When no one buys classical or traditional music anymore, brand compilation comes to assume strong emotional significance
Communication in general, comprised of sound, is crossing a period of major revolution thanks to the digitization of audio content and the ease with which it circulates on the internet. If this content was once sold in a physical form, it is now primarily sold in ”liquid” form. People buy mp3 tracks on various platforms, slimmer in price, form, and substance.
Brand compilation, in an era when traditional formats are almost seen as collectors’ items, acquires a new, strong emotional value that reminds people of the brand and imbues it with sentimental connotations, reinforcing it. It becomes a musical souvenir.
No one throws out a piece of their memory
No one throws away objects of sentimental value…when they listen to it, they remember someone or something.
Modern brand compilation allows us to personalize an experience. It is a sound-branding tool that today, more than ever, has tangible value. Marketing actions directed through music and sound pave the way for multimedia channels and web platforms. The goal is to have the music follow the client, lengthening the effect of your brand experience.
We can always stay with guests and clients
Compilations were born with vinyl and developed autonomously with cassette tapes and the invention of the Walkman. The cassette allowed you to organize your music in 60 or 90 minutes, according to your taste. It put the power to create and contextualize a mood directly in the user’s hands; one could extrapolate the music from a disc or from other cassettes and record them in another magnetized format, according to your taste, to listen to again and again, any time and anywhere. Masterization and recordable CDs then brought a listening quality previously thought impossible…to soon be overtaken by mp3 files.
Brand compilation was born in the ‘90s. More precisely, it became a marketing and sales operation with Cafe Del Mar in 1994, a place by the sea in San Antonio, Ibiza which was celebrated thanks to its CD, “sunset bar” and the suggestive atmosphere on the banks of the sea.
At first, it was a success. The innovative genre and the sales of the first project triggered a constant continuity. (So far, they have produced 18 principal compilations and several other celebratory albums.)
At the same time, if a little bit later, in the wake of this success, the Supperclub in Amsterdam (1999, nine compilations and more) and two locales in Paris, Buddha Bar (1999, 16 compilations and more) and Hotel Costes (1999, 15 compilations and more), understood this golden moment and rode the wave which brought them to sell, among all of the collections, millions of copies, achieving two goals: making their brand known around the world and using their brand to make long-term investments.
Today it is not possible to achieve these goals
Unfortunately, CD sales have become obsolete. CDs are purchased less and less and music distributors mourn the time that once was.
Brand compilation becomes a way to pay homage to or to sell within the locale, whether through chains or a single selling point. It becomes an emotional souvenir that, if done well and intelligently, will stay with guests and clients for a long time, evoking emotions and memories every time they listen. Further, it becomes a marketing tool when publicised and promoted with the business’ official seal and with the media who report on that sector.
In reality, brand compilation is on par with the playlist associated with a brand. Brand compilations have evolved, losing their physical format, but always maintaining the concept of sentimentality and audio memories. We will explore this further in the next article.