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How WMX’s new advertising platform helps brands maximize the digital music boom

With consumer appetite for new music at an all-time high thanks to post-pandemic optimism and the pent-up demand for new music, fans are listening to, watching and reading about music more than ever before.

But while many music fans cannot wait to crowdsurf all the way to the stage at the latest gig, much music-related consumption is now happening online. Even live performances are increasingly happening online, thanks to Covid-19’s acceleration of live gigs across social media platforms.

Music industry analysts MIDiA found that 9% of consumers watched a livestreamed show in the second half of 2020, with the share of livestreamed concerts jumping from 1.9% to 40.7% of all gigs and livestream revenues rising 292% over the same period. One of the most successful gigs was Dua Lipa’s livestream concert, which attracted an unprecedented five million viewers. Looking into the future, industry insiders believe that livestreamed gigs will continue as a format even as live shows return.

This increasing digitization of entertainment formats represents a huge opportunity for brands to target key consumer cohorts.

Partnering with first-party media owners is a key tool helping advertisers and marketers to find and engage target consumer groups and is particularly significant as Google’s upcoming ban on third-party cookies looms. While the ban has been extended to 2023, marketers must not delay switching to cookieless methods of understanding, and engaging with, customer groups in preparation for the third-party cookie switch-off. Working directly with media owners is a principal way of doing just that.

WMX: scale and range

WMX includes gen Z-centric editorial sites UPROXX and HipHopDX, alongside concert discovery app Songkick, which allows music fans to find their favorite artists’ next tour dates. This is in addition to other channels including premium YouTube artist/label channels and outlets like The Pit, Indie Mixtape and Cover Nation.

“As part of Warner Music Group, we can tap into opportunities across the company’s network, putting advertisers in front of highly engaged audiences they won’t find anywhere else,” says global chief revenue officer Erin Moran of WMX’s offering, in an exclusive video interview with The Drum.

Moran believes that the combination of WMX’s variety of owned and operated sites – together with an award-winning creative studio, which has garnered a Sports Emmy nomination, a Cannes Lions, as well as Digiday’s Best In House Content/Brand Studio and its new advertising platform Connex – differentiates it from its competition. It allows WMX both breadth of consumer type and the in-house ability both to effectively target different consumer cohorts and deliver stellar advertising campaigns for artists, and brand partners.

“We’re really leaning into this opportunity to elevate artists, audiences and advertisers under one umbrella,” affirms Moran.

Connex is a proprietary data storefront for advertisers and marketers. “It gathers our plethora of fan and audience data in one beautifully curated spot that advertisers can begin to tap into,” she explains. “Imagine you’re a CPG brand, and you’re looking to reach females aged 18-34, who are in the market for make-up or skincare. Well, now you can seamlessly tap into Connex and understand what environments within the WMX ecosystem you should be running across and where your advertising will be most impactful.”

With more than 249 million unique visitors and over 50bn video views across platforms every month – ranking the company as a top five video media brand in the US – WMX is able to do this at a significant scale.

To learn more about how WMX is re-imagining the future of music culture media, watch the full interview with Erin Moran above.

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