SXSW Sydney 2023: Ryvalmedia Recaps Wednesday

Cameron Roberts MW at SXSW ryvalmedia

“The culture of brand partnerships has changed and that presents a lot more opportunity for everyone”

“There are only two things that can fill a stadium in this county, sport and music”. Dan Rosen, President of Australiasia at Warner Music Group, started one of the first sessions of Day 4 exploring how these two cultural pillars, working closer together, can be greater than the sum of their parts. Adam Goodes, the 17-year veteran of the Sydney Swans and now CEO of the Black Excellence Fund and Nina Agzarian of NLV Records talked how brands can better engage with talent.

Goodes spoke to the importance of long-term partnerships in his assessment of brand opportunities and the rising importance across the industry of shared values between talent and any potential deals. Shared values are becoming more important for athletes and that’s going to change the ability for some brands to engage with them.

Rosen said that when he was playing in indie bands, the idea of someone like Nirvana engaging in a corporate partnership would be completely out of the question. It has become accepted in culture by fans, and an important revenue stream for artists in the current climate. On Monday, John Graham, the Minister for Music and the Nighttime Economy told the audience that in the last 12 years, the amount of live music venues in Sydney has halved. Asked about this, Agzarian had a clear message on how to help revitalise live music here: Go to a gig. Be a fan. Engage with artists.

Music was a big theme in Day 4, with Nathan Thompson, Vice President Tour Marketing at Live Nation speaking about how consumer trends have drastically altered the live music and events industry post pandemic. Whilst the cost-of-living crisis is core to emerging trends, event-goers will still find a way attend an event they really want to attend, but it will often be events with niche followings that require a more strategic approach to sell tickets.

Nathan Thompson explained that “music and entertainment businesses need to focus have an audience-first approach rather than a channel-first approach”.

In a relatively packed room, Lara Thom, Global CMO of Guzman y Gomez led a panel discussing whether we can prove the money being spent on marketing makes an impact on a business’ bottom line.

Paul Sinkinson from Analytics Partners quite passionately spoke to how quickly brands introduce new campaigns well before they’ve seen any pay-off for the activity that’s running. While the panel spoke to this being a function of impatient marketers, agencies also influence the desire for new creative. Their business models are based on head hours, and it poses the question; is there the right incentive alignment for agencies today to focus on the key objectives of a company? Sinkinson brought up examples where a campaign’s returns significantly increased in the 3rd and 4th years of it running. Great creative work is fundamental in building strong memories for brands, but with news today of another big global consolidation of agencies, it makes the question more pertinent.

While we might not need creative changes in campaigns as quickly as they are happening today, Roxy Young, Chief Marketing and Consumer Experience Officer at Reddit spoke to the importance of consistently building community for brands. Young spoke to the increase influence of community in purchase decisions, from the car Young bought to skin routine, which were all recommended through Reddit.

To end the day, I decided to head to my old local, the Lord Gladstone in Chippendale. It’s a great pub, where a lot of Sydney bands play and in an alternative universe, the type of venue Nirvana would play in their early days. Out the back there was a big Meta façade. Seeing the 10th biggest company in the world by market cap in partnership with the Lord Gladstone, made me think about what Rosen said: the culture of brand partnerships has changed and that presents a lot more opportunity for everyone.

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