Why Gallery Media is writing songs for manufacturers on TikTok and Instagram
Gallery Media spent the first half of 2021 bringing the classic jingle advertising strategy into the 21st
About six months ago, Gary Vaynerchuk’s media company set up a new division to function as an in-house music production company, writing original music for its clients. These songs developed for the brands were then included in the TikTok, Instagram reels, and other social media campaigns the company created on behalf of its clients.
“TikTok and music are synonymous. This is the new form of jingles – original music that is contextually relevant to the platforms people spend time on these days, ”said Ryan Harwood, CEO of Gallery Media.
This new music team – made up of three producers and a network of freelance musicians – was created to help brands stand out from other campaigns on social media. That’s because Harwood’s team found that content with original audio and music resulted in a 52 percent increase in view-through rate compared to registered tracks on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, he said.
“Creating your own sound gives a brand even more identity,” said Nick Cicero, vice president of strategy at streaming and social intelligence company Conviva. “The TikTok audience not only has an affinity for the artist, but rather an affinity for the catchy tune – the sound gets stuck in the head and gives the brand stickiness.”
Although original music is now a complement to larger social media branding campaigns, the original idea was not to just view the music division as a source of income in its own right. This is mainly because creating original music or licensing popular music for commercial use is generally very expensive and Harwood wanted to offer a cheaper alternative for audio marketing.
While Harwood Wouldn’t disclose the price of a social media campaign that included original music, he told Digiday that customers would pay between 75% and 80% less than if they licensed a song for commercial use or paid a label for an original track what possible would go well into the six figure range.
To date, the company has sold more than a dozen Original music campaigns for brands like Cutwater Spirits, Athleta and Covergirl from AB InBev. Each brand wrote their own song for their campaign, which was then shared with Gallery’s influencer network as part of an influencer campaign strategy to boost both the brand and the use of the sound on social media.
Both the Cutwater and Athleta campaigns used an entire song by a musician shared with more than two dozen influencers on Instagram and TikTok who were paid to use it on their channels. The Athleta campaign also had more than 2,000 TikTokers using the song organically in their content.
Covergirl’s campaign went one step further to create an original sound for the platform. Gallery Media paid TikTok influencer and music producer @katoproducer (with 250,000+ followers on the platform) to create an original beat on their site that got people to duet with him and sing lyrics that made the words “Covergirl” and “clean” included a chance to win $ 1,000. From there a winner was selected and the full song was distributed to influencers for posting.
In addition to writing new music, Gallery worked with client Marriott Bonvoy to turn the company’s manifesto into a spoken monologue on the power of travel that has been used nearly 100 times by other TikTok developers.
Cicero said that using popular songs that are trending can help build an audience on TikTok, but those popular songs are only available to be used for free on that platform. All cross-platform campaigns require high royalties to use this song commercially elsewhere.
“The ability to create your own audio tracks starting on TikTok is a campaign-safe way to create creative elements that can increase the reach and frequency of ads beyond TikTok,” said Cicero. “Since sound is the only medium that we can consume parallel to another, an audio track as an anchor for your branding increases the effectiveness of the message.”
TikTok is a significant business for Gallery Media and posted mid-seven-digit sales last year. And overall, the company’s social media offerings, which include selling social branded content, influencer marketing, and social creative, and now the music space, account for about 45% of its total revenue, between those services and its own and operated ones social channels PureWow and Ein37 o’clock. Harwood said the company will double its total sales this year from 2020, which is the same as total sales in 2019.