Ads We Like: Clear Channel takes over Stockholm metro to combat music venue closure

Over the past five years, one in four inner-city music venues have closed down. To combat the culling of music venues in the city centre, Clear Channel Sweden has taken over Stockholm's metro station to promote 'underground' music.

As the out-of-home (OOH) sector leads the development of 'smart cities' through technology, Clear Channel is working to provide a solution to the global night economy, by allowing its billboards to add new functions to serve its residents.

Instead of displaying ads on Clear Channel's 300 digital screens, the 'Stockholm Underground' music guide, will run as a real-time guide to encourage commuters to take advantage of local shows and up-and-coming artists performing at smaller venues.

Drawn from a database of upcoming live shows aggregated from online sources such as websites, blogs and Facebook events, with up-and-coming bands and artists also able to add their shows to the database, the initiative will give even the smallest acts a chance to reach up to one million people.

The data will then be used to direct commuters to their nearest local music show in the hours before it is supposed to begin.

Running for three weeks, Clear Channel says the technology can be transported to other cities who are similarly experiencing the same problem. In London, 35% of grassroots music venues closed down between 2007-2017, while in Australia, a parliamentary inquiry found Sydney was experiencing a 'music venue crisis.'

Discussing the underground takeover, Henriette Zeuchner, chief executive at Clear Channel Scandinavia said: “We are a natural part of the urban space and have both the will, and the responsibility, to contribute to making cities dynamic. Stockholm Underground is another example of how we are committed to doing so.

“The response from the music industry has been unanimously positive and in the future, we hope we can export this to other cities, or use the platform to promote another art form,” she added.

Clear Channel Sweden is getting a reputation for finding ingenious ways to transform Stockholm metro station. When research named Stockholm population the most stressed in Sweden, the OOH provider turned the metro station into an emotion triggered art exhibition.

‘The Emotional Art Gallery’ aimed to combat commuters’ anxiety by displaying artworks that interactively respond to their mood.

Last winter, it launched an initiative to guide Stockholm's homeless to nearby shelters during the winter months.

For the homeless project, the City of Stockholm, together with churches and non-governmental organizations opened 'emergency shelters.' When temperatures dropped to minus 7 degrees, Clear Channel billboards automatically replace its ad content with directions to the nearest homeless shelter.

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