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Seattle’s Pianos In The Parks

Though we’ve grown globally, home will always be where our heart is, here in beautiful Seattle, Washington. We are pleased to announce Pianos in the Parks – a program from July 17-August 17, which uses the power of music and art to encourage discovery and enjoyment of some of our region’s beloved parks and open spaces. Made possible by Laird Norton Wealth Management in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Seattle Symphony, KEXP, Gage Academy of Art, City of Music, Classic Pianos, PlayNetwork and others, Pianos in the Parks invites you to come discover our parks, explore your musical chops and enjoy some unique art. Visit the official website for more information and fun content throughout the month: www.PianosintheParks.com

Watch as local artists’ inspired re-designs of 20 pianos for the program come to life in this PlayNetwork-powered launch documentary:

Have you always dreamed taking center stage ala Elton John, Stevie Wonder, or Chopin? Enter the Facebook video contest between July 17 – August 17 for a chance to perform on Friday, August 22, at the Concerts at the Mural presented by KEXP and... Read More

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The Impact of Brand Storytelling [Infographic]

In our previous post, Storytelling Isn’t Just for Kids, we learned the importance of using brand storytelling to uniquely position a brand and reach consumers.  In the pursuit of deeper connections with their desired audience, brands leave behind traditional advertising and find that providing compelling branded content is what really moves consumers to be a part of their story – their brand story.

This infographic illustrates the importance of brand storytelling, from the consumer’s viewpoint.

StoryTelling_Infographic_V5For more information on using content to tell your brand story check out nine keys to using music as a storytelling medium or contact us.

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Business music licensing

Playing music from your iPod to customers? Stop now. (3 of 4)

In this post, we explore what organizations are considered PROs and what role they play in music licensing in a business setting.

In the U.S., composers, lyricists, artists, and publishers become members of Performing Rights Organizations, who ensure their members are getting compensated for their creative works.  PROs pay members by collecting licensing fees and then distributing funds based on the amount of times their work has been performed or played.

The main PROs in the United States are American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and SESAC. In order to avoid fines, you need licenses from each PRO that represents each song you play.

Getting a license from each PRO can be daunting and expensive task. Download our Music Licensing for Business Guide to find more affordable solutions for legal music.

 

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People at Play :: Zoë Dixon, Messaging Supervisor

Our series, People at Play, highlights the creative minds who fuel PlayNetwork – a little bit of wisdom & insight, a little bit of rock & roll, straight from our teams.

Who :: Zoë Maredith Dixon

What :: Messaging Supervisor

How :: In college, Psychology and Communication were the focal points of my studies but my genuine passion unveiled itself when I worked as the Assistant Music Director at a local radio station. I had finally found a vocation that spoke to me beyond scholastic curiosity and on an ardent level and it was there where I experienced my first taste of audio production and voiceover artistry. In addition to radio, I have voiced and produced characters for video games, global brands, web radio and streaming algorithmic radio. Also, I have acquired over 25 years of experience in musical theatre, dance, singing and stage acting which contributes significantly in honing my creative craft here at PlayNetwork.

☎ ) What role does messaging play as part of the connection brands have to their consumers? What do you take into consideration when in the concept creation process – how do you tap into the brand’s DNA? Messaging is distinctive in the sense that it connects... Read More

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Retail Asia Expo 2014 + PlayNetwork

PlayNetwork recently had the opportunity to participate in the Retail Asia Expo June 10-12, 2014 in Hong Kong as the official music provider and curator for the featured “Senses Generate Sales” zone, as well as for the VIP cocktail and gala dinner events. Drawing from our core inspiration of ‘evolving the way brands move consumers through immersive entertainment,’ we also produced video content for the stunning projection video wall on the expo floor. It was a captivating experience, hearing from attendees about the impact of APAC brands’ growing vision involving storytelling, emotional interaction, and the connection between voice and vehicle, which resonates deeply with PlayNetwork’s philosophy.

Though we officially landed in Hong Kong in late 2013, we hadn’t had the chance to properly celebrate. The timing around the Retail Asia Expo allowed us the perfect opportunity to share our story with retailers in the region. We invited industry partners and some of the most creative brands in the industry to join us at Faces Music Lounge, steps away from the Retail Expo floor.  Guests were welcomed to the party with a soundtrack specially curated by our Music Supervisor Dean Carlson.

Key tracks that were included in the Retail Asia Expo... Read More

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Original Video Series Created for FedEx Office Wins Telly Award!

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We are very proud to announce that the documentary style mini-series created as a part of the “Small Business, Big Potential” campaign for FedEx Office has won the Telly Award!

Small Business, Big Potential is an original series that tells the stories of real people, with real small business challenges who find smart, meaningful solutions at FedEx Office.  Each video features a soundtrack from new and emerging artists. Over 15 episodes have been produced and, stay tuned, 10 episodes that are scheduled to come out yearly.

Here is a sampling of the winning videos from the Small Business, Big Potential Campaign:

The Telly Awards annually showcases the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world. The Telly Awards honor the very best film & video productions, groundbreaking online video content, outstanding local, regional, cable TV commercials and programs.

The winners are judged by a panel of over 500 accomplished industry professionals, each a past winner of an award. Work is evaluated against a high standard of merit to recognize creative work.

To see more... Read More

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Storytelling Isn’t Just For Kids

Think of an unforgettable brand. What makes it stand out from all the others?

Part of the stickiness this brand has can be tied to its “narrative” – the story that tells who the brand is, what it stands for, and who it aims to be. Brand narratives are becoming more and more critical as marketing, technology and consumers evolve.   As a trend, we’re witnessing customers care about more than just price or product.  They want to believe in what they buy and who they buy it from.

Weaving creative platforms, like entertainment media, and music into storytelling can help brands rise above advertising and promotions, which allows them to connect with customers outside of transactional cycles. These content mediums allow a brand to get personal and engage with audiences without having to hard sell. This type of interaction has the power to not only appeal to the senses, but also enrich the brand story.

Of the many benefits we hear from brands who have developed and tell their narratives with branded content, these are the most common:

  • It uniquely positions the brand. No longer is the brand/customer interaction based purely on advertising.
  • The connection made has an emotional appeal, allowing... Read More

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3 Things Video Marketers Can Learn from Hollywood

We’re in a visual age. Screen sizes are larger, WIFI speeds are faster, and the tools and programs used for producing visual mediums are growing in number and sophistication.

All of these factors contribute to why 92% of companies use video in their marketing mixes*, making it the number one content marketing format. Video is the quintessential storytelling tool and for brands trying to nurture prospects through a sales cycle or engage their customers between transactional points, it can help cut through the clutter.

But merely producing and posting isn’t enough. Here are three things video marketers should keep in mind when formulating and executing on a video content initiative:

1)   Shoot as much as possible at once, then release in parts. Big blockbusters typically come with big budgets (and in turn are expected to produce big results). But event the biggest films are produced with efficiency in mind. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, and the Kill Bill volumes were each filmed concurrently to reduce costs and time, and then packaged as individual movies that were released independently. Content marketers can take the same approach when planning a video story or series... Read More

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Business music licensing

Playing music from your iPod to customers? Stop now. (2 of 4)

In post #2 of 4 in our series on music licensing for business, we dive into the difference between licenses for business use vs. licenses for consumer use and what types of business need to have commercial licenses.

When you stream music from the internet using Spotify, purchase a CD, or download a song from iTunes, you pay only for personal use rights.  Personal use rights usually include the Master Use License and Mechanical License necessary to play the work for yourself (if you are wondering what those are, check out the first post in this series.)   Keep in mind that personal use rights acquired when making music purchases do not carry over to commercial settings.

Title 17 of US Copyright Law protects Public Performance Rights and lays out the ownership, scenarios and responsibilities for the licensing of music.

“Public” is defined as “a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered.”  A public performance also occurs when the performance is transmitted by means of any device to the public.  Businesses fall into these categories,... Read More

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Dean Carlson, Music Supervisor, PlayNetwork

People at Play :: Dean Carlson, Music Supervisor

Our series, People at Play, highlights the creative minds who fuel PlayNetwork – a little bit of wisdom & insight, a little bit of rock & roll, straight from our teams.

Who :: Dean Sven Carlson

What :: Music Supervisor/Procurement – I direct and collaborate with a variety of clients; curating their monthly playlists and helping them communicate their brand through the language of music. I also serve as air traffic controller for new submissions to our massive music library, working closely with labels, promoters, managers and artists.

How :: I had a wild and wonderful career in commercial broadcast radio; playing the hits, winning awards, achieving high ratings, and breaking many new artists. I made the jump to web radio, during its infancy, and launched my own modern global radio show, which was syndicated world-wide to over 25 countries. In addition to media, I’ve worked in event management, design and promotion for a variety of organizations, including: Bumbershoot, SIFF, WOMAD, The Recording Academy, and the Decibel Festival.

♩)    What is the most important thing for you understand before you begin the music curation process for a brand? How do you instill trust that you... Read More

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Music & Marketing Intelligence Center from PlayNetwork

Introducing PlayNetwork’s Music & Marketing Intelligence Center, a sponsorship with Advertising Age

In our daily conversations with brands large and small, we frequently get asked similar questions about music, brands, consumers, and marketing, including:

  • What should a brand consider when incorporating music into the brand identity or marketing mix?
  • What trends do we see in the way brands use music today and foresee in the future?
  • What effect can music have on the customer experience?
  • What goes into building a music program that aligns with brand strategy?
  • How can a brand take a music strategy global?
  • What are the best ways to use music content in across customer touch points – in-store, at events, through the web, and on device?

We’ve answered all these and more in our Music & Marketing Intelligence Center, a digital experience hosted by the leading publication for advertising and marketing, Advertising Age.

Here you can find a wealth of content related to the topic, including our nine keys to marketing through and with music in 2014, an original mini-documentary on music discovery, a video series on building a music program, case studies on recent brand initiatives, an Ask the Expert area with answers to submitted questions (where you can also submit your... Read More

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Retail’s Evolution, One Movement at a Time

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Today, consumers’ desires are channel agnostic and developed from the knowledge and information that’s available across channels, a result of the omni-channel movement.  How do retail brands maintain channels that can keep up with customer expectations and anticipate them going forward?

In a recent PwC study, the solution is found in a new business model which they call Total Retail.  The building blocks for Total Retail call for less focus on channels and more focus on customers.   It includes a “Chief Customer Officer,” a leader who owns the customer experience, regardless of channel, and focuses on developing a brand experience to meet these 8 customer expectations:

  • The desire to discover a compelling brand story that promises a distinct experience.  This is the #1 factor consumers give for shopping at their favorite retailers.  They hear a voice bigger than the shopping experience.
  • Personalization, which is defined as customized offers based on protected personal preferences and information.  Retailers can craft and deliver the right offers at the right time based on past purchases or predictive analytics.
  • Access to enhanced and consistent experience across all devices–this is omni-channel.  However, keep in mind that experiences do not have to be identical; it’s more important for... Read More

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A New Era at PlayNetwork

The PlayNetwork story has always been about growth.  Since 1996, we’ve evolved from an in-store music service to the leading global provider of immersive brand experiences.  Our footprint has grown to now reach over 100 million consumers every day through the world’s most recognized brands in over 107 countries.

To support the next phase of our vision, we’re passing the torch.

It’s with tremendous appreciation that we share Lon Troxel’s retirement from his role as PlayNetwork’s CEO, and announce the election of Craig Hubbell as his successor in this role.  We thank Lon for his dedication to our growth, stability, and culture, and wish him the very best in retirement.

Our goals have not changed. Under Craig’s leadership, we will remain true to what we do best:  helping brands create emotional connections with consumers across the globe through branded entertainment media.  We’re committed to global growth and innovation, while leveraging insights to deliver impactful experiences.

We are one team with one vision, and will continue to celebrate our culture through our Core Values and Guiding Principles.

We thank you — our team, our partners and our customers – for your continued dedication, loyalty and business as... Read More

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Playing Music From Your iPod to Customers? Stop Now. (1 of 4)

Music is a key element in creating an enjoyable customer experience, and understanding what’s legally required to play music isn’t the easiest thing to wrap your head around.  In an effort to simplify the requirements for licensing music in a business setting, we’re publishing a series of four blog posts that dive into the topic.

Our goal is to help you understand what it takes to meet the legal music licensing requirements for commercial settings, whether you’re a single location business or a global brand.  We’ll cover the different types of licenses, the difference between a business and consumer license, where the fees go and the consequences of playing unlicensed music.

Here is post 1 of 4 – Enjoy!

Music rights ownership

Whether you’re a store, clinic, or restaurant, it’s important to make sure you have all your bases covered when it comes to music licensing.  In the U.S. there are three main types of music licenses that need to be obtained by businesses: Master Use, Mechanical, and Public Performance.  In order to publicly transmit or perform protected work, it needs to be licensed from the associated rights holder for all three types.

Master Use License – Gives the rights... Read More

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Happy 1st Birthday to the Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiative!

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Today marks the Sea-Tac’s one-year anniversary of the City of Music program.   During the first year, the program was awarded “Best Arrivals Experience” by the FTE consisting of a panel of industry experts.  During the initiative’s second year, the number of live musicians playing throughout the terminal will be doubled.

“The expansion of the live music program allows us to connect with even more of the 34 million passengers who travel through Sea-Tac every year,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. “With the airport providing the first and last impression of Seattle, we have a unique opportunity to showcase our region’s iconic music culture — and support jobs in the local music industry.”

The Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiative includes more than just live music and overhead music in the terminal.  It also features artist-read public announcements, feature videos on terminal and baggage claim monitors, a local music web player available via the airport’s free wifi, and the City of Music App.

We have teamed up with Port of Seattle,The Office of Film + Music, and Seattle Music Commission to showcase the Northwest region’s music culture and enhance the experience of millions... Read More

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SXSW 2014 Recap – Julia’s Journal

Julia Cummings is Director of Music Services at PlayNetwork. She oversees the team of Music Supervisors who design in-store playlists (as well as on-line, video syncs, and beyond). With a background in radio production (KEXP) and Music Supervision herself, Julia has created the soundtracks for iconic fashion brands from Anthropologie to MAC Cosmetics.

SXSW is a sensory assault. A mad maze of music, music, people, music, lines, late-night food truck visits, sketchy bathrooms, drunk meanderers, and spontaneous jams in the middle of 6th street. Surprises. Navigating blocks and kids banging on buckets and the strangest strangers to catch as many shows as possible or just sitting on a dirty curb because your feet are so sore you JUST NEED TO SIT.  Then there is the dancing, the swaying, and the all-out full body listening to live performances- one after the next.

Day 1:

Check-in. Meet Susie Brown, from Lively formerly of PlayNetwork, for dinner.  Then journey off Rainey St. near the food cart court. Kind of a cool night. Cool enough to wish I brought a jacket, but not too cold for a Northwesterner. Very glad I catch moody set of Icelandic electronic (?) singer-songwriter Ásgeir... Read More

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SXSW Interactive 2014 | Infographic

SXSW Interactive 2014 | Infographic

SXSW Interactive 2014 | Wearables, privacy, security hawks

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DSE 2014 | Beyond the “Sign”

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This year the Digital Signage Expo hosted over 4,000 attendees in Las Vegas over three days. PlayNetwork had the privilege to present at the seminar, Beyond the “Sign”: Creating Experience and Enhancing Brands with Digital Media.  During the seminar, the panel discussed how digital signage can deliver an emotional experience that enhances a brand, captures a customer’s attention, while delivering a return on investment in media technology.  Examples highlighting the best ways to use content to achieve business goals, optimize promotions, support customer education and improve selling effectiveness internally.

Visit our DSE site  to download the full presentation, view the Instagram feed and access our resource center.

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The Changing Face of Retail – Five Ways Brands Can Keep Up

For retailers, integrating the latest technology is not a choice, it is a necessity. While technology has presented many challenges for brands, it has also created many opportunities.  From the guardian, here are five ways brands can keep up:

Channel Consistency – A brand’s message can get lost by consumers as they move across touch points; walking into the store, using their smart phone on the bus and then using their PC or tablet at home.  Brands must be structured to ensure consistent delivery.  This requires that brands not only know what their values are, but they also filter them across the organization, so the brand message can be expressed confidently across consumer platforms.

Offer Best-In-Class – With access to so many brands, across so many channels, consumers will quickly disregard anything that doesn’t live up to their expectations.  Brands must create a friction free world for consumer, while adapting internal technologies that will keep up.

Decentralize - Retailers must make consumer’s experience across channels easy and enjoyable, this might require small adjustments outside of high-level brand strategies.  There are so many small interactions outside of a brand’s control that all employees touching customers, from store managers to customer service agents... Read More

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Tom Cruise. Robocop. Fight Club. Here’s What They Have In Common.

Minority Report - Robocop - Fight Club

In Minority Report, Tom Cruise is greeted at The Gap by a digital display asking how those tank tops worked out from his last shopping excursion. Robocop’s head mounted display recognized faces and displayed information about the subject in target. Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club flips through Ikea catalogs wondering what kind of dining set defines him as a person, set to a virtual catalogue of his condo.

What do these movies all have in common? Augmented Reality technology. The idea of Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for decades, but not until recently have we seen this futuristic technology being remarkably employed in commerce. AR offers the ability to provide brands content rich, utility based experiences that can entertain, educate, and capture –and even better, retain – customers.

The more time we spend interacting with a brand, the more likely we are to develop a loyalty and affinity for said brand. There’s no room for gimmicks in Augmented Reality anymore – used without content in the proper context, shelf life is low, with a one and done approach. But when used... Read More

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Hong Kong Joins Our Global Teams

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

We are excited to announce the expansion of PlayNetwork’s global reach with the addition of our new Hong Kong office. In addition to this new office, PlayNetwork has locations in London, England; Columbus, OH; Sherman Oaks, CA; New York City; and our headquarters in Redmond, WA, allowing us to continue delivering consistent brand experiences globally.

The new Hong Kong office, located in Causeway Bay, will enable us to continue to expand services throughout the Asia Pacific region. Along with our office announcement, we welcome Leo Ku as Managing Director, Asia Pacific. Leo comes to PlayNetwork with an extensive history in business development, growth management, sales & marketing, media innovation, and deep knowledge in Asia markets.

As part of our commitment to provide brands with content, services, and solutions, PlayNetwork Hong Kong has launched a free monthly event series called Retail Thursday. Through this networking event, participants can explore innovative ideas and learn about the rapidly evolving retail industry.

Welcome to the team, Hong Kong! 欢迎!

View the press release here: Read More

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How to Meet Omni-Channel Shopper’s Expectations

ImageImageImageA new study reveals that 63% consumers felt their in-store holiday shopping experience could have been improved.  More than half of those that want improvement said they’d consider using personalized coupons.  In fact, 85% of consumers prefer personalized offers that reflect their past shopping behavior.  Because consumers have the ability to access a plethora of information across so many channels, they expect nothing less than a superior and personalized experience when they arrive at a store.

Shoppers are prepared to take their business where they feel their business is valued – 92% said they would be more likely to return to a store if an in-store discount was given as a follow-up.

What else can brands do to capture the attention of shoppers that are seamlessly maneuvering channels to find exactly what they want?

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The Emotions of Sound

This visually entrancing website created by hearing care company Amplifon asks: how do you feel?

Sounds can evoke every type of emotion, stir our memories, and help connect us to the world. This campaign created by marketing firm Epiphany takes us on a sonic tour of the sounds we encounter in our daily lives. So – how do you feel? 

Click through below:

Emotions of Sound Interactive Survey from Amplifon

Emotions of Sound by Amplifon

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