UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

Universal Music, which promotes its international artists through the “Sound of Today” playlist, tested audience response to Instagram video ads and learned that the ads resulted in a 2.5X lift in intent to listen to the advertised playlist.

THE STORY
Making the world brighter with music

Universal Music Group (UMG) is a world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audio-visual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring a comprehensive catalogue of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists, as well as produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music throughout the world. UMG promotes its international artists through its “Sound of Today” playlist.

2.5-point

lift in intent to listen to the advertised playlist

5X

higher action intent when using Thruplay optimization, compared to conversion optimization

We were looking for the best way to maximize the number of songs played on each streaming service. With this campaign, we’ve established that video ads yield high ad recall rates and also boost the audience’s appetite for our artists’ music. These insights will greatly affect the number of playlists we develop.
SHUHEI TATE, ADVERTISING STRATEGY DEPARTMENT, UNIVERSAL MUSIC JAPAN LLC
THE GOAL
Increasing playlist streams

Universal has often optimized its playlist campaigns to reach a larger audience, but the entertainment company wanted to test a new approach that optimized Instagram and Facebook ads for both reach and intent to listen to the playlist.

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THE SOLUTION
Testing recall and intent to listen

Universal Music Japan used Linkfire, a music marketing tool, for conversion analysis, but it also tested which type of optimization would motivate people to listen to the “Sound of Today” playlist: conversion or ThruPlay.

For the test, the team ran a video ad campaign across Instagram and Facebook. The mobile-optimized ad featured a compilation of artist music videos set to a popular song by a Universal artist. The call to action encouraged viewers to listen to the “Sound of Today” playlist.

The campaign ran from March 17–31, 2020 and was targeted to a wide Japanese audience interested in music. Results showed a significant increase in people’s willingness to watch the ad. Universal Music Japan also conducted a brand lift test, which showed a positive uptick in viewers’ intent to act, and provided insights about the impact of video ads, especially on ad recall. The campaign results include:

  • 2.5-point lift in intent to listen to the advertised playlist

  • 5X higher action intent when using Thruplay optimization, compared to conversion optimization