Coke Music TV: How a Spontaneous Olympics Live Stream Led to the Brand's New Music Initiative

Cody Simpson,Smells Like Teen Spirit,YouNow,Twitter,Streaming media,Concert,Music,Coca-Cola

FACEBOOK TWITTER EMAIL ME What started as a spontaneous live video activation before the Summer Olympics has grown into the Coca-Cola Co.'s latest tactic to connect with fans of its brand through music. "We came across this by accident. Cody Simpson was in Rio for a pre-Olympic event because he was one of our Olympic ambassadors, and he decided to spontaneously put on a little sunset show on Copacabana Beach," says Joe Belliotti, head of global entertainment at Coca-Cola. "He tweeted it out, and he mentioned it to one of our colleagues at Coke. So right then we decided, 'Let's live stream this.' The crowd got too big and the police arrived and had to escort him out. But we knew we were on to something." That something is Coke Music TV, featuring music artists who deliver a live feed in a Coke-curated environment -- some more subtly than others. Since April 2016, the company has broadcast 49 live streams across platforms including Periscope, Facebook Live and YouNow that have garnered more than 3 million total live viewers. Tune-in time has averaged between two and six minutes, and 23 of the broadcasts trended on Periscope. To date, Coke's biggest live music activation was from the red carpet at the 2016 American Music Awards, for which Coke was a sponsor, with a YouNow that drew 1.3 million live impressions, 58 million in total. But the company is eschewing big events for the majority of its broadcasts and instead training its live lens on studios, tour busses, artists' homes and hotel lobbies, the latter via a partnership with Aloft Hotels. "People can [already] find that content on their feed," Belliotti says of event footage. "We have to create a different experience that they can't get anywhere else." Live video is a growing social phenom. According to Facebook Live data, 26 percent of people are interested in watching live streams broadcast by brands and companies. While businesses are grappling with how to monetize the market, the ability to connect live with fans is resonating both with artists and industry marketers. They're...

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