2014 was a great year for many – weed smokers, Outkast fans, and Taylor Swift among them. It was also a great year for Listen. And so, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve been able to achieve in the past 12 months. We helped the emerging artist program, Ones to Watch with Skype, become even stronger with some great bands and the launch of The Skype Six. Some of this year’s best emerging talent had the opportunity to connect with fans like never before through Skype.
We provided Skype with original compositions for several videos that demonstrate their ever-expanding product features and user journeys. This year Skype was everywhere- from classrooms, to movie premiers, to thousands of feet underwater– and we provided the soundtrack to many of those stories. We also created product sounds for Skype’s new video message app, Qik!
We ventured down south for the mayhem of Bonnaroo. Nearly 100,000 people attended the festival this year and we were there to help Skype give each of them the chance to get closer to their favorite artists on the lineup.
We brought the Skype experience to Sasquatch! We created the Skype Music Room, a magical dome in which visitors became the DJs and got to remix themselves and others. Not only that, but we brought in some of the festival’s talent to delight fans with surprise performances.
We composed music for luxury car brand, Audi’s, #paidmydues campaign. As part of the campaign, a curated group of 15 creators, musicians, filmmakers, artists, and performers were brought together to tell their stories of struggle and accomplishment and share that with the world. Listen stepped in and created original music to help bring their stories to life.
With the satisfaction of a great year nearly behind us, we can’t wait for what’s to come. We’ve got some big projects to share in the coming months and we couldn’t be more excited. Cheers to 2015!
As part of our ongoing work for Skype, we’re helping the brand connect fans and artists through The Ones to Watch with Skype Tour. For the latest episodes, Skype checks in with MKTO, the latest pop band heating up the charts. Tony Oller and Malcolm Kelley, both former stars of Nickelodeon’s hit show Gigantic, are no strangers to the spotlight. But as part of the Ones to Watch with Skype tour, the boys are experiencing their first time on the road as a headlining band. Skype caught up with MKTO in sunny Orlando to let the band’s biggest fans get closer to the boys they love. In the videos below they answer questions about their biggest inspirations, their days on set, and how to rise above the haters. There are smiles, tears of joy, backstage hangs, and you can watch it all below.
For the latest episode of Ones to Watch, Skype got to catch up with Turnpike Troubadours in Madison, Wisconsin. As a self-proclaimed ‘red dirt’ band from Oklahoma, Turnpike Troubadours are all about staying close to their roots. But it isn’t always easy to stay connected with the ones you love while you’re on the road for months on end. So Skype sat down with the boys to learn more about their beginnings and meet some of the people that helped pave their road to success. Watch below as Turnpike Troubadours use Skype to have a group video chat with their booking agent, Jon, and friends Tim and Jason.
And let’s not forget about the fans! Perhaps just as important as those early influencers in a band’s career, the fans are what make it all happen. And no one knows that better than Turnpike Troubadours. In their second Ones to Watch episode, the band connects with some of their biggest fans over Skype video calls. Below you’ll see them answer questions about their album covers, song-writing process, and more . Check it out!
Now that the dust has finally settled from the Sasquatch! Music Festival, we’re ready to reflect on the weekend and the memories we helped make with the Skype Music Room. On day 1 of the festival Irish singer-songwriter, Foy Vance, came by the Music Room to record a Skype Video Message and flex his electronic dance muscle.
Australian rock band, Cloud Control, joined us on the second day of the festival and answered some fan questions using Skype. Watch below as they talk weird fan gifts and meeting Grumpy Cat. They also stopped by the Music Room and we got to see firsthand their gifts in commanding a crowd- it was epic!
The indie rock band, The Lonely Forest, kept the energy and good vibes going for the third and final day of the festival. They had everyone dancing in the Skype Music Room and invited their fans to play along.
Most importantly, the weekend was a huge success thanks to all of the Sasquatch fans that came to check out the Skype Music Room. We had a great time and saw some fantastic Video Messages remixed in the dome. So what’s next for us? Bonnaroo! If you’re going to be there stop by the Skype booth for your chance to ask artists questions using Skype Video Messages. See you there!
At this weekend’s Sasquatch! music festival, we’re constructing an interactive space that combines original music, mind-bending projections, and uses people as the content. The Skype Music Room allows festival goers to create music in real time using Skype Video Messages as beats through our Digital Sound Interface, easy enough for anyone to use. Check out the video above for our demonstration with Sydney-based indie rock band, Cloud Control. The Skype Music Room lets you be part of the Sasquatch experience in a unique way—whether you’re at the festival, or checking it out from home. All you need to do to become part of it is send a video message (hopefully a fun, friendly one) to Skype_Sasquatch or click here.
Your video can then be turned into music and projected onto the walls of the Skype Music Room for everyone to enjoy.
Audi A3’s campaign, #paidmydues, focuses on people determined and working hard in their respective fields, providing them with a platform to tell their stories of struggle and accomplishment that have transformed their lives. #paidmydues was launched by a live-streamed, full day event from Santa Monica Airport’s hanger 8 on May 7th, gathering an Audi-curated group of 15 creators, musicians, filmmakers, artists, and performers who have paid their dues. Featured creatives include graffiti artist Madsteez, freestyle rapper Oddisee, comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade, chef Jordan Kahn, comic book creator Jim Mahfood, DJ Dam-Funk, and animators Oh Yeah Wow, among others. Their stories, creations, and performances encouraged others to do the same with a contagious objective to share the inspiration with others.
With branded content, comes branded music. Listen stepped in and created original music to:
Tie multiple stories together through an original main theme track and six variations in different styles
Create music congruent to Audi’s branding
Connect with Audi’s target audience
We were happy to “pay our dues” with this project in the ongoing pursuit of helping brands utilize music to strengthen the connection with their audience.
It’s been a few months since we’ve given our blog some love with the latest music, tech, and branding/advertising news from around the web. But that’s all about to change. We look forward to bringing you more of what we’re experiencing and inspired by at the intersection of the music and brands on a regular basis.There’s been a plethora of innovative happenings taking place lately and noteworthy topics catching our eye — such as this Fast Company article taking a close look at Converse’s music and artist partnerships strategy, which goes into detail on how they support musicians without the ‘ick-factor’. In other news, music analytics have become quite the hot topic, receiving increased awareness as they support A&R practices by helping labels predict future hits. And hats off to independent musician Owen Pallett for satisfying studied music folks and Daft Punk fans everywhere with his music theory-based analysis of the genius behind last summer’s dance-pop anthem, “Get Lucky.”While we’re catching you up, we should also mention some work Listen has been involved with lately. We have been supporting Skype on a few music/sound and live event-based projects, such as their Ones to Watch program in conjunction with Live Nation. Featured electro-pop band, Cherub, used Skype to answer fan questions and perform a special set for them in our NYC studio. The Ones To Watch program launched early this year and highlights the very best emerging artists and bands. We also assisted Skype at the TED Conference in Vancouver last March, which included a panel discussion with DIY artist and queen of crowdfunding, Amanda Palmer, alongside Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler. You can check out the full discussion online. More on that later. Watch this space for more updates! Just don’t call it a comeback.
Listen works to build brand affinity/ advocacy with TED’s Professional Innovator and Social Connectors audience by driving Skype’s Video innovation and message “It’s amazing what you can achieve when you come together in the moment.” Grammy award winning composer Eric’s Whitacre’s vision, to conduct a live choir from all corners of the globe at TED’s closing ceremony, is brought to life.
Working with TED, Skype and Eric, Lisetn created a version of Eric’s “Cloudburst” composition and delivered his vision through the world’s first live global choir of 100 choristers and a virtual choir of 30 people, live on Skype from 30 countries
The results, over 520,000 views post-event content