The Sunnier Side of the Office – April 4, 2016

12ac9e32-a3a1-4be0-b2ea-1a83f5f080c7Soundcloud Launches Subscription Service
With music streaming officially become the industry’s primary source of revenue, it was only a matter of time before Soundcloud joined in the fun. Last week the service announced a new service, Soundcloud Go, that will cost $9.99 a month ($12.99, for iOS users) and give subscribers access to their massive library of music as well as an offline listening option. Soundcloud will continue to operate a free service with ads and it will continue to encourage independent artists, to upload their music, which has been their calling card in the streaming market, particularly in the electronic dance music genre. To date, the service has over 175 million users many of whom contribute to the 12 hours of music uploaded every minute.

Soundcloud will be hoping that it can turn many of its loyal listeners into subscribers, which may prove difficult given the DIY nature of the service that lends itself to free spaces. Indeed, the independent artists are what gives Soundcloud the biggest library out of all the services, however, a great deal of that library comes from amateur artists and DJs. While the plethora of amateur songs is certainly part of the appeal, there are plenty of other places to find DIY music on the internet that don’t cost $10 a month.

1c2b494d-39c2-4317-b76c-3e877a15a40bFacebook Live has the Viewers But Not the Revenue, Yet
Facebook launched a live video service, much like Twitter’s Periscope. It’s already attracting viewers at a fast rate — the view counts for local weather broadcast are in the tens of thousands. It already has media companies eager to take a crack and attract some of the 1.6 billion users Facebook has. However, Facebook has been reluctant to move along with plans for revenue sharing or advertising. Their priority, at the moment, is to attract viewers to the product, something much more difficult when the space is full of brands to begin with. To be sure, Facebook is reaching out to media companies and advertisers to ensure that Facebook Live generates revenue for the company. Already, companies like TMZ and the Huffington Post are on board.

b853990a-a26b-4149-baec-ed2e3f44de86Are Brand’s Chatbots the Future of Customer Service?
This week, AdWeek sought an answer for the question of chatbots, which are growing in popularity amongst brands. Do they actually have any staying power? It may seem counter-intuitive, given that brands are often criticized for using bots on Twitter. But the rise of messaging apps like WhatsApp and Kik show that a younger generation might not care as much. Brands like Barbie, Facebook, and Uber have used chatbots to reach people and many more brands are eager to try it out.

Recently, Microsoft unveiled a bot that was built to learn how to interact like a millennial. However, if these brands truly knew millennials, they would know how little regard they have for Branded chatbots or clean internet spaces. And in a predictably short amount of time, a few hardworking trolls had Microsoft’s bot talking about eugenics and smoking pot in front of police officers. Who could have predicted that?

877e4adc-a201-4e0d-9304-8abd8164dda2Media Partner of the Week: .Mic

Millennials deserve a news outlet that provides quality coverage that is tailored to their needs, which is exactly what Mic wants to achieve. The stories and tone that Mic produces reflect how millennials understand topics in the world today. Mic believes in stories and information that have an effect on people, which has proven to be successful as seen their outlet reaches 30 million people each month.

Mic has the team and tools to create custom articles and high-impact units for its partners. Its brand content team will work with partners to write custom content that resonates with the millennial audience. They also will build a custom hub to house all co-created branded content in one location. Custom sponsorship opportunities are also an option that Mic provides to their partners such as editorial sponsorships, video sponsorships and events. Some of the partners that Mic has recently worked with include Hulu, REI, Netflix and more.

c64b8775-c376-4a71-8873-3c13e4391122This Week in Social: Loud, Proud, And Always On

The variety of ways that social media is affecting our daily lives seems to be ever-evolving and rapidly increasing, but those most affected by this: the richfamous, and rich and famous politicians; all with follower counts rivaling the populations of major metropolitan cities.

Social media also makes it easy for “leaked” photos and videos to spread at an alarming rate. Just ask the latest victims, LA Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Nick “Swaggy P” Young, and pop star Iggy Azalea who were the focus of a video leak scandal (which did not come from Snapchat, so keep using those new messaging features released last week), or classic 80’s icon, Hulk Hogan, who recently won a case against media outlet Gawker.

With their unfiltered access to share every thought with the masses, this can make a publicist’s job very easy or could induce near heart failure in even the most seasoned social media veteran. If this annoys you, maybe move to a remote island  and go off the grid. That’s likely the only way to escape the social media machine.