Music video network Vevo is aiming to attract savvy marketers that are eager to connect with multicultural audiences -- those who know that the more authentic those engagements are, the better. Aligning with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, Vevo has launched API Amplified, which targets Asian American and Pacific Islander viewers -- a product that will continue on into the future once the Heritage celebrations end. And it has other special multicultural initiatives that are either planned or already up and running.
API Amplified is a contextually targeted content package curated by the network's in-house editorial team and featuring API artists which will be updated monthly. It includes both well-known artists and newcomers as well as music from a range of genres at a global level.
This marks the second contextual content solution for multicultural audiences at Vevo, which is co-owned by Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. Afro Pulse, a curated content set of Black artists, launched last year to much success.
Advertiser demand for diverse consumers is so strong that Vevo plans to host its first multicultural Upfront this year, offering brand partners priority access to its inventory and products.
As for the latest effort, there's a powerful connection between AAPI viewers' cultural and ethnic identity and music, said Alex Kim, Vevo's Director of West Coast Sales and a first-generation Korean American. "I've always known there is a need for a product that speaks to the AAPI community and content that represents the relevant culture and experiences," he explained.
In fact, Vevo survey research found that 69% of AAPI respondents aged 18-54 said it is important to have content that reflects their cultural heritage or identity. Kim said AAPI viewers love any music that feels relevant, regardless of language or the artist's origin.
With more than 35,000 artists on its network, Vevo has ample artists and music videos to attract specific multicultural audiences, like AAPI. Vevo's editorial staff will regularly update and expand the content on API Amplified, keeping it fresh and specific to the target audience's interests.
"We tap into our expert music programmers, strong research team and internal taste-makers to curate a lineup from a variety of genres and career stages that reflects the diverse voices in the AAPI community," Kim said.
The AAPI marketplace is extremely diverse, representing multiple ethnicities, cultures and languages, Kim added. He noted that sometimes, the sheer quantity of different groups can be challenging for marketers, who worry they'll only reach a portion of Asian American audiences. But music videos are different. Kim said that, unlike language-based text or spoken-word content, music videos are inclusive.
"As a marketer, I've had difficulty in the past trying to make the business case to advertisers because there were roadblocks with language or context," he said. When it comes to music videos, they are so universal that they really do break down those barriers.
API Amplified is available on Vevo's digital and connected TV (CTV) platforms. The music video network recently partnered with advertising agency Publicis Media on an extensive research study focusing on the state of content consumption. Through this research it was found that AAPI viewers watch content on a broader range of devices, platforms and formats versus other ethnic groups. "The CTV experience is particularly popular because it creates an immersive experience", Kim noted.
Vevo research also found that 82% of AAPI respondents said watching music videos on CTV feels like an entertainment experience, and 80% said playing music videos on large screens adds atmosphere to parties and gatherings.
For Vevo, multicultural sales are transforming the network's business. Vevo's multicultural ad revenue has grown from just 4% to 20% of revenue in the last four years, and Kim expects that trend to accelerate. "As more and more advertisers are looking to engage with these audiences, we'll continue to expand our offerings," he concluded.
In addition to Afro Pulse and API Amplified, Vevo has plans to create similar products in the future that reach their diverse audiences including those within the Hispanic and LGBTQ+ community.
Photo at top: Olivia Rodrigo courtesy of Vevo.
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