– a new sponsorship model for music 3rd March, 2011

As the social media channel becomes increasingly important for brand communications, brands need to find creative ‘story-telling’ elements in their communication contents that people can easily and readily share with their friends. As music is one of the most widely shared content on social media, brands are discovering that association with music and musicians is a great way to create buzz and deliver customized/branded messages. is a platform that allows brands to select music albums to sponsor. By sponsoring music albums on, brands can benefit in various ways:

●        Brands can establish and express their identity through music. Starbucks, for instance, can be the #1 Jazz station while Red Bull can be the #1 Hard Rock station.

●        Sponsored musicians co-promote the branded campaign to their fans because 1) they directly monetize each time their music is played, and  2) 5% of the sponsorship is donated to charities of their choice. It creates a unique message that the “brands-bands-fans-charities” relationship forged changes the world for the better.

●        Fans of the sponsored musician appreciate the sponsorship in a whole new level, forming an emotional bonding to the brand. Not only can they enjoy free music thanks to the brand, but also they know that their favorite musicians are being fairly paid by the sponsors.

Samsung Case Study

Samsung has recently partnered with and is currently sponsoring Sydney Wayser, an emerging artist from New York. They wanted to promote their programme called “Imagelogger” and thought that associating with emerging artists would be more engaging than going the traditional route of buying media inventories.  As expected, Sydney Wayser is spreading the word to her fans through her social networks including Facebook and Twitter.  In regards to investment, Samsung pays only when the music is played alongside Samsung’s marketing campaign based on detailed analytics reporting.

Premier League Football is an excellent example of how fan engagement creates a strong brand association and awareness than consumer marketing.  When speaking to Manchester United fans, almost all of them would be able to recall previous sponsors: beginning with Sharp in the early 80’s, to Vodafone, AIG and Aon today.

If football fans were simply consumers of the entertainment each team provides, these sponsors would have absolutely no meaning to them. However, becoming a fan is different. It creates an emotional bond that forms between their favorite football team and those brands that support it. is aiming to create the same emotional fan engagement by providing brands an opportunity to step beyond product-consumer relationships and leverage the affinity between musicians and their fans.