GNF hit the open road this summer to join Maestro Dobel® Tequila at Bonnaroo, the out-of-this-world summer music festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Boasting 150 artists, 700 acres, and countless memories, Maestro Dobel set up its one-of-a-kind Piano Bar at what has become one of the largest annual music festivals.
Any of Bonnaroo’s 85,000 visitors could stop by The Piano Bar in the artist hospitality area during the four-day festival for some fun, sun, and – most importantly – tequila. Visitors had opportunities to get cool giveaways and sip on delicious cocktails featuring Maestro Dobel Tequila, all while being entertained with piano music by Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie.
With Adam on the keys, entertaining the crowds and having fun with the artists, it’s no surprise that The Piano Bar was a huge success. In fact, we’re taking The Piano Bar setup around the country to other huge music festivals like Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, and Austin City Limits. So, if you’re planning on attending any of those festivals, make sure to keep an eye out for the tent; you won’t want to miss this!
Skittles is hosting an online auction in the Canadian market to give away dozens of Skittles-branded items, like a Grape Skittles Acoustic Guitar, a Strawberry Skittles Beanbag Chair, and a Green Apple Skittles Snowboard. All you need to do is place a bid on the item you’d like via an auto-generated Facebook post. The more “likes” you get on your post, the higher your bid amount. The bidder with the most “likes” wins the item. Simple, right? Well, yes – it actually is.
Why we’re hooked: In a world of increasingly complex and complicated promotions, Skittles keeps it simple with this approach, making it more accessible to users and therefore (hopefully) increasing participation and engagement.
Apple Music & Taylor Swift
Apple will finally join the world of streaming media. Its new service, Apple Music, will launch on June 30, 2015. Similar to other streaming services like Spotify and Rdio, you can pay a flat fee to access the catalogue of music and music videos owned by Apple, though there is no free service level. Consumers can try the app free for three months before committing, but the plan for this trial offer was not well-received by artists. Taylor Swift took to social media to voice her disappointment that Apple would not pay royalties to artists during all free trials. This is a real problem for independent artists and small labels who would miss out on the income from important album releases during the free trial timeframe.
Why we’re hooked: Ultimately, Apple changed their plan and announced it would pay full royalties during the free trial period. This is a true example of just how powerful social media can be, even against huge names like Apple and especially with a voice as influential as Taylor Swift leading the charge.
Twitter & Project Lightning
Twitter will be launching Project Lightning later this year, giving users access to a menu of curated, real-time content collections. Videos, images, tweets, vines and periscopes will be aggregated under event-based collections to gather relevant content and organize it for users.
Why we’re hooked: Traditionally, users had to log in to view Twitter content, and even then, they had to sift through to view relevant content. With Project Lightning, the curated content is available to everyone, with or without an account. This is a way that Twitter hopes to gain new users and create value for existing users in one shot.
Installing ad-blocking extensions to web browsers is becoming increasingly popular. Millennials are more likely to use these ad blockers than any other age group, indicating that the trend will only grow in the future. Ad blocking is becoming more accessible, not just on desktop, but on mobile as well as we’ve seen with Apple’s recent announcement to allow ad blocking extensions to function on their mobile Safari browser. The increasing popularity of ad blockers can be detrimental to online publishing businesses as it can cause a decrease in revenue, but it also impacts the consumer.
Why we’re hooked: Online publishers will need to look at other ways to either earn revenue or cut costs. When publishers can’t afford to keep producing free content for their visitors to enjoy, they may be forced to take measures like spending less on content creation costs, causing content quality to suffer. Publishers may turn to options that combat ad blocking such as paying the ad blockers themselves to allow ads to show up on their sites, ramping up native advertising, creating “freemium” versions of their sites, and most drastically, blocking content altogether from those who have enabled their ad blocker. This is not a new trend, but it isn’t one that’s going away, either. Online publishers will be watching closely, and we are likely to see them implementing solutions in the not-so-distant future.