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ILMC speaker spotlight: Jeremy Paterson, IF Media

The International Live Music Conference (ILMC) is now less than a month away and, as more and more chairs and panellists are announced, IQ catches up with some key speakers to hear what they hope to get out of this year’s conference.

Following on from the previous Speakers Spotlight with Semmel Concerts’ Christian Scholz, Jeremy Paterson, managing director of IF Media Consultancy, shares his thoughts on what this year’s ILMC will bring.

Paterson is chairing the Brand Partnerships: Owning the Label panel, appearing alongside panellists Francesca Blackburn (WME), Gary Cohen (ATC Live), Will Dowdy (AEG), Debbie Ward (Paradigm) and Bob Workman (Warner Music) to discuss the changing nature of artist/brand partnerships and the rise of all-encompassing personality-based deals.


IQ: What do you foresee as the main talking points for the panel?

JP: The panel will focus on two main themes. Firstly, how the brand partnerships landscape has changed and how this has opened more opportunities for more artists and, secondly, how this change has affected or opened up the route to market for brands.

How do you think the relationship between artists and brands has changed in recent years?

Three key points…

The two worlds of brand and artists still remain very different, but the explosion of ways of expressing an artist have opened up many more tactical and strategic opportunities for artists and brand to work together. The nature of activity is changing too – everyone is expecting more from every deal.

“Music” partnerships are declining proportionally to “personality” partnerships

The market is polarising – at the top end, the campaigns and their deals are getting bigger and more complex and, at the bottom end, single-channel partnerships have exploded without defining an artist.

The way brand money is spent continues to evolve, partnership is on the rise – especially with artists showing more willing to embrace the relationships. Traditional sponsorship is under pressure because naming and tagging has become white noise in a world of colour. This has led to an explosion of creativity as everyone seeks to create bespoke content which delivers a win, win for all – artists, fans and brand alike.

“Music” partnerships are declining proportionally to “personality” partnerships. It’s a difficult one for artists, especially credible ones, to reconcile themselves with. Is a partnership that doesn’t feature audio still a music/brand partnership or do we need to find a new word for partnerships that don’t have music at their core?

Brand platforms give artists exposure that an artist working solo could never achieve

Do you see any downsides to the growing number of artists taking on non music-related brand partnerships?

Not when the motivations are correct. Brand platforms give artists exposure that an artist working solo could never achieve. The downside comes when the motivations aren’t openly shared or aligned. Usually if you’re doing it for the money everyone should run a mile…

The changes to the sector has led to a flood of people representing artists. This presents a challenge where they all need to up their game by going way beyond the old school broker mentality and deliver on creativity and impact for all involved.

What are you particularly looking forward to at ILMC this year?

It’s all about the people isn’t it. So hanging out with some of the most inspirational minds in the music industry has to be the highlight for me.

ILMC’s Brand Partnerships panel is taking place at 2 p.m. on Thursday 5 March. 


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