From jingles to pop songs, music is one of the oldest advertising vehicles in a marketer’s tool kit. But while most brands use songs in a blanket approach, the New York City-based startup F# (pronounced F-sharp after the music note) is offering ways for brands to create song-infused ads that can be directed at specific audiences.
Founded last year, F# helps agencies and brands create online ads that include the client’s own licensed songs or songs that were selected by using F#’s algorithmic-based “music intelligence” tool. Marketers can include a playlist of songs in the ad that consumers can listen to even after they navigate away from the original site. This week the company also unveiled its new AdPlayer ad unit, which lets marketers distribute their ads through ad networks.
“Traditionally brands have used music in a mass market way, like in TV commercials,”said F# CEO and co-founder Dan Merritts. “But with digital music and targeting technology, brand managers are now empowered to be more nuanced in how they approach the market.”
F# offers several services. Using a data engine that includes trends reports, listening patterns and other user behavior, the company provides recommendations on which songs are best suited for a brand’s target audience. To get songs, F# struck a deal with licensing company Feed.fm that allows clients to insert songs from the company's catalogue into their ads. F# is also developing partnerships with B2B licensing companies, according to Merritts.
In addition, F# offers various ad products such as the Crowdsourced Playlist and Music Analyzer. F# for example, created an app to promote the 80’s-themed CW television show The Carrie Diaries in which users submit playlists of contemporary songs that the app analyzes to produce a playlist of 80’s songs that it predicts the user would like. The company has also created campaigns for Best Buy, Adidas, Ford, Verizon, Target, IKEA and FedEx.
The company’s newest product, the AdPlayer, lets marketers create ads that can be distributed through social sites like Facebook and other websites through ad networks. “The ad unit is a standard 300x250 ad unit that can be implemented into any ad network and our metrics platform gives brands insight into their results so that they can optimize their ads,” said F# COO and co-founder Pete Jimison.
The company prices most of its services on a CPM uplift basis as well as through subscriptions, Jimison added. The company is up to 50 employees and in addition to its New York headquarters, has offices in the UK and Australia.