Market & Promote Music In Brazil

Artists need all the tools they can get.  Although platforms exist today to aid creators with distribution, funding and so forth, it’s hard to find information about expanding into new global territories.  Here’s what you need to know about Brazil.

What’s So Great About Brazil?

Simply based upon economics and demographics, Brazil is set to explode like no other country on the globe.  With a population of 196 million and the 6th largest world economy, Brazil will see an added economic injection within the next 4 four years.  In 2014 Brazil takes the grand stage as host of the FIFA World Cup.   In 2016, over 10,000 athletes from 193 countries will grace Brazilian soil during Olympics.  These two events alone are estimated to boost Brazilian tourism beyond 165 million visitors within 3 years and generate unprecedented economic impact on tourism, not to mention added media attention.

Music Trends

Brazil ranks 5th in the world with digital users, however the digital music market was only recently introduced (and mildly at best).  With a 909% increase in digital music sales[1], Brazil is primed to see another massive explosion with the growth of smartphones and streaming services.   The amount of Brazilians with smartphones has been estimated to grow from 12.6 million in 2012, to 33 million by 2016[2].  In collaboration with these figures, Brazil offers the lowest streaming cost (Per Month Compared to Per Capita GDP) at $7.49[3].  Because Brazilians are more willing to bundle these cost with their already existing mobile provider, services such as Deezer and Rdio have taken control of the region. However the most interesting statistic applicable to musicians is Brazil’s growing infatuation with YouTube.  Based upon the amount of videos viewed and produced, Brazil ranks 6th on a global scale.

What You Need to Know & Do

Three key elements (i.e. World Cup, Olympics, and a rapidly growing economy) will generate international company / brand movement into Brazil.  The influx of new brands means an influx of new marketing and advertising strategies.  This all translates to opportunity and licensing for bands.  Given the rise of Anti-360 Deals, all types of Artists (indie and major), can generate unique partnerships and visibility. (TIP 1 & TIP 2).  Bands that don’t want to form partnerships -no worries- just start thinking like an Advertising Agency and understand the market trends.  According to Brazilian Advertisers ”Projects that don’t have a defined purpose for being in Brazil, don’t work in Brazil[4].”  The typical problem Artists (and most labels) face while importing to Brazil is that they carry the same marketing and promotional tactics used in their home country.  Wrong.  “In the case of the Brazilian market, the product has to be relevant to the life of Brazilians.”  What’s relevant to Brazilians you may ask?  According to research, (a) Brazilian Pride, (b) Family Life, and (c) Happiness / Optimism.   With these elements in mind, understand Brazil is chopped up into 5 major macro-regions, and the marketing approach will vary greatly pending on region of choice.  For example – in NorthEast Brazil non-Brazilian Artist’s should focus on tapping into the local culture such as carnivals, dance events and local music.  Here, implementing music tactics and genres that may work in San Diego will fall flat in Rio Grande do Norto.  Penetrating local radio also becomes key, while social media relevance provides very little.  To the contrary, head to Sao Paulo and all sorts of international music, media and creative campaigns are embraced.  YouTube becomes a primary tool for establishing a foothold in Brazil, but again, campaigns should be specifically geared towards Brazilian’s passions (referenced earlier).

What You Need To Avoid

Rethink your point of reference.  You can not have success in Brazil by implementing the same marketing and music business strategies.  “Just come in and think that a project will automatically work because it did in your home country is very naïve” according to Brazil’s Trade Director.  Frequent readers understand my position on controlling all intellectual property (copyrights and trademarks), but Brazil consistently ranks as a “problematic country” according to the International Intellectual Property Alliance’s Special 301 Report.  Additionally, trademark owners must resubmit for trademark protection in Brazil because Brazil is not a member of the Madrid Protocol (ie. – they’re on a total different system).  Additionally, traditional music marketing methods can prove difficult in some areas.  For example, outdoor advertising has been illegal in Sao Paulo since 2007 so good luck handing concert posters.  Lastly, local repertoire still dominates most of the music markets in Brazil but this will change with the upcoming World Cup and Olympics.

Final Tips

  • Formulate partnership deals with brands
  • Develop Brazil specific YouTube campaigns in order to establish relevance
  • Confirm that you’re set up on all streaming platforms relevant in Brazil – especially Rdio and Deezer
  • Develop relationships with the growing number of indie labels in Brazil in order to license product during the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.  The infrastructure has developed in Brazil where licensing has become achievable for all Artists – not just major label Artists
  • If you don’t license product to a label, find a digital distributor specific for Brazil
  • If touring, do not take physical product.  It doesn’t move as quickly as digital product, plus you’ll be taxed heavily
  • Develop your project and/or marketing plan around the macro-regions
  • Establish social media relevancy in Brazil prior to approach booking agents
  • If you’re going to spend money on development, spend money trying to get on radio
  • If you’re going to spend money, spend money developing YouTube campaigns
  • Don’t feel your music must be Brazilian.  It doesn’t.  With the World Cup and the Olympics approaching, music of all genres will be in demand
  • Explore Brazilian passion points
  • Exploit film incentive opportunities, as Brazil’s film market continues to expand, therefore creating attractive incentives for video based

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