Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Spotify, Fiverr International Ltd., The Independent and more

For the first time in the UK, Spotify is set to host Spotify Sparks in London, an event that will bring together industry leaders, content creators and advertisers to discuss the intersection of creativity, culture and fandom. The event will provide a look at the evolution of Spotify as a platform and the unique fan communities, creative opportunities, and immersive personalised environments available to brands. Following the remarkable success of Spotify Sparks in India and Brazil, the UK’s first Spotify Sparks event will take place in May. The event will feature exclusive sessions with Spotify executives such as Alex Norström, Co-President and Chief Business Officer, Sulinna Ong, Global Head of Editorial, Music, Brian Berner, Head of Global Sales & Partnerships and Grace Kao, Global Head of Advertising Business Marketing. There will also be a panel discussion on inclusivity in marketing moderated by Rak Patel, Head of EMEA Sales at Spotify. Special guests include Gary Lineker, broadcaster and co-host of The Rest Is Football podcast, Jill Scott MBE, former Professional Footballer, Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe, Comedians and Co-hosts of the Parenting Hell podcast, Ashley Samuels-McKenzie and Charles Parkinson, Co-hosts of the How I Became podcast; Chaka Sobhani, President and Global Chief Creative Officer of DDB Worldwide; Nishma Robb, Founder and President of WACL, and Tolly Shoneye, Writer, Presenter and Co-host of The Receipts podcast. Spotify Sparks will take place on May 1st, by invitation only.

Fiverr International Ltd., the company that is changing how the world works together, has released its Spring 2024 Business Trends Index. Among the millions of inquiries on Fiverr’s marketplace, digital services saw the largest increase in demand over the last six months. Taking advantage of new online opportunities is the theme at the centre of the data. Global trends include; businesses turning to freelance experts to leverage the opportunities afforded by social media marketing through platforms such as TikTok, companies are looking to improve their online presence through wider marketing services including SEO and branding consultation and alternative eCommerce platforms such as ClickBank, FlutterFlow are being increasingly adopted to grow businesses online. In addition to the latest trends, Fiverr also reveals that across the UK, Manchester was the fastest growing city in terms of the number of freelancers based there, closely followed by Southampton and Coventry. Fiverr has also found that outside of London, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham are the top three cities where freelancers are earning the most.

The Independent is proud to announce that it is the exclusive global news partner of Montreux Jazz Festival. The relationship, which has been agreed for the second year running, will see The Independent reporting from the festival, and running news and interviews with artists and the Montreux organisers. Bespoke, in depth content will span The Independent, Independent TV and podcasts; taking the best of Montreux to The Independent’s global audience. One of the world’s most renowned musical events, the legendary festival has also unveiled its typically eclectic 2024 lineup today. Taking in everything from pop to hip-hop, afrobeats, trip-hop, classic rock, and of course, the very best in jazz, soul and funk, big names include Raye, Sting, Duran Duran, Kraftwerk, Janelle Monáe, PJ Harvey, Smashing Pumpkins, Dionne Warwick, Massive Attack and Air. This year, the festival features a brand-new layout in the town of Montreux due to construction work on the Convention Centre which typically hosts the festival’s main stages. In its place is The Lake Stage, constructed in a breathtaking setting on the surface of Lake Geneva with the backdrop of the Alps. The festival also returns to the Casino, which is steeped in history, having burned down in the seventies and inspired Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”. The festival couldn’t miss the chance to invite the group back for their tenth performance at Montreux.

The Range, which is one of the fastest-growing retailers in the UK and is owned by Plymouth entrepreneur Chris Dawson, has announced further online growth plans for 2024 by partnering with Virtualstock. The Range struck a multimillion-pound deal to buy the 93 year-old Wilko brand in 2023 which included the website which was already utilising the Virtualstock platform. Now, both brands will benefit from Virtualstock’s cloud-based SaaS platform. This new collaboration empowers both retailers to attain more scalable, profitable growth through dropship. Utilising a one-to-many connection, the retailers can quickly and easily grow their online product range and categories with their trusted dropship suppliers. Leveraging a comprehensive suite of modules, the platform enables both retailers to provide more choice to customers, facilitates smoother transactions and ensures an informed customer journey. The rapid expansion and reopening of high street stores by The Range and Wilko demonstrate the importance of blending offline and online shopping for sustained retail success. The innovative technology collaboration with Virtualstock further emphasises the strategic importance of embracing both retail channels.

Visier, a globally recognized leader in people analytics and workforce solutions for people-powered business, has announced its generative AI-based assistant Vee is now available to all customers and prospects. Vee instantly answers workforce-specific questions for HR leaders, managers and executives–securely and accurately–helping to democratize people insights to all levels of an organization. Vee is also the foundation for Visier’s Embedded generative AI offering, which dramatically accelerates generative AI product roadmaps for peopletech SaaS vendors and solution providers. Vee enters general availability following a successful six-month public preview, which invited 80+ Visier customer organizations to actively use and provide feedback on the product. The rapid evolution in capability and quality was evident through dozens of iterative releases and a continuous enhancement of LLM understanding, resulting in the highly performant and capable solution built on dedicated and scalable Microsoft Azure OpenAI compute.

Global communications agency Rosely Group is excited to announce it has been retained by legal payments provider Shieldpay to deliver a communications strategy built on content, thought leadership and media relations. Shieldpay will sit within Rosely Group’s corporate team and as part of the retainer the agency will deliver a focused comms programme, incorporating strategic advice and support to further increase awareness of the fintech and their payments solutions. Additionally, this consolidated approach will have a strong focus on building the profiles of the senior team, including key new leadership hires. The team will deliver a comprehensive content and thought leadership programme in answer to Shieldpay’s continued growth and established position in the market.