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At MIDEM 2009, 18 key players of both music (Sony BMG, EMI and Glassnote) and brands/advertising agencies (Coca Cola and Telefonica/02; Euro RSCG KLP, Havas Media et M&C Saatchi) met behind closed doors to discuss and explore best practices for music-brand collaborations. The MIDEM Music Marketing Forum’s exclusive and insightful report is now online, here! Feel free to comment… And read on for a guest post from Forum moderator William Higham, futurist, and founder, Next Big Thing.

The partnering of music and brands offers one of the biggest financial opportunities for both industries right now. Successful branded music partnerships look set to become more important and beneficial than ever, as traditional revenue streams and marketing methodologies prove less effective. The ability for music owners and brands to work together successfully will have a huge impact on revenue for both.

For the last two years I’ve been lucky enough to be chairman of a venture organised by MIDEM to explore best practice methodologies for partnerships between music owners and brands: the Music Marketing Forum. Each year, a group of invitees are locked away in a meeting room in the Palais des Festivals, where we spend hours debating and workshopping the best ways these two different industries can work together for the benefit of both. At the end of each session we emerge with a series of insights, which we put together into a report. As far as I’m aware, it’s the only forum in Europe in which both sides work together in this way. I have a foot in both camps, having spent ten years working for major record labels before setting up a consumer research consultancy for brands and advertisers, and it’s been fascinating to hear the arguments and insights from some of the best minds in each industry. Since the forum started last year, we’ve had representatives from many of the key players in the arena: from Sony, EMI and AEG in the music sphere to brands like Hasbro, 02 and Coca-Cola and global advertisers such as Havas Media, Euro RSCG KLP and M&C Saatchi. And each has been happy to share not just their experiences but also their insights and recommendations.

Last year served as an introduction to the topic, exploring the benefits that branded music partnership can provide, and identifying areas of potential conflict that needed addressing. This year focused on best practice, and came out with some fascinating insights. Participants identified what they consider the five objectives and ten conditions of success for any branded music campaign, as well as exploring factors such as measurement, short versus long-term association, and typology segmentation. All the insights from the session are available in the report, downloadable free from this website.

Great as the annual sessions are, we’re keen to expand the forum outside of them. The more input we receive from those working in either the brand and agency side or the music industry, the more insights we can offer, and the more effective future partnerships will be. To that end, I’d like to call on anyone involved in either ‘side’ of the debate to add their input to this blog. Specifically, we’d like to hear what you think makes an effective brand music campaign. The report lists what forum members consider the necessary conditions for branded music success. But what do you think they are? Is it about shared objectives, flexibility or aligned values? A combination of all three? Or something else entirely? Please let us know what you think by adding your comments below.


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About Author

James Martin

James Martin is Head of Social Media for Midem organisers Reed MIDEM. This includes defining and rolling out Midem's social media strategy, editing midemblog, influencer outreach, developing Midem's fanbase of 75,000+ music professionals and more.

4 Comments

  1. When music became too commericalised, it will lose its original values of music making. Music is a form of languange and healing. Without music, life is a mistake.

  2. You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog. And also we can use social network websites like myspace, facebook, twitter for music sales.

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