Our Take: This Week in the News

culture Posted on Aug 20, 2018

Audio Streaming Wars Accelerate

The Accounts team has been keeping a close eye on the latest forecasts for the streaming wars between Pandora and Spotify. Though Pandora has been at the top of the heap for most of its existence, Spotify has always made a good showing, and even threatened to overtake the top spot on several occasions.

However, the latest forecasts point to a definite plateau when it comes to Pandora’s user growth, largely due to the platform’s focus on attracting free users with the hope of converting to paid subscriptions in the future.

We’re especially interested in the forecasts beyond 2020, when it’s predicted that Spotify’s growth strategy will pay off and help it claim the throne definitively. The company has made a good move by aggressively pursuing tech partnerships, especially with its upcoming integration into Samsung smart speakers. That step is likely to provide a solid built-in user base for the future, as well as differentiating it from Pandora’s mobile-heavy game plan.

Whatever the results, we think two booming streaming services will be nothing but good news for marketers, especially if their user bases begin diverging enough to provide more options for targeting specific audiences.

The Cleveland Browns and Refrigerated Victory

We’re always on the lookout for fantastic events marketing ideas, and the Creative team are big fans of Bud Light’s latest stunt for the Cleveland Browns. The brewer has stocked the city’s bars and stadium with Victory Fridges—chained beer coolers with padlocks that will automatically open the next time the Browns come out on top.

The beverage maker has a history of supporting struggling teams with marketing events, and we think they’ve carved a great niche for themselves in the process. Though the fridges are plastered with the tagline, “When the Browns win, Cleveland wins,” there’s no doubt which brand will have the spotlight when giddy sports fans rush the coolers to celebrate.

Ryan Reynolds, Expert Marketer

As big fans of both beverages and Ryan Reynolds, the Accounts team has been loving the celeb’s participation in email marketing for Aviation Gin. Though his status as a primary shareholder and owner makes him part of the team, Reynolds doesn’t spend much time in the office, so fans are treated to a witty away-from-desk autoreply whenever they send an email.

A recent appearance on the Tonight Show spurred so much attention that the company’s email servers nearly went offline—and as any email marketer will tell you, that’s the sign of a campaign done right!

We think this is a great example of putting celebrity influencers to maximum use—an authentic voice, witty messaging, and seamless integration between brand hype and buying triggers. We look forward to seeing what Reynolds has up his sleeve for the future.

Blurring the Lines Between E- and Sports

And finally, a reminder that traditional sports aren’t the only game in town. With nearly 400 million viewers expected to tune in for 2018, e-sports are already pulling in mega stadium numbers, and those figures are only expected to grow.

We’ve been eagerly discussing the possibilities this hidden demographic offers for marketing, especially with the news that traditional team owners are starting to bulk out their athletic portfolios with professional gaming acquisitions.

Though gaming has always been viewed as a narrow niche in the US, we’re intrigued by the built-in audience of billions around the globe, and see a multi-layered intersection between youth, tech, and events that sounds like a dream come true for campaigns. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the sector to see what leveraging opportunities arise as e-sports hits the big time.