Want to hear the new song from rapper Eminem? You might have to watch a trailer for video game Call of Duty. Care to see exclusive video clips from pop singer Katy Perry? You’d better follow Pepsi and MTV on Twitter.
With traditional music sales dwindling and businesses seeking out original content help them market their products and services, artists and brands are partnering with each other in new and unexpected ways.
Here are some of the more recent music industry partnerships that have reaped results for both parties.
Eminem and Call of Duty
To end his two-year musical hiatus, Eminem didn’t turn to radio or MTV but instead premiered his new song within a trailer of the first-person shooter video game, Call of Duty: Ghosts.
It was the fourth time Eminem’s music was featured in a Call of Duty trailer but the first time that the song was brand new.
According to BillboardBiz, Eminem’s manager, Paul Rosenberg, approached the video game company ActivisionBlizzard about working together again – and it’s not hard to see why.
Roughly 100 million people play Call of Duty and, according to research Eminem is the number one artist fans associate with the game.
Both the video game and Eminem’s album will be released on November 5. It remains to be seen whether the collaboration and shared release date will help sales of both new products.
Katy Perry, Pepsi and MTV
Another artist to release music in partnership with a popular brand is Katy Perry, who joined forces with Pepsi for the release of her upcoming single.
Perry is the latest in a long line of musical artists to collaborate with Pepsi, including Michael Jackson, Ray Charles and Beyoncé, who the soft drink brand paid a whopping $50 million last year to be their brand ambassador.
Pepsi partnered with Perry, in conjunction with the MTV Video Music Awards, on a promotional Twitter campaign for several songs off her upcoming album, “Prism.”
Fans were given access to clips from two unreleased Katy Perry songs and asked to use the hashtag #KatyNow to vote for the song they wanted to be her next single.
While Perry performed at the MTV Video Music Awards this month, Pepsi and MTV revealed the winning song, “Dark Horse,” on their Twitter channels.
Jay Z and Samsung
Samsung did something unheard of last month. The consumer electronics brand bought 1 million copies of rapper Jay Z’s new album “Magna Carta Holy Grail” so users of the Galaxy S III, S4 and Note II could download the album free before its official release.
Even though the system crashed and users couldn’t listen to the album at exactly 12:01 a.m. on July 4 as promised, 1.2 million people downloaded the “Magna Carta” app to access the pre-purchased album, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Jay Z was reportedly paid $12.5 million for sales and music rights from Samsung and the album was able to reach platinum level sales (1 million copies) before it was even released, thanks to the campaign.
Meanwhile, Samsung collected plenty of data about their customers to help with future promotions.
Bob Dylan and Cinemax
It’s not just pop and hip-hop stars tapping brands to help them release new music. Recording legend Bob Dylan teamed up with cable TV channel Cinemax before the launch of his latest album, “Tempest,” last summer.
The track “Early Roman Kings” was featured in the trailer for the Cinemax original action series Strike Back, a show that centres on a counterterrorism group.
The bluesy tune provides a dramatic contrast to the gunfire and car explosions featured in the trailer. Strike Back is now going on its fourth season and the Bob Dylan album peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Top 200, so the partnership seems to have been another win-win.