Posted inSandbox

Sandbox Issue 259: Six Months On, What Next?

Lead: The effect of COVID-19, six months on. This Sandbox issue hosts the launch of a new Music Ally monthly feature: our Global Experts Panel. We’ve assembled a panel of industry leaders from around the world, from many sectors of the music business, and each month we’ll put a single question to them on a pressing issue. […]

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Harry Styles reads a ‘sleep story’ for meditation app Calm

“Hello. I’m Harry Styles…” Those four words have set off some social-media excitement overnight, spoken by Styles himself in a promo video for meditation app Calm.

He’s going to be reading one of the ‘sleep stories’ that have been so popular in the app, with the idea being that Harry’s voice will send fans off to sleep at night.

Calm followed up by tweeting a photo of Styles recording his story, which will be released tomorrow (8 July), yielding responses ranging from ‘OH MY GOD’ and ‘WHAT THE F**K I THOUGHT THIS WAS A JOKE’ to ‘DUE TO PERSONAL REASONS I HAVE PASSED AWAY’ and ‘I WANT THIS ETCHED INTO MY BRAIN FOREVER HOLY F**K’ (and a few responses without all-caps and/or enthusiastic swearing).

Posted inSandbox

Sandbox Issue 243: The Last 10 Years and The Next 10 Years of Music Marketing

Welcome to the first Sandbox of 2020. Lead: It is now 10 years since we published the very first edition of Sandbox, so to start a new decade we speak to marketers from around the world about the tools and trends that shaped the past decade of music marketing as well as the ones they believe […]

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Harry Styles had 2019’s most cryptic music-marketing campaign

The treasure hunt, scattering of Easter eggs and a good dash of the cryptic is a failsafe in music marketing. It is all a nice way to get the fanbase excited about a new album, an opportunity to test out a new platform and hopefully get some virality and/or wider media coverage in the process.

But the set up for ‘Adore You’, the current single from Harry Styles’ imminent second album, has taken all this to a whole other level. Billboard has the full breakdown of the campaign and has spoken to Manos Xanthogeorgis, SVP of digital marketing & media at Columbia Records, about just how huge and complex an undertaking it all was.

It involved leaving a convoluted trail of clues through videos, dusty corners of the internet and social media while also responding in real time to the Styles fanbase’s ability to crack clues (or not) and amending the rest of the campaign on the hoof as a result, giving them nudges in the right direction when required.

Posted inMarketing

Harry Styles gets his own Snapchat lens just like Ed Sheeran

Fresh from announcing an exclusive documentary with Apple Music, Harry Styles is also making his presence felt on Snapchat.

The former One Direction star has followed Ed Sheeran in getting his own stealthily-launched lens on the social app, inspired by the artwork for his recent single ‘Sign of the Times’.

At least, that’s what entertainment site Mashable claims. The lens was a rippling-water reflection effect, although unlike Sheeran’s lens, there didn’t appear to be any music.