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The Great Escape 2012: Band brand partnerships

By | Published on Tuesday 15 May 2012

The Great Escape

While Saturday’s sessions at The Great Escape convention last week were more laid back, there was still time to discuss a couple of important topics for bands and rights owners, perhaps most prominently the whole brands thing.

Richard Kirstein from Resilient Music, Tim Dellow from Love Live, Jemma Downey from Live Nation and Jasmine Skee from O2 debated when and why brands work with new acts over global rock stars, what brands might offer such acts in return, and how artists should go about pursuing brand partnership opportunities. After the event Richard took to his own blog to round up some of the points raised by both himself and his fellow panellists.

In terms of how band brand partnerships are formed, a lot was said about the importance of ‘fit’. Richard writes: “Clearly authenticity and credibility are important objectives in any artist partnership – and on Saturday we examined the idea of ‘fit’; though it’s certainly a subjective term, there were some strong views on partnerships that worked and those that didn’t”.

Richard shares some of those case studies on his blog, before advising artists considering approaching brands that they too consider the ‘fit’ thing: “Identify brands who work with artists in a similar genre to you, examine the types of campaign that target brands have previously activated, and examine brands’ campaign cycles [ie when are they likely to be planning new activity] and time your approach accordingly”.

He adds: “Consider brands that you or your artist already uses in daily life, and consider brands whose services or products you need to support your career eg transport, clothing, footwear, equipment”.

As for what brands will offer artists in return, we asked the panel what was on the table for new artists, money, free product or audience? “Yes to all three”, Richard says. “During the panel, on money, Tim felt that artists should always be paid, but Jasmine commented on how O2 rarely paid emerging artists. I believe that ‘value exchange’ is certainly a better strategy for both parties (rather than a straight financial transaction), especially where longevity of relationship is a key objective”.

He continues: “Where brands pay fees, managers take commission and labels/publishers withhold artists’ shares against unrecouped balances. In contrast, artists receive the full benefit directly for any goods or services provided by a brand within a “value exchange” deal. A manager can’t take 20% of a van or jacket!”

You can read Richard’s full post-TGE blog post here.

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