Logo + nav bar

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Resilient Music at MIDEM 2012

I'll be at MIDEM 2012 next month in Cannes, participating as a mentor in a couple of sessions. The details I've just received are below. Hope to see you there!

1.    Mentoring roundtables in the D2F Camp on the marketplace:

The format:
4 roundtables opened to the public, including 7 active participants (artists and music SMEs) and 1 mentor per table, for a duration of 30min.  At the end of the first round, the participants swap to another table. Total duration of the whole mentoring session: 60 min.

In the conference programme:
Each mentor will lead an one-to-many discussion with 7 participants, during which you will be able to ask all your questions and get practical advises on the related topic.

Don’t miss out! places are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

Saturday 28 January, from 12:00 to 13:00 in a session organised in association with Impala/Win

2.    Meet-up session: Meet the Branding, Advertising and Sync Specialists, in the Hub (on the marketplace)

The format:
10 mentors are available to meet any midem participants interested to meet with experts from Branding, Advertising and Sync, through 5 minute speed meeting (12 meetings as a maximum)

In the conference programme
Come and meet with specialists in branding, advertising and synchronisation through a 5 minute speed meeting session, and boost your network. Don’t miss out! Places are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis

Sunday 29 January, from 15:00 to 16:00


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Resilient Music on MIDEMblog

Resilient Music is featured on MIDEMblog - reporting on the Music4.5 session "How to make Music & Brand partnerships work". Read it here.

We're attending MIDEM in January 2012, speaking on music and brand partnership panels. Hope to see you there!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Resilient Music in PRS M Magazine

Resilient Music is featured in PRS' M Magazine under the heading "Making It Happen - Working With Brands".

Read the advice given to PRS writer members here.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Resilient in WWD - printed version of article

If you'd like to view the printed version of the recent WWD article featuring Resilient Music, click on the thumbnail to the right.

Monday, 14 November 2011

And then there were three .......


Universal takes the label. Sony ATV takes the publishing company.

Instead of halting the uncertainty, these acquisitions raise more questions than they answer:

- Is this inevitable market consolidation in a struggling music industry?

 - In the mid-1990s we had 6 majors, now we have 3.  Is BMG Rights a challenger for the 4th spot?

  - Does this provide additional marketing clout for artists fortunate enough to remain on major label rosters? Or reduced competition in a market where fewer artists sign to majors? If the latter, will Universal only sign artists who include all non-recorded music income streams within the deal (the 360 model)?

 - For B2B music users (brands who license recordings & songs), what does this development mean? Surely reduced competition, which usually leads to proportionally smaller synch licensing teams dealing with larger catalogues and a marked increase in licensing fees. Slower service at higher cost?

 - Monopoly enquiries (certainly in Universal's case) forcing the disposal of some recorded catalogues as part of the transaction? This previously occurred when Universal Music Publishing acquired BMG Music Publishing in 2006 (resulting in the sale of Zomba, Rondor, 19 & BBC catalogues to Imagem.)

 My thoughts are with the staff of EMI, as the only certainty is that many of them will face an uncertain future.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Exclusive seminar on music rights - The Hospital Club - 15th November

We've been kindly invited by The Hospital Club ("THC") to present a Business@Breakfast session on music rights.

Hosted in THC's smart Covent Garden premises, the event is part of their regular series of business insight presentations.

Entitled "Music Rights For Marketers", the session will cover "10 things you need to know about music rights", specifically aimed at brands and their agencies.

Attendees will gain a better understanding of this complex area, learning tips to improve cost and risk management when working with music tracks and artists in marketing communications.

Event details:
Time: 8.30AM
Date: Tuesday, 15th November 2011
Venue: The Hospital Club, 24 Endell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9HQ
Cost: £10, which includes breakfast

For more details and tickets for THC members, click here.

Non-THC members can book tickets by contacting THC Reception on:
Email reception@thehospitalclub.com or Tel +44 (0)20 7170 9101

Thursday, 6 October 2011

MIDEM Marketing Campaign Competition

If like myself, you're planning to attend MIDEM 2012, you might want to enter recent campaign work for the MARKETING CAMPAIGN COMPETITION.

You can read all the details here. Do have a look.

Good Luck!


Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Music4.5 "Brand Discovery" event yesterday was well attended and provided some lively debate on the complex issues that brands face when partnering with music tech companies.

There were some compelling presentations, and you can follow the story on the Music4.5 twitter feed

The whole session was superbly moderated by Cliff Fluet of Lewissilkin who kept the discussion flowing with targeted and provocative questions.

I participated on the final panel entitled "How to get these deals away and where they fall over". You can see the slide show here.

The panel discussion sought to examine the "hard" commercial truths which are often ignored amid the "soft" issues of social media statistics. Essentially, how will the partners monetize the relationship and where are the risks that could  scupper that objective?

My recommendation is that preparation is everything if brands are to choose the right partners and establish enduring and profitable relationships in the music space. This necessitates that both parties ask tough questions of themselves and potential partners. The slides provide some example questions which I hope will be useful.

My thanks to Petra Johansson and Rassami Hok Ljungberg of Music4.5 for setting up a great event with an interesting mix of attendees.

Reaching For Higher Love

I'm looking forward to the MMF/Genuine Article session this evening entitled :
“Reaching For Higher Love” – How Brands and Bands can find mutually-beneficial partnerships.

It's held in the PRS boardroom at 6pm. Full details here. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Want to learn more about music & brands?

I'm lucky to have been invited to speak at Music4.5's Brand Discovery session tomorrow. Our panel discussion is called:

"How to get these deals away and where they fall over?"

We'll be looking at the questions that brands need to ask themselves and potential partners before starting a relationship. Frequently this doesn't happen, hence the "where they fall over" discussion.

Do join us if you can - full details are here.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

How can music companies best work with brands?

Are you a record label, music publisher or artist manager looking to collaborate with brands?

Read our top tips here in Midem Blog to improve your strike rate at forming new partnerships.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Resilient in Figaro Digital – printed version of article

To view the printed version of our recent Figaro Digital article on best-practice music procurement, click on the thumbnail to the right.
Figaro Digital article 23.05.11 - 'I'm with the b(r)and'

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Brands: Top tips for engaging artists & buying music

Music & Brand Marketing : A marriage made in heaven?

Figaro Digital kindly asked me to write a best-practice piece for brands looking to cut better deals when engaging artists or buying music tracks.

Read the full article here

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Great Escape, Brighton. Are you going?

I'll be at The Great Escape in Brighton this week on Thursday 12th & Friday 13th May. Are you going?

It's my second year there, and this time I'm taking a client to meet emerging artists & indie labels. We're planning to catch a few live shows too, particularly Alex Clare, Florrie and Frank Turner.

Drop me a line if you're planning to attend. Hope to see you there.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Resilient in Marketing Week – printed version of article

Marketing Week article 07.04.11 - 'When bands make brands'If you’d like to view the printed version of the recent Marketing Week article featuring Resilient Music, click on the thumbnail to the right

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Resilient Music at MusicConnex - 20th April

Resilient Music's Richard Kirstein will be on the Artist & Brands panel at MusicConnex on Wednesday 20th April (Day 2) at 11.30am.  http://bit.ly/ecfXqp

There's some great panellists and the session is moderated by esteemed media lawyer Cliff Fluet of Lewissilkin.

Do come along and join the debate!

Resilient name-checked in Marketing Magazine feature

Read more at http://bit.ly/hB2AIA

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Equity: Borrow it or Lend it? How do brands choose appropriate campaign music?

When considering music for campaigns, brands often face a dilemma about the deployment of musical resources. At a basic level, the choice is : Larger & Powerful vs. Smaller & Tactical
Let’s explore this with a physical analogy: When an army General is faced with a security challenge, a decision needs to be made on the deployment of military resources. Available options might be:
The Battalion: Large, cohesive, higher cost and effective through sheer fire power, vs.
The SAS : Small, fragmented, lower cost and effective through micro-targeting

For brands, this translates to:
(i) invest heavily in one superstar artist or track in one activation vs.
(ii) spreading the risk with several lower profile artists across multiple activities.

Let’s dig a little deeper …

Superstar Artist or Track

So, what do you get? A proven chunk of equity, albeit someone else’s. There’s safety in backing a very well-known property (artist, track or both) and it’s easier to justify how this investment will engage consumers more effectively. However, there’s the “all eggs in one basket” element to consider, and it can be an expensive mistake if the campaign doesn’t deliver against defined KPIs for brand awareness, campaign recall, market share and sales. The high price tag associated with proven equity will also come with restrictive usage rights.

As a recent example, here’s a US spot for the VW Passat. The borrowed equity is the all-powerful Star Wars franchise whose properties includes both the Darth Vader character and John Williams’ instantly recognisable film score. 32 million views certainly demonstrates strong consumer engagement – perhaps driven by the dual use of equity i.e. the music is directly linked to the featured character in the spot.

Lesser-known Artist or Track

This is a lower risk option that allows brands to build their own equity over time during a longer, multi-part campaign. A lower profile artist or track has less of their own equity at the outset, and clearly more to gain through an association with a brand. The balance of power sits differently as the brand builds a platform to which it invites various artists. The brand lends its equity to those artists who benefit from increased exposure - though no individual artist is the “main event”. On commercial terms, the cost of each artist deal will be lower than for superstar artists or tracks. Brands will also have greater leverage to secure broader usage rights.

As an example from last year, Stella Artois engaged with artists to appear in their 60s themed “Stella Presents” campaign. As with VW, we have dual use of equity – both music and related characters appear in the films. However, the artists are visitors to the brand’s world, so they borrow Stella Artois’ equity rather than the other way round.

Stella Presents -  Mystery Jets

Stella Presents - Marina and the Diamonds

So what are the take-outs for brands. Consider the following questions:

1. Using our military analogy, decide if you want success through “shock & awe” or stealth tactics.

2. Clearly define the time-line objectives. Do you want to get in quick, seize the ground, then get out? Or do you want to be in the space for the long term?

3. What are your cost objectives? Can you commit all your budget now? Or release it slowly over time?

4. Do you want to bask in the glow of instantly recognisable superstar talent or be gain kudos for supporting newer artists?

By answering these questions, you’ll be closer to a decision on the right type of music for your campaign.

Friday, 21 January 2011

What's the best production strategy for retailers and FMCG brands?

Constantly small vs. infrequently large?

Some clients invest the majority of their annual marketing budget in one or two “blockbuster” TVCs rolled out across multiple markets. Budgets are typically very high and handled entirely by the network agency of record. Other clients spread the risk more evenly through regular output of lower cost communications – we see this with retailers and clients with large FMCG portfolios. These brands understand that a constant flow of engaging content keeps them top of mind for consumers.

I believe that the “small and constant” strategy presents the greatest opportunity for clients looking to innovate their production processes. It offers a chance to de-couple some or all elements of production from their network agency into niche specialist suppliers, but at low risk. In contrast, the cost saving benefits can be disproportionally high and so pave the way for the adoption of this approach across other communication platforms.

Key take-outs for clients are:
  • Start in areas where the stakes are low
  • Partner with leading marketing procurement consultants
  • Identify best-in-class niche suppliers, free from vested-interest agency relationships
  • Step out of your comfort zone and make it your mission to learn
  • Constantly refine ways of working through learnings from previous projects

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Small is beautiful. Niche specialists trump generalists. Why?

I’m currently reading “Positioning For Professionals” by Tim Williams. He makes a compelling argument for the narrowing of focus as a strategy for success. This got me thinking about the polarity of niche specialists vs. generalists in the agency market.

“Full service” network agencies like their clients to believe they can cover all bases - that they have high-level skill sets across the full spectrum of strategy, account management, creative and production / execution. The truth is however that many elements of production / execution are outsourced begging the question: Why is this still in the agencies’ remit? A long linear production supply chain adds complexity and cost, but reduces transparency and visibility from a client’s perspective. As clients look to take greater control of execution, I believe we will see more direct client relationships with niche specialists across production, talent, music, photography and post-production. As ever, marketing procurement consultants will help clients to build and manage a network of niche specialists resulting in the following benefits for brand owners:

• Reduced agency fees (given that production / execution is removed from their remit)
• Direct relationships with specialist supply chain
• Removal of agency mark-up on production costs (yes, some agencies still charge this!)
• Lower supply chain costs through more effective use of competitive tendering
• Increased transparency and visibility

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

What will client-agency relationships look like in 2011?

Happy New Year!

It’s a good time to set goals for the coming year and consider how the marketing communications landscape will develop during 2011. From discussions with brands and marketing procurement consultants over the last few months, I have a few predictions to share with you. Feel free to post responses if you agree or disagree – debate is good! Here’s the first one ….

Direct Cost vs. Overhead
There’s been much discussion in the UK client & agency trade magazines about the shift from retainer to project-based client-agency relationships. Clearly, this is driven by client side cost-saving initiatives, but it suggests a deeper trend. Marketing communications agencies (& advertising agencies in particular) are likely to move towards operating models common to the TV & Film industries. i.e. small core salaried teams (overhead) with larger flexible freelance resource for specific projects (direct costs). The more recent UK agency start-ups already embrace this model, and are able to compete more effectively in an over-supplied commoditised market. What’s becoming clear is that clients are less willing to support the high overheads of large Central London agencies with several hundred people on the payroll. Agency retainers that fund teams of high-salaried staff will increasingly be challenged by clients, supported by the growing ranks of marketing procurement consultants. The long-established large agencies will be forced to adapt as their margins shrink below 10% and we may see some considerable downsizing of permanent staff. It’s true that clients enjoy spending time in the smart West End offices of their agencies – it makes a pleasant contrast to out-of-town business parks. However, increasingly the thought 'I’m paying for this!' will be front of mind for clients as they enter their agencies’ marbled halls. This thought will force agencies to change.