Music streaming platforms become increasingly part of the creative industry’s media plan, PHD's business director says

Music is a great companion for creative industry practitioners. Whether they need to hit a deadline or relax at home, they can resort to various genres of music to help create or disconnect them from the world. Marketing magazine is working with JOOX to invite creative industry practitioners to talk about their music consumption habits, and how to better leverage music in marketing.

In our fourth interview for the Marketers’ Music Mind series, we talk to Garth Farrar, business director, APAC of PHD.

The background of a person could have a great impact on his or her taste and preferences. After leaving school, Farrar worked for a golden oldies and classic rock station, which influenced him a lot as he knew more about different types of music and genres. “A day without it is unfathomable to me. Music dominates my time, keeping me running smoothly like oil to an engine,” Farrar says. 

“I find instrumental music exceptionally useful when there is a task that requires absolute attention. Sometimes, lyrics within a song can be a source of distraction too. This is not a risk that you want to run when working on something sensitive.”

However, Farrar has some favourite music artists. U2 is the only band that he is very familiar with. “I love that they are still best mates and that they each play an integral role in another's lives as friends. I love the way that they're not interchangeable.”

His other favourite music artists include AC/DC, Bruno Mars, and Coldplay. Surprisingly, he is also a fan of Billie Eilish as his children have taken over the playlist at home in recent months. Farrer loves that Billie Eilish’s sound is hyper-modern but classic.

When Farrar says ‘music is an integral part of his life’, he really means it. Whether he is on his way to work, working from home, or at home, he always listens to music on the headphones. To have an easier access to music, Farrar creates a playlist so he can listen to music whenever he wants. Apart from music, he also listens to podcasts about society and culture, which offer him insights to better position himself and teams to support clients’ business growth and ensure that they are delivering ideas relevant to clients. A all in one streaming app is indeed what people like Farrar needs.

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Farrar shares one impressive use of music in advertisement. In April, American rapper Travis Scott partnered with online video game Fortnite to hold the “Astronomical” event, attracting 12.3 million people to watch its premiere. After five shows, the developer said the number had reached up to 27.7 million unique viewers with 45.8 million views, indicating the vast number of people who saw its multiple shows.

With more time spent on streaming services, these platforms have increasingly become part of creative industry practitioners’ media plans as they are attractive to advertisers who look for an engaged audience to place and integrate their brands into the platform. 

Speaking of how music streaming platforms engage audiences, Farrar says they offer a wide range of benefits to creative industry practitioners. “Let’s look at audience insights as an example. It helps us reach engaged audiences, redefine personalisation, and create a new form of storytelling,” Farrar says. JOOX, for example, leverages AI and machine learning to analyse users’ music consumption habits, behaviours, and preferences. Through analysing users’ music preferences, not only can it provide recommendations specific to the users’ tastes, but can also advertise content to targeted audience. Since its launch in 2015, JOOX has attracted a myriad of international brands, including Burberry, Hang Seng Bank, etc. to place advertisements in its platform across six markets – in Hong Kong and Macau, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and even South Africa.

“There is a seamless integration of ads into the listening and streaming experience. The platform offers brands various formats, from display and content to performance, as well as branded and sponsorship campaigns,” Farrar says.

Apart from making use of AI technology, a wide range of entertainment contents also differentiate JOOX from other industry players. Farrar even regards JOOX as a “Super music entertainment app”. “What I also think may set JOOX apart is that it provides other entertainment options including karaoke feature, live streaming programs and gamification which creates stickiness within the app and this in turns attracts advertisers due to the data targeting and the types of interactions that advertisers and listeners can experience.”, Farrar says.

That is true, a wide range of offerings not only can help advertisers attract their preferred target audience as data targeting, the types of interactions can also find out what listeners are experiencing.  Speaking of entertainment options that JOOX provides to users, live streaming content is one of the key features. Recently, the brand launched two campaigns, including International Express and K-Pop Express, which invite a number of international and K-Pop artists to interact with their fans. Music lovers could even chat with their idols instantly inside the P2P chat room. Besides, what Farrar means by gamification indeed refers to JOOX’s unique the social and fan economy model, which has started to play an important role for the platform to engage user and enhance user experience, such as coin redemption system and the availability to send gifts and coins to other users.

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Music is a powerful way to connect with people around us. When we think about key moments in our lives, there is a high likelihood that we will remember a song along with the memory or the song that will trigger memories of an event.

“Generating marketing success through music means that you have to understand what you are trying to accomplish and be very clear on what music can help you do. It is critical to have a solid understanding of the brand, its positioning, the public's perception of it, and the role that it plays in a consumer's life. If you as a brand don’t know where you're going, music isn't going to get you there,” he stresses.

For each one of our Marketers' Music Mind features, Marketing is collaborating with JOOX to produce a bespoke playlist based on our interviewee’s answers for our readers. Scan the QR code to see what we made and enjoy!

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This content was sponsored by JOOX

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