We believe that bringing brands, content, celebrities and influencers together makes storytelling more meaningful and impactful.
A rapidly evolving media landscape is changing the way people consume content. For traditional film studios and television networks, this evolution is worrisome as it threatens the business model on which they have built their media empires.
But for marketers, the increase in content producers and digital platforms has created an explosion of new opportunities for branded content partnerships in the entertainment marketing space. Nowhere is this opportunity clearer than in the streaming music videos space. Featuring a product in a music video is now easier than ever before, and a marketing strategy more brands should consider. In this blog post, Hollywood Branded discusses how to leverage music videos for branded content partnerships, and the different decisions marketers face.
So why should brands be considering music video partnerships? In large part, the benefits of music videos for brand partners are due to an increase in digital platforms like YouTube and Vevo, where some the most popular music videos have accumulated over a billion views.
Digital platforms have given artists the capability to distribute their music videos directly to consumers without having to rely on a TV network. In turn, this has eliminated many of the bureaucratic obstacles that used to stand in the way of potential music video integrations. By dealing directly with artists (and their labels and management teams), marketers can describe exactly what kind of integration they are looking for while artists' teams can help bring that vision to life, and respond with how much such an integration would cost.
The benefit of this type of partnership is clear. Marketers gain exposure for their brands or products through the music videos, which are seen by millions of viewers, around the world, and also through the possible promotion of the brand by the artist on his or her social media. The benefit for the artist is, simply put, money.
There are a couple different types of partnerships available for brands interested in music integrations. As marketers, you have to choose if you're interested in a music video integration or if you also want to pay for a lyric integration. The first is visual product placement in the music video. The frequency of the branded product’s appearance in the video is negotiable. Obviously, a product appearing multiple times throughout a music video will cost more than a one-off appearance. And how organic the brand is to the storyline will drive the potential of more onscreen exposure.
Check out this video of some of the placements our clients have done
The second option is lyric integration. A lyric integration involves incorporating the brand’s name into the lyrics of the song. Brands can even go a step further and pay for a song title integration, as seen in Moneybagg Yo’s song Ocean Spray. Once again, because you’re dealing directly with the artist and their team, almost anything is negotiable. But lyric integration can be extremely expensive, depending on the artist. A top star like Drake or Lady Gaga would almost certainly charge upwards of 7 figures for this type of request. Other established artists would be in the low 6 figures, and newly emerging artists the most affordable of all.
But here's the thing - if you have never worked with an artist before, why NOT start with a music video to see how engagement goes. It's going to be a lot more affordable, and allow you to build a deeper, and more organic partnership that can turn into a lyric, or entire song, built around your brand.
Before selecting the right artist to collaborate with, you have to define the target audience you are trying to reach. Age, gender, and interests are key characteristics that will help you narrow your prospective artist list, usually grouped by music genre.
At Hollywood Branded, we use our resources to dive deeper into an artist’s audience by gathering key insights into the audience, including its demographics, income, family status, likes, interests, location, occupation, brand affinities, and more. In general, most artists in the same music genre will reach a similar audience.
For example, let's look at the following music genres and who's most likely to be in the audience of an artist in that genre:
As important as the demographics of their following is the total reach of an artist.
After all, the main purpose of this type of campaign is to reach as many people as possible. Reach is defined by an artist’s social media following: add up all the artist’s followers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and their YouTube channel and that is their total reach and social influence.
And as to music videos - you can get a very good feel for how their individual music videos are doing just by looking at the views on YouTube. When there is a music video that has a crossover artist from another genre, you see massive increases of viewership.
The cost per thousand basis in music videos is pennies on the dollar. It is truly mind boggling that more brands do not participate in music video partnerships.
Finally, you have to determine your total budget for the campaign. The budget will dictate what level of artist you'll be able to partner with. Mega stars, with a total reach in the hundreds of millions, may charge as much as a million dollars for a music video integration. Or as little as low six figures. Mainstream stars, with a reach around 20 million, can charge up into the low 6 figures, while emerging, lesser known artists can request as little as $10,000.
To give you a better idea of what some artists are looking for, let’s take a look at three hip-hop artists with different levels of followers. (Note: the following dollar amounts are rough estimates. The brand category, the actual integration, etc. all factor into rates. As does competition from other brands, and the timing of when the video is going to be released. Wait for a last minute opportunity, and the fees will drop as the window of opportunity closes.):
Drake: a mega star with a total reach of 130 million, may require somewhere between $250,000 and $1 million range.
Post Malone: a mainstream star with a total reach of 22 million, may require north of $100,000.
Dave East: an emerging artist, with less notoriety, and a reach of about 2 million, might charge between $10,000 and $30,000.
Marketers with time-sensitive campaigns face an additional hurdle due to the nature and timing of the music business. Not all of an artist’s songs are turned into music videos - usually just the most popular songs are.
We work with the artist's management firms and labels to discover who will have music videos that are shooting in the near future. As a general rule, a music video will be released roughly 4 to 6 weeks after it’s shot.
Brands looking for a lyric integration have to plan even further in advance as the brand or product has to be worked into the song before the song is released. Once a song is out, a lyric integration is no longer possible as artists aren't going to alter their song lyrics for the music video.
You should also know that mega stars are less likely to commit to a lyric integration unless the brand fits with the image that the artist has cultivated for themselves, as they don't want to risk hurting their brand image. The lyric, and title, integration in the song Versace by Migos is a great example of a strong fit between brand and artist. Emerging artists, and those still building their careers, whose images are not yet fully formed, will be much more open to a lyric integration with any type of brand. And eager for dollars as well.
With over 28 million views on YouTube... check out the song Versace yourself:
Once you identify a potential artist who is a good fit -- both demographically and budget-wise -- and who will actually be shooting an upcoming music video, the artist’s management team provides the storyboard vision for the music video.
The vision is the creative description that outlines the story that'll be told in the video. It is this that will help you determine if the placement can be easily and smoothly inserted into the video and will give you a better idea of the theme of the video and if it makes sense for your brand and the product you are attempting to integrate. And if you are really good at longer term planning, and actively speaking with the artists' management team before that storyboard is created... then the music video can be planned in alignment with your brand, to provide a truly customized opportunity to deeply feature your brand.
Music videos are awesome opportunities for brands who want more affordable, faster turnaround opportunities to become embedded in content that directly impacts a Gen Z and younger fan base. Music drives life's events - and being aligned to a music artist creates an emotional connection to your brand's fan base like no other.
Check out these 5 blogs our team has written on music videos:
And if you are ready to truly start exploring creating music partnerships, be sure to reach out to our agency! Check out the video below to learn what music aligns with each generation.