We’ve heard a lot about the ‘value gap’ between music consumption on YouTube and its payouts to rightsholders this year, but there may be another value gap for the industry to tackle. Video agency LoveLive’s CEO Richard Cohen has been talking to Music Ally about the opportunities around branded music content.

“Sports sponsorship in the US last year was worth $10.4bn. Music sponsorship globally was $1.4bn. And yet if you look at consumption, the inverse is true at almost the same disproportionate value,” said Cohen. “Nowhere else in media have I seen such a disproportionate sense of consumption versus spend.”

LoveLive is one of the companies hoping to flip that disparity on its head, with a Venn diagram of digital trends that could be hugely positive for the music industry. “There’s live music, which is clearly growing: it’s the fastest growth area for music. There’s online video, which is huge and ever-growing. And then there is branded content, which is really blowing up,” he said.

From content marketing where services like Spotify and Go90 commission original shows to attract and engage users to branded content involving musicians that’s funded by brands, the ‘original content’ boom could be big for music. “Artists and labels recognise that branded content is no longer something that is ancillary or secondary. It can become a meaningful, or even in the future a primary source of income,” said Cohen.

That also involves a shift in the kind of online video that musicians are producing. “We are finding that shortform is getting longer: it’s 8-14 minutes at the moment, and our next round will be more like 15-26 minutes. Live performance is also less interesting, and not just because without performance you don’t need master recording rights or publishing rights. It’s about access and authenticity, and the fact that the artists themselves are interesting.”

LoveLive streamed one gig by a major band at a cost of $150k, while also spending $500 filming a ‘3 Minutes to Stage’ video of the band’s final preparations for the concert, and found that the latter reached 27 times more people than the former. “A well-planned $500 format can massively outperform a $150k long-form live-streamed gig.” For more on LoveLive’s strategy, as well as Cohen’s view that music/VR content can’t just be “put a rig in the middle of the room and hope something interesting will happen”, read the full interview via the link below.

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