Viewpoint: Jack Fryer, head of research at Parlophone/Warner Music

Brands are moving away from old-fashioned notions of the adland ‘sell’ and towards embedding themselves into entertainment and culture. Those that are doing it well enjoy genuine credibility and are being accepted as vital lifestyle ‘indicators’ for young people.

The traditional music business has also undergone a period of change in the past 10 to 15 years. When you talk about branded content in music you are implicitly opening up a conversation about partnerships between brands and artists. This year, the record business is in far better shape than it has been historically for facilitating those partnerships and making the most of them.

Part of that is a professionalisation of the business. I look at a company like Parlophone today and it can be considered a ‘knowledge business’ with departments set up specifically to help brands connect with music. That’s a fantastic step forward in the type of conversations that artists can
have with brands.

I think there is an interesting dynamic here around what urban music has done to that consumer psyche. Urban and hip hop artists have long trumpeted their business acumen and it has now part of their credibility. That is, their ability to work with brands is part of what makes them cool. The end game is that an artist can be cool because of, rather than in spite of, the partnerships they have with the right kinds of consumer brands.

Based on an interview with Marketing Week.

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