six months of 2013, according to Nielsen.
Other players include Slacker Radio, Google Play Music All Access, Xbox Radio and Apple, the latter of which is slated to launch iTunes Radio later this year.
Streaming music services use sponsorship to accomplish three primary objectives:
• Promote content offerings
• Demonstrate their services
• Solicit premium memberships
The popularity of streaming audio also has created new sponsorship opportunities. Clear Channel Broadcasting, Inc. in 2011 rolled out the iHeartRadio Music Festival on behalf of its eponymous Internet radio platform. AT&T Inc., Fruttare, Macy's, State Farm and other companies are sponsoring the Sept. 20-21 event in Las Vegas.
Left Of The Dial: TuneIn Expands Portfolio
TuneIn, which offers more than 70,000 live radio stations from around the world, kicked off its sponsorship push in 2011 with the CMJ Music Marathon.
The company followed up the tie with the Hot 97 Summer Jam music festival at MetLife Stadium, South by Southwest, the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival and Bumbershoot: Seattle's Music & Arts Festival. TuneIn this year topped off its portfolio with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
The privately-held company uses the partnerships to build exposure and educate consumers about its service.
TuneIn activates each music fest with a custom online radio station. The stations feature songs by artists performing at the event as well as interviews, archived live shows and other content.
"The purpose of the radio station is to get people pumped up in the weeks leading up to a festival," said Ryan Polivka, TuneIn's director of marketing.
The festivals promote the radio stations on their Web sites and email blasts, he said.
TuneIn also activates with on-site promotions that encourage attendees to interact with its streaming audio service. For example, the company runs trivia contests that dangle VIP ticket upgrades, Google tablets and other prizes to consumers who use TuneIn to answer questions.
The company titles a stage at Bumbershoot, a platform to uses to let attendees know they can listen to bands playing on the stage via the TuneIn app. TuneIn promotes the service through announcements between sets.
TuneIn looks for exclusivity in the audio streaming category, said Polivka. The company is comfortable sponsoring events next to Youtube, Ustream and other video streaming companies, he added, noting that people consume streaming audio and video in different ways.
"It's a totally different environment. We're comfortable with the split."
Case in point: TuneIn and Ustream both sponsor Outside Lands.
(Source: IEG Sponsorship Report, 07/26/13)
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