Platforms Featured ANZ

TikTok launches Australia-exclusive digital radio station with iHeartRadio

Sydney, Australia – A big part of TikTok videos becoming viral are the music that creators use and choose to play their entertainment reels, with old songs being given a second life while up and coming ones getting their well-deserved listen. TikTok, particularly in Australia, has taken attention to this trend, and has therefore decided to release its own digital radio station. 

The short-video platform has partnered with global radio platform iHeartRadio for an exclusive Australian digital radio station catered to take popular TikTok songs to the airwaves.

Called ‘TikTok Trending’, the digital radio station will broadcast popular TikTok songs 24/7 in a span of three months. In addition to that, popular tracks from well-known artists like Dua Lipa and Cardi B, revived old tracks like Fleetwood Mac, as well as promoting local artists that have become overnight viral sensations will be promoted on the station.

“For us, this radio station is a testament to TikTok’s growing credentials in the music industry and the influence the platform has in propelling talent and tracks from the platform and into the mainstream music scene. We’d love you to tune in,” TikTok said in a press statement.

‘TikTok Trending’ will be hosted by four personalities, namely Australian singer-songwriter Georgia Flipo commonly known as G Flip, indigenous Australian artist Isaiah Firebrace, YouTube comedy star Tannar Eacott, and musical artist Avneesha.

The show will welcome a line-up of guest hosts, including popular creators, local artists, and international stars, which will be graced first by British singer-songwriter Rita Ora.

“Connecting with my Australian fans on TikTok has been incredible. Their creativity is so inspiring and being able to engage with them on the platform has been amazing, which is why I am beyond excited to take on this guest hosting gig with iHeartRadio. I’ll be sharing the top TikTok tracks with you, talking about my favorite songs, and even sharing some insider info with you on the trending songs we all love,” Rita Ora said.

Meanwhile, Brett ‘Nozz’ Nossiter, content director at iHeartRadio, commented, “We share the TikTok community’s passion for exploring, creating and enjoying a diverse array of music, and we’re so excited to be able to support emerging and established musicians who have enjoyed success on TikTok, and amplify their music to an even bigger audience of fans.”

According to Ollie Wards, director of music at TikTok ANZ, this new partnership reflects how the platform is making its mark on the music industry – with artists today turning to the platform to launch new music, resurface classic tracks and connect with fans across the globe. 

“Emerging acts, still in the ‘bedroom’ stage, love TikTok because they’re able to reach new audiences, build a following and achieve success on their own terms, off the back of raw talent, creativity and charisma. Established artists have also been tapping into TikTok, particularly at a time when shows and live music are off the cards in most parts of the world,” Wards stated.

Platforms Featured Global

YouGov widens esports fan profiling with newly enhanced tool

London, United Kingdom – Market research company YouGov has announced upgrades to its online tool Global Fan Profiles, an insights service platform, which now includes tracking of fan sentiments regarding esports globally.

Initially, Global Fan Profiles is built upon more than 300,000 interviews per year collected on a continuous basis. It provides an instant view of the size, make-up, attitudes, and behaviors of fan bases in 32 key esports markets including the United States, China, India, Brazil, Germany, South Korea, and Malaysia.

Furthermore, the online tool is designed to help properties, sponsors, and rights holders identify the size of their fan bases, who their fans are, how fans consume content, and how they align with the thousands of brands and audience trends YouGov tracks on a daily basis.

According to the company, the enhanced Global Fan Profiles means shedding light on the nuisance marketers often face when dealing with the specifics and market base for the esports industry.

“It gives an instant view of fan bases around the world, providing comprehensive and precise data across 200 leagues, 50 events, 45+ game titles, and 2,000 teams in sport and esports. Subscribers can easily create side-by-side comparisons of individual game titles, leagues, events, tournaments, and team fan bases,” the company said in a statement.

YouGov Global Fan Profiles provides a much deeper dataset than just isolated esports and sports attitudes. Subscribers can connect data across sport and esports with core demographics, media consumption, brand preference, and interest, as well as following, viewing, and awareness.

Some of the benefits also include:

  • Sponsorship: Develop compelling propositions using real data on the number of fans a title, league or team has, who they are, and how they align with potential sponsors 
  • Esport properties: Create side-by-side comparisons of individual game titles, leagues, events, tournaments, and team fan bases 
  • Marketing: Use media consumption data to more effectively and efficiently reach target consumers 
  • Strategy: Assess international market differences in fan base size and make-up to inform strategic plans and decisions 
  • Broadcast: Prove growth and composition of a fan base to support broadcast negotiations 
  • Sponsor activation: Use fan profile data to create laser-focused activation strategies with real impact 
  • Benchmark: Compare fan bases with key competitors for internal analysis or external validation 

For Nicole Pike, YouGov’s global sector head of esports and gaming, the Global Fan Profiles tool can aid in “moving the conversation away from generic ‘esports fans’ and toward a more nuanced view of the distinct fan bases within this growing space.”

“Esports is such a valuable and fast-developing industry that properties, partners, and rights holders deserve to have accurate and always-on data at their fingertips. Sponsors are getting more sophisticated about how and where they choose to invest in the space, and YouGov Global Fan Profiles is the most comprehensive, in-depth, and valuable dataset in the market,” Pike stated.

Marketing Featured East Asia

Big Hit Entertainment, UMG announce expanded partnership

Seoul, South Korea – Big Hit Entertainment, the South Korea-based entertainment group which handles various K-pop artists, including world-known group BTS, has announced it is entering an expanded strategic partnership with global music corporation Universal Music Group (UMG).

The partnership entails both companies working closely together in increasing opportunities for artists through innovation and technology, while expanding the global reach of K-pop music and culture around the world.

Furthermore, the partnership will allow UMG artists to explore enhanced ‘direct to fan’ communications through Big Hit’s Weverse, a dynamic community-based platform that allows loyal artist fans to engage, share and interact, see and hear new content and purchase new products.

“Our two companies indeed share values and visions in that we both pursue constant innovations and are committed to providing our fans with genuine music and content of the highest and uncompromising level of quality. In this sense, I strongly believe that UMG and Big Hit will create a synergy that will rewrite the global music history,” said Bang Si-Hyuk, chairman and CEO of Big Hit Entertainment.

The partnership, announced through the recently-established live-streaming platform of Big Hit Entertainment called KBYK’s VenewLive, also stated details about assembling and debuting a new global K-pop boy group together in the U.S. for the first time.

“We will strive to secure competitive platform leadership and develop a top group of artists through the close partnership between our two companies, enabling K-pop to transcend all borders and languages. This project is especially significant as it will apply Big Hit’s ‘success formula’ established over the past 16 years to the U.S., the center of the global music market,” said Lenzo Yoon, CEO of global and business at Big Hit Entertainment.

Members of this new boy group will be selected through a global audition program, which is on track to begin airing in 2022 and will be launched in conjunction with a major U.S. media partner. The debuting global act will work based on the K-pop system – a full production that combines music, performance, fashion, music video, and communications with fans.

Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “With their innovative approach to developing artists and embracing new technology, Big Hit has become one of the most dynamic companies in music entertainment. We’re thrilled to be working together as we launch a new joint venture between our companies that will further accelerate K-pop as a global cultural phenomenon.”

The upcoming audition program will also seek the help of Geffen Records, leveraging their extensive industry network and partners to oversee the music production, marketing, and global distribution operations. Big Hit will utilize its global expertise to lead the discovery, training, and development of new artists, fan content production processes, and management of fan communications through the Weverse platform.

John Janick, Chairman, and CEO at Interscope Geffen, commented, “We are all incredibly excited about this joint venture project between Geffen Records and Big Hit. This partnership offers both of us an incredible opportunity to work together helping to shape the future of music globally to the benefit of artists and fans alike.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Wattpad expands SEA reach, partners with marketing agency Culture Group

Singapore – Social storytelling platform Wattpad, through its advertising and partnerships arm Wattpad Brand Partnerships, has partnered with pop culture-inclined marketing agency Culture Group to bolster’s Wattpad presence in the Southeast Asia region.

Through the partnership, Culture Group will help connect brands to Wattpad’s growing Gen Z audience, which has now reached a global community of over 90 million people, including more than 22 million users in Asia-Pacific countries. Wattpad is a platform where users can post self-written stories, novels, and full-on books, which are then voted by readers by genre and popularity. 

Over the years, Wattpad has been recognized by various media entities in Southeast Asia. The company’s studio division, Wattpad Studios, has produced hit projects like ‘Slow Dancing’, a six-episode series from Mediacorp and Wattpad in Singapore; and ‘Turn On’ from Wattpad, Vidio, and Screenplay Entertainment in Indonesia. 

Wattpad also works with Anvil Publishing, Inc., one of the leading book publishers in the Philippines, to bring Wattpad stories to bookstores. The companies have partnered to create Bliss Books, a ground-breaking YA imprint for Filipino book lovers.

Furthermore, the move will offer advertisers more opportunities to tap into Wattpad Influencers, original stories, and thriving Southeast Asian fan communities for innovative brand campaigns and activations. Brands will be able to create content-driven marketing programs in a variety of formats, including audio and video content, associated with fan-favorite Wattpad’s stories. 

Commenting on the partnership, Chris Stefanyk, head of Wattpad Brand Partnerships said their expansion to the SEA region responds to a larger untapped younger generation for brands to be exposed to.

“Southeast Asia is home to some of the largest and most engaged communities on our platform, and there’s enormous potential for brands to tap into the Wattpad Stars and long-form Influencers that have found international fame on Wattpad. We’re excited to work with more brands in Southeast Asia to tell their stories in a culturally relevant way that resonates with today’s youth,” Stefanyk stated.

Meanwhile, Culture Group’s founder and president Michael Patent, stated, “We believe firmly that Gen Z is the world’s ‘creation generation’ and nowhere is this more apparent than on Wattpad, where amazing stories are told. We’re thrilled to be partnered with Wattpad in creating immersive, multi-format partnerships through content and fan communities in Southeast Asia.”