Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Spotify, The Independent, SheSays and more

On Leap Day, Thursday 29th February, Spotify announced its latest Delightful Moment, Song Psychic. Inspired by fortune telling, the Magic 8 Ball and decision fatigue affecting people every day, the new feature will help users answer all of life’s burning questions through the lens of music. Following the massive recent viral success of the hugely popular ‘daylist’ feature, Song Psychic is the latest user experience from Spotify that looks set to capture the imagination of users worldwide. To launch the in-app feature, Spotify has unveiled a creative marketing campaign across Out-Of-Home and digital social platforms in the UK. In unique contextual physical and digital placements, Spotify will speak directly to users, reflecting back to them the thousands of questions that pop in their heads throughout the day with an answer from Song Psychic. Song Psychic will in fact come to life with a mix of static and video content around key locations in London, including Shoreditch, Battersea Park, Oxford Street and Soho, as well as across the London Underground. Both the posters and the projections will show everyday questions as well as their song answers – for example “Do I spend too much money on coffee?”, ‘yes, and?’ by Ariana Grande, of course. 

The Independent is marking International Women’s Day by celebrating the most influential female figures in British society today. In partnership with Outernet London, portraits of some of the women featured on this year’s Independent Women: The Influence List will be publicly exhibited in the centre of London’s West End, spreading the IWD message of Inspire Inclusion to millions whilst raising money for The Independent’s charity partner, Refuge. Independent Women: The Influence List 2024 recognises the 50 most influential women in Britain today, who are paving the way for the next generation across entertainment, sport, politics, business, art, literature, fashion and social change. This year, Esther Ghey is placed top of the list, followed by Kate Garraway, Claudia Winkleman, Mary Earps and Sue Gray. It is an eclectic line-up, bringing together women from a vast range of orbits who all share one thing in common: their impact on the world that surrounds them. Visionary photographer Sane Seven has shot specially commissioned portraits of 10 of this year’s listees, which will be unveiled and exhibited at Outernet in central London, before being sold to raise much needed funds for Refuge. The images are powerful black and white depictions of a varied selection of extraordinary women, who have come together to raise money and awareness for Refuge, the UK’s largest domestic abuse charity. Today’s edition of The Independent includes exclusive opinion pieces from women including Charlotte Tilbury, Rosie Jones, Penny Mordaunt and Anna Whitehouse. The articles present their experiences and perspectives on gender equality.

SheSays, the non-profit organisation championing gender equality in the creative industries, has discovered that 54% of people believe the one thing currently better about work for underrepresented people is being able to work more flexibly. Yet only 1% believe fair pay and pay rises are better for underrepresented people at present. To encourage more of what’s working in work, SheSays launches International Women’s Day campaign ‘Flexible Works’ celebrating the physical and emotional wins from flexible working. The results are from SheSays ‘Defining the Future of Work’ research*, a yearlong study being conducted throughout 2024 to unearth what is and isn’t working in the workplace for underrepresented people, and to strategise paths forward. The findings will be used to advise leaders on building a more inclusive workplace.

Mediaocean, the mission-critical platform for omnichannel advertising, has announced six new partnerships for its Creative Ad Tech platform, Flashtalking, bringing its market leading solutions to more customers in a range of key markets around the world. The agreements provision for primary ad serving, creative personalisation, cross-channel measurement and verification across open web display, mobile, audio, video, digital out-of-home, and connected TV. Collectively, the new activation partners support advertisers in 89 different countries, significantly expanding Flashtalking’s footprint following a surge in adoption after the announcement that Amazon was deprecating its Sizmek ad server. Each of these companies brings deep experience in the ad serving market, having previously supported brands and agencies using Amazon/Sizmek. The new partners include Tailwind, which operates in 36 markets across Central and South Eastern Europe, the Nordics and Middle East North Africa (MENA), empowering businesses to fast track their marketing with technology integrations, strategic consultation, and professional services, as well as Box Digital, a South Africa-based digital advertising services business with customers spanning 8 sub-Saharan African countries. A partnership with Adsmovil will bolster Flashtalking’s operations within 33 markets across Latin America (LATAM), through a business uniquely focused on Hispanic and Brazilian audiences which currently serves over 4 billion impressions per month. Meanwhile, a new relationship with Adsonice, will grow Flashtalking’s presence across Europe. Additionally, an agreement with Escape Velocity, a digital media technology services company that supports agencies and advertisers, will scale Flashtalking in India, Korea, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka while eTechSol will help serve customers in Pakistan.

Dailymotion Advertising, a major player in the online video advertising market, entrusts RTL AdAlliance with the monetization of its online video inventory across multiple European markets. The international media sales house will add the online video platform and provider of proprietary video players to its growing Total Video portfolio. The video offering of Dailymotion Advertising encompasses the proprietary video platform, available online as well as via app on mobile devices, and smart TVs, alongside a diversified portfolio of online video media brands. Thanks to RTL AdAlliance, advertisers can now tap into Dailymotion Advertising’s vast audience of 450 million+ monthly active users and over 6 billion video views. This is packaged within a diverse portfolio of trusted media brands – ranging from linear TV to online video.

un:hurd, the artist marketing platform, has raised an additional round of strategic funding to further the expansion of its suite of marketing tools. The company is using the investment to roll out a suite of data and AI-led features to help artists build, nurture and monetise audiences more effectively. The funding round includes investment from Kobalt Music Founder and Chairman Willard Ahdritz through his new company Ahdritz & Co; Co-founder of Musiio, Hazel Savage; Nigerian superstar and Chief Investment Officer at Zagadat Capital Mr Eazi; and Dutch DJ and record producer Sam Feldt. The new features include a fan hub, allowing artists to create and share a beautifully designed website from which they can collect owned data about their fans. There will be an AI marketing assistant which will leverage AI to help artists to drive more impactful marketing efforts by suggesting new content ideas, full marketing plans or release schedules. A new benchmarking tool will enable artists to compare themselves with their peers, before allowing them to take action to outcompete their similar artists. Finally, un:hurd is launching a web platform to complement the existing iOS app, which will enable global expansion in new regions globally, while appealing to managers and record labels.

McCann Manchester has launched McCann Experience a brand new proposition, planning approach and suite of products to accelerate marketing effectiveness. McCann Experience is comprised of three key platforms. Brand Vibrancy Score (BVS) is a live platform that enables the team to audit the quality of the existing total brand experience and predict accelerators of performance. Audience Vibrancy Score (AVS) is a real-time audience intelligence platform that uses live data to match people and disposable income to brands and its products. Finally, these are powered by Constellation Planning, an approach that defines how a brand’s experience should spark, influence and interact with each other to accelerate growth. McCann launched the proposition last week at UA92’s Business School in Manchester’s city centre. McCann has a three-year partnership with the disruptor university, set up by the Class of 92 and Lancaster University. The agency has extended this partnership with the co-creation and co-delivery of a new Digital Marketing degree – launching in September – to be championed by McCann and its Experience team.