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Posts Tagged ‘Pandora’

Roll Call: Edelman, OCG PR, Public Relations Global Network, and More

Edelman has announced new leadership positions in the firm’s Chicago office, naming Kevin Cook as Chicago’s first chief operating officer and Una Pipic as the new chief of staff, effective immediately. Cook and Pipic will report to Jay Porter, president, Edelman Chicago. The addition of these positions is part of maintaining the momentum and continued evolution of the Chicago office. Cook joined Edelman in 1996 and has served as the managing director of Chicago’s Corporate Affairs practice since 2008, and Pipic joined Edelman in 2013 as senior vice president of the new business and marketing team. (Release)

OCG PR has added new, strategic leadership in public engagement, public relations and creative services. The agency has appointed Amanda L. Ray to senior vice president, public relations; Cynthia Northrop White to senior vice president, public engagement and Michel Ansara to creative director. Ray now leads the strategy and overall execution of the firm’s corporate communications, media relations, social media and integrated marketing communications campaigns. Over the past 20 years, she has brought award-winning PR programs to life for companies and organizations like AT&T, Cell Phones for Soldiers, The Women’s Museum and TXU Energy, among others. Northrop White now directs strategy and overall execution for the agency’s public engagement practice. A former Denton County Commissioner, she brings years of experience connecting and educating stakeholders and municipal leaders around public sector developments. Prior to joining OCG, she was the head of the Public Information Office for TxDOT’s Dallas District. Ansara now oversees all creative strategy and execution for the firm’s design and video production. A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, he brings more than 10 years of experience designing and developing print, digital and video assets and augmented reality engagement to OCG. (Release)

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Social Media 101

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It’s Time For Brands to Jump on the Internet Radio Train

Retro

Spotify might not be making any money, but it’s here to stay—and it’s time for brands to figure out how to make the most of it.

The company recently worked with competitors Pandora and TuneIn on an Edison Research study meant to sway skeptical advertisers who may doubt the trend’s influence and staying power. Here are their most significant findings:

  • 53% of Americans listen to Internet radio in some form.
  • 32% are doing so “a lot” more often than one year ago.
  • The new wave of Internet radio providers has led to Americans spending more time with audio content, be it music, news or live events: 26% say the time they spend listening is simply “new audio time” that doesn’t replace any particular activity.

Here’s the full Prezi presentation if you’re interested. Infographic after the jump.

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Kraft Hopes Fabricating History Will Make You ‘New-stalgic’ for its New Flavors

Remember, way back when you were a kid, coming home from school to find your mother lovingly fixing you a hot, creamy bowl of Buffalo Cheddar Kraft Mac & Cheese? No? That’s probably because it never happened, because no such thing ever existed. But that’s not stopping Kraft from trying to make you feel nostalgic about its brand new products.

Excuse us — not nostalgic. New-stalgic.

After 75 years, the brand is adding four new flavors to its Mac & Cheese repitoire: Garlic & Herb Alfredo, Buffalo Cheddar, Three Cheese Jalapeño and Cheesy Southwest Chipotle. The accompanying campaign, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, re-writes history in an attempt to make customers feel all wistful, warm and fuzzy by conjuring up nonexistent memories of simpler times.

“Even though it’s new, it’s nostalgic. It’s new-stalgic,” the agency explains.

At the campaign’s website, new-stalgic.com, visitors can scroll through a timeline of historical photos, videos and ads dating all the way back to 1938, all featuring milestones in which the four new flavors were (totally not) involved. For instance, did you know that world champion athletes in the 1950′s, Astronauts in the 70′s, and high school jocks in the 80′s all managed to achieve greatness because they were fueled by Kraft’s spicy, cheesey goodness? Well, it’s (totally not) true! Read more

Slacker vs. Pandora: The Art of Branding with Attack Ads

PandoraAdmit it–you’ve been in this situation: you’re listening to your guilty pleasure playlist on Pandora (90′s Pop Hits, anyone?), but your seemingly bottomless well of nostalgia runs dry when “Mmmbop” comes on for the fourth time in a single morning.

Now, underdog Internet radio provider Slacker has tapped into that frustration and is using it to its own advantage. In its new humorous (and a little too relatable) online ad spot, the smaller company takes direct aim at Pandora’s limited music library, depicting a frustrated young woman opening a ‘Pandora’s Box’ (clever) that plays the same horrible song over and over again.

Luckily for the poor, “Cotton Eyed Joe”-plagued user in the video, a savvy friend swoops in to save her from a ceaseless loop of foot-stomping twang by informing her that Slacker has “ten times more songs than Pandora–and you can create your own playlist.”

Will this clever ad spot help Slacker, with only four million monthly users to Pandora’s 65 million, take a bigger bite of the music streaming apple? Only time will tell, but we’re intrigued enough to try it ourselves. Even we can only hear a certain girl-powered-group telling us to “Spice Up [Our] Life” so many times before we remember why we outgrew them in the first place…

MySpace Recast as ‘Spotify Killer’

Justin Timberlake MySpace Back in September we reported on Justin “I Don’t Make Music Anymore” Timberlake’s latest role as the public face of the new-and-improved MySpace. A memo that leaked this week offers more details about the company’s future plans; Spotify and Pandora‘s PR teams should take note.

Interactive Media Holdings (née Specific Media) purchased the property from News Corp last summer, jazzed it up and prepped it for a sorely needed relaunch: Despite the fact that traffic on the site went up by 36% over the past twelve months, MySpace is on pace to lose approximately $40 million in 2012–and organizers expect it to lose at least another $25M next year.

According to the leaked pitch materials, the folks at IMC are “holding out” for another $50M in capital so they can officially re-launch MySpace as a Spotify competitor by making use of what they call the “worlds largest music library of 42M songs and 100K music videos” and its “direct relationship with 5M artists”. How do they plan to do it? By starting a subscription model in 2013 and offering users not only streaming mp3s but music downloads, “artist merchandise” and “event ticketing” services. In other words, MySpace looks to become the one-stop shop for all things related to pop music.

It’s true that MySpace already has more members in the US than Pandora or Spotify, because most members never bothered to delete their profiles. The company also appears to have a cost advantage over its supposed competitors:

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Can a New Programming Chief Save MTV?

We told you earlier this week why music videos are no longer MTV‘s cup of tea (reality shows are king, iTunes and Pandora rule the music world, you’re old, etc.), but now it seems the network that once supplied a generation with its soundtrack is struggling against falling ratings. So far this season, ratings are down roughly 30%, causing some concern for parent company Viacom. To make matters worse, MTV is about to lose its grossly (emphasis on the gross) popular series Jersey Shore.

While Viacom’s earnings were up 13%, revenue was down 17% for the July-September period–and domestic ad revenue declined 6%. During a conference call with analysts to discuss the issue, Wells Fargo media analyst Marci Ryvicker said, “There is a fear out there that MTV is broken.” Philippe Dauman, Viacom’s chief executive, immediately came to the network’s defense: “It is not broken…MTV is very healthy. Indeed, we have a great development pipeline and we have just added one of the major talents in our business in addressing young audience in Susanne Daniels.”

Daniels, who was hired this week as the network’s programming chief, earned her stripes at the WB network over a decade ago by championing shows like Dawson’s Creek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It seems MTV hopes she’s still got an eye for what appeals to America’s youth–and that she can breathe new life into the slumping network’s programming lineup. “She will bring with her some additional talent who will bring to bear more development in the reality and scripted area. We have a good pipeline and this will turbo-charge it”, Dauman said of his new hire.

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Billboard Charts Go Digital (Now With Even More Rihanna!)

Rihanna Billboard cover While we focused on superstorms and elections over the past month, a certain famous American business made a big change right under our noses.

Billboard magazine, long seen as the ultimate tastemaker in American pop music for its top singles list, decided to join the 21st century by revising its algorithm to include digital sales and online streaming services like Pandora and Spotify when determining which songs are most popular in a given week.

Sounds like progress, right?

Quite a few people in music don’t think so, because these changes give “stars with a pop-oriented sound and broad crossover appeal an advantage over other artists”. We have to agree: the fact that Psy’s “Gangnam Style” ruled the “rap” charts for more than a month while Taylor Swift continues to dominate the “Hot Country” category tells us that something in this new equation is a little off.

This excellent infographic demonstrates the fact that a mere six artists have all but dominated the Billboard charts over the past five years. According to most predictions, these new algorithms will result in more number one hits for Rihanna, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Flo Rida while making the climb to the top of the charts even steeper for independent artists and those who work in “niche” genres like country, rock and roll and, you know, pretty much everything but “pop.”

Billboard’s editorial director Bill Werde defended the changes on his tumblr page, but the whole story is ominous news for the vast majority of those who work in or care about the music business. Some have created petitions urging Billboard to abandon its new model, but based on the puny number of signatures collected so far we can’t see that working.

What do we think? Will these changes make it harder for music reps to promote their clients? How will the industry adjust?

(As a bit of a bonus, here’s Werde talking to Mediabistro’s Donya Blaze about the challenges of music journalism): Read more

Pandora Fights Back Against ‘Internet Radio Discrimination’

Right now, Pandora looks like the king of internet radio. But founder Tim Westergren isn’t happy with his company’s status, and he’s getting political about it.

Pandora recently started running video and audio ads encouraging fans to contact their local congressmen/women and convince them to support the “Internet Radio Fairness Act”, a piece of legislation introduced last week by a bipartisan duo of representatives and Oregon’s Democratic Senator Ron Wyden.

What’s this all about? Well, record label royalties run the radio industry, and web-based companies often pay higher royalty rates than their cable and satellite counterparts like Sirius XM, etc. Despite signing a royalty agreement in 2009, Westergren feels like current rates are still too high, and he wants them to level out—which is exactly what they would do under the Fairness Act.

This is not an insignificant issue: Pandora lost $5.4 million last quarter despite $101.3 million in reported revenue.

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Is MTV Still Relevant?

Throughout its more than three-decade history, MTV has gone from showcasing the latest and greatest meetings of pop music and short film to being a platform in which the stars of reality TV find new ways to behave badly–again and again.

The question has been asked repeatedly over the past few years, but after a somewhat lackluster Video Music Awards and the cancellation of the network’s most valuable property, “Jersey Shore“, we have to repeat it: is MTV still relevant? And where does the brand go from here?

With all the talk of Snooki and “Teen Mom”, it’s easy to forget that last year’s VMAs, starring Alicia Keys and a pregnant Beyonce, earned the highest ratings in MTV history. Still, an awards show that only involves six actual awards is very different from the VMAs we knew as kids. And the fact that the biggest moment of last night’s ceremony was a hug exchanged between Rihanna and Chris Brown reveals something about its relevance.

In a telling interview with Forbes, MTV’s executive vice president of music and talent Amy Doyle emphasizes the network’s continued focus on, well, music.

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Music PR News: Radio Still Rules the Roost

Some recent Nielsen findings will be relevant to anyone with more than a passing interest in playing and/or promoting music. In short: The more things change, the more they stay the same. A newly released study reveals that old, reliable, traditional radio is still the way to go when it comes to getting your material heard–and making some money in the process (perish the thought!).

Now that digital music officially brings in more revenue than physical recordings (nearly $9 billion in 2012 alone), how can musicians and their representatives make the most of the “new” business model? Two answers: old-school broadcasting and YouTube.

Despite all the torrenting and streaming that’s supposedly going on, radio still dominates the industry: 48% of respondents told Nielsen that they discover new music most often on the air; “friends/relatives” ranked a distant second at 10%. This statistic didn’t even include services like Spotify, Pandora or Last.fm, so if your tunes don’t appear on the AM or FM dial then you’re going nowhere fast.

A more surprising number comes from the all-important teenage demographic: Read more

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