Why Music Analytics Tools Matter for Brand Partnerships

Brand partnerships have become increasingly important as advertising and revenue generation verticals in the music industry — especially for artists and their teams — and there’s no better way to uncover those potential relationships than through streaming and social media analytics.

Now, more than ever, music has become a marketing driver for brands who have a big digital focus, from social media to YouTube and beyond, making streaming and social media analytics a key benchmark for securing those partnerships, not to mention an important discovery tool on both sides of the equation.

Now, more than ever, music has become a marketing driver for brands who have a big digital focus, from social media to YouTube and beyond, making streaming and social media analytics a key benchmark for securing those partnerships, not to mention an important discovery tool on both sides of the equation.

Now, more than ever, music has become a marketing driver for brands who have a big digital focus, from social media to YouTube and beyond, making streaming and social media analytics a key benchmark for securing those partnerships, not to mention an important discovery tool on both sides of the equation.

Now, more than ever, music has become a marketing driver for brands who have a big digital focus, from social media to YouTube and beyond, making streaming and social media analytics a key benchmark for securing those partnerships, not to mention an important discovery tool on both sides of the equation.

Brief History of Brand Partnerships

Historically, the relationship between advertisers and artists (and fans, by extension), has been contentious at best. In the heyday of the advertising era typified by AMC’s Mad Men series, if artists were approached to have their music featured in a commercial, they’d likely refuse for fear of “selling out.” At least, that was the case for “cool” bands and their devoted cult followings.

In the 1960s, for instance, Jim Morrison refused to let The Doors’ “Light My Fire” be used by Buick to sell Opel sports cars, according to drummer John Densmore. In the words of the late George Harrison, “The history of the Beatles was that we tried to be tasteful with our records and with ourselves. We could have made millions of extra dollars doing all that in the past, but we thought it would be-little our image or our songs. But as the man [Bob Dylan] said, ‘Money doesn’t talk, it swears.’ Some people seem to do anything for money. They don’t have any moral feelings at all.”

Fast forward three or four decades, and the attitude of many artists hadn’t really changed that much. The Black Keys, in fact, turned down £200K (roughly $250K) in the early 2000s because they didn’t want their music to be associated with a mayonnaise company. According to guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, there were many more offers like this that they continued to turn down for fear of compromising their artistic integrity and potentially offending fans.

Granted, there are also plenty of examples of artists who haven’t been so bothered about the optics of licensing their music to brands and advertisers. According to the Guardian, for instance, Tom Jones recorded a jingle for Coca-Cola in 1965, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin recorded a Neil Diamond song for Coca-Cola in 1969, Jack White wrote “What Goes Around Comes Around” for Coca-Cola in 2006, and Taylor Swift has appeared in Coca-Cola ads more recently as well.

The real difference in just the last decade or so is that mainstream, niche, and emerging artists all realized the economic value of brand partnerships — especially during a period of deflated music value with the decline of the physical market. Simultaneously, advertising agencies and brands realized the appeal of niche and emerging artists, and the concept of “selling out” increasingly became a thing of the past.

What Brand Partnerships Look Like Today

Today, brand partnerships can range from major television campaigns to Instagram sponsorships, digital ads, and even billboards, with an artist’s involvement ranging from endorsement to sync licensing.

Jay-Z, for instance, partnered with Sprint to release his album exclusively to Sprint and Tidal customers; quirky rockers OK GO have worked with Chevy, Google, and Morton Salt; six-piece Denver Art Rock band Apples in Stereo had a spot in a J.C. Penney ad; and Secretly singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten recorded the Mark James song “Suspicious Minds” (made famous by Elvis).  

On the advertising side, there is something to be said still for landing a big name, but ultimately, it’s really all about matching the brand to the right artist, which can be just as much a creative decision as a business one. So, in a lot of ways, forming the right brand partnerships is about having a finger on the pulse of every artery in the music industry … at all times.

How Chartmetric Can Help

Luckily, the comprehensiveness of our data sources and the breadth of our music analytics tools provides all sides of any potential brand partnership — artists, labels, advertising agencies, and brands — the insights they need to zero in on the right sound, the right look, and, eventually, the right price point.

So, let’s say you’re a brand or agency looking for an emerging artist to promote a product through a series of Instagram and YouTube ads. Our Charts tab probably won’t be the most relevant for this mission, because those artists might be out of your price range.

However, if you know exactly what kind of feel you’re going for, you can hop over to the Artists tab and start filtering by Genre and Subgenre. From there, you can toggle Advanced Filters to slim down your results to the right range of YouTube Channel Subscribers and Instagram Followers.

300K to 1M returns a shortlist of 10 Indie Poptimism artists. From each of those artist pages, you can drill down to each of those 10 artist’s audiences on YouTube and Instagram. What gender and age demo do they appeal to most, and does that line up with your brand? What are their current audience brand affinities and audience interests, and do those things line up as well?

If you’ve landed on a particular artist that you think is the right fit, but you know you’ll have to have a couple of options to bring to the table, just scroll up to that artist’s Neighboring Artists, toggle the “Filter by genre cluster” option, and sort by streaming or social media metrics on YouTube or Instagram to build out a targeted cross-section of artists that fulfill just the right criteria for you or your client’s brand. That was easy. Now, it’s time to get creative.

Who is Chartmetric?

We are a small, highly skilled team with members from diverse backgrounds, and that diversity is celebrated just as much as our work is. We’re talented solo artists, but we’re a much better band. We are as much music data rockstars as we are music superfans, and we thrive as a bridge between music and technology, data and creativity.

Sign up for a free account at chartmetric.com, dive deeper into our features at blog.chartmetric.com, and check them out for yourself. We can’t wait to see what you create.

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