Indie performing artists embracing Twitch amidst widespread tour cancellations

Due to COVID-19, Twitch, the streaming site popular with gamers is beginning to have a new constituency: Musicians. “50% of millennial males in America use Twitch. If you want to reach millennial males (which odds are, you do) Twitch is a good place to do it.” But now that musicians are using the platform more, Twitch may draw in more than just the male/18-34 demo.

From The Verge:

Mark Rebillet is part of a fast-growing community of musicians who are migrating to digital platforms to perform “quaranstreams” during the pandemic. Many larger artists, like Charli XCX, John Legend, and Diplo are choosing Instagram, but indie artists are overwhelmingly flocking to Twitch.

There’s one likely reason: while Instagram is an easy option to reach lots of people en masse, Twitch offers an abundance of ways to make money. “It’s more financially focused,” says musician and longtime Twitch streamer Ducky. “It supports different tiers of subscriptions and donations. People can subscribe to a channel for free with their Amazon Prime account. Fans can tip in micro amounts with things like Cheers. Other platforms usually just pay out on ad revenue or number of plays.”

Will the interactivity of live-streamed performances be enough to draw a crowd comparable to what an artist might draw on tour? It might not matter, because musicians have multiple revenue streams that are compatible with the Twitch platform. The vibe of a live show will never be captured via Twitch, but live-streaming shows may be a bigger part of the future of music due to covid.

Why it’s hot:

Artists might end up making more money

1) Because they can now reach a worldwide audience all at once, and eschew the high costs of touring, including the cuts venues and ticket vendors take on ticket sales.

2) Because of the ease of “tipping” on Twitch, audiences may end up paying their favorite artists more than they would for a ticket to a concert.

Musicians streaming on Twitch may offer brands a new way-in to the platform.

Aside from going the gamer route, brands may want to get in front of viewers watching a concert in real time. What kind of interesting interactive activation could brands do that would not undermine the musicians credibility?

Source: The Verge

Miller frames beer as the original social media

With this entertaining noir-esque advert, three friends escape hoards of nameless, unthinking look-alike “followers” to find refuge with each other in a side-street bar.

Miller’s research found that 50% of 21-to-27 year olds only meet up with their close friends a few times a month.

The ad suggests social media is to blame and that Miller is the needed champion of authentic, in-person experiences versus the ubiquitous sameness of social media image-curation.

In a clever play on words, the ad ends with a toast to the “original social media”. (beer)

Fast Company: “The new campaign ad, “Followers,” by agency DDB Chicago, is using the age-old idea of Miller Time and positioning it as an antidote to our collective social feed fatigue. The brand is complementing this notion with a promotion that will reward drinkers who unfollow Miller Lite on Facebook and Instagram with free beer. Miller Lite is also taking two weeks off from any social media of its own.”

They’re no doubt banking on the press coverage to make up for it.

Like any good rebel, Miller is bucking the trend … of social media accumulation, but its execution of this reward could maybe be better. In order to get a free beer, you have to take a screenshot of your unfollow, text it to a coded address, receive a link, follow the link and upload a photo of your receipt, to then receive a reimbursement on Paypal.

They also did a pretty badass can redesign to go along with the campaign.

Why it’s hot:

Americans love a rebel, and as digital continues to devour our lives, Miller is exploiting the growing disdain for social media to frame itself as a conduit of authentic connection. Miller Time is back from the good ol’ days before social media, to remind us that friends are people you see in person.

People will still use social media, obviously, but maybe next time they gripe about how it’s eroding our ability to form meaningful real human connections, they’ll remember the brand that agrees with them, and reach for a Miller Lite.

Why it’s not as good as it could be: Rewarding unfollows is clunky UX, requiring multiple steps on one’s phone, which undermines the clarity of the “offline” message.

Amazon Introduces Dash

Amazon began to roll out new hardware called Dash, a button you can stick anywhere to refill on your favorite household items. Initial partners include L’Oreal, Gerber, Glad, Gatorade, Gillette, Larabar, Izze Soda, Tide, and a few more, but really, the possibilities are endless. The plan is to introduce and implement, but eventually do away with these buttons after familiarizing the customer to the mechanism to order from Amazon.

“Along with buttons, Amazon is launching what it calls the Dash Replenishment Service, which is ultimately designed to do away with the buttons entirely. Companies that make products can bake this technology into their own hardware: things like coffeemakers, washer/dryers, printers, and pet food dispensers. It’s not so great for household goods like paper towels, but Amazon is betting that eventually these sensors will get so small and cheap to make, that you could have them in individual products too.”

Why It’s Hot: This hardware helps to solidify Amazon’s relevance in everyday utility, and it’s spot on the idea of instant gratification. It will be interesting to see how brands’ marketing strategies will evolve from this new consumer mindset.

Starbucks and Match Are Vying for Your First Date

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Match users looking for a date will be able to now suggest coffee shop dates meet at Starbucks. The “Meet at Starbucks” feature is the first branded-product feature that allows Match users to directly send an invitation to set up a coffee date. Using the “Meet at Starbucks” feature, members can can also find a location for their Starbucks date using the Starbucks store locator.

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The company’s research shows that the endeavor could be quite successful: 1 in 3 singles rank “having coffee together” as a favorite first-date activity, and Starbucks says that “hundreds of thousands” have added their brand badge to their Match.com profiles.

“Meet Me at Starbucks” borrows from the coffee company’s global campaign launched in September, designed to connect consumers through Starbucks experiences across the world.

Why It’s Hot

As platforms like Match and the burgeoning app marketplace embed themselves intimately in the lives of consumers, co-promotions such as “Meet Me” are enabling brands like Starbucks to forge new personal connections with consumers. Journey mapping and other strategic assessments may uncover a host of partnership opportunity to create richer, more natural brand experiences. The key for brands will be to discover how they can add value for consumers. Are they unlocking a special feature or streamlining a process? Is their brand experience welcome or are certain activities “off limits” to marketers? This convergence requires that brands, advertisers and consumers “figure out” a new set of social norms to moderate brand activities… even if those attitudes shift quickly amid more and more incorporation of digital into consumers’ lifestyles.

Link: AdAge