23 September 2016
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The Sound Drop – a new music platform for emerging artists

This week’s egtabite brings you The Sound Drop, Pepsi Co’s innovative new music platform designed to help the brand build a deeper relationship with an audience of music lovers and to help emerging artists. In a great example of cooperation between an iconic brand, radio, technology and new music, Pepsi Co is partnering with iHeartMedia – the leading radio broadcaster in the US – to achieve scale and to drive the project.

The concept

Pepsi has long advertised its products through music. But the company wanted to dive deeper into the music industry beyond sponsorship, which is why Pepsi Co introduced The Sound Drop at the recent MTV Video Music Awards weekend. It takes the form of an artist discovery program, reaching the audience through a series of music-based videos that will be created in partnership with iHeartMedia, Shazam and MTV, giving the rising talents the chance to expose their music to a wider audience beyond their own social media channels.

The goal is to place a spotlight on musicians and help them reach the mainstream. PepsiCo’s role is to inspire, create a strong relationship with the audience and – ultimately – to end with success stories. The first artists to join the platform are Alessia Cara, Jidenna and Lukas Graham, and the plan is to find and commercialise about ten artists each year.


The effectiveness of the platform is built on the partnership between a great brand, powerful media companies and exciting young musicians. The artists’ work will be promoted with video and audio ads on iHeartMedia’s platforms, which have a combined audience of more than  a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the US and over 85 million social followers, giving iHeart the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America.

We are thrilled to partner with Pepsi and help amplify this music initiative and bring awareness of these emerging artists and their music,” said Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Group at iHeartMedia in a press release. “We are passionate about artist development and through the power of our massive reach and multiplatform assets we can connect music fans across the country with these artists and their stories in a big way.”

Shazam will support the artist discovery and introduction with banner ads, which will direct users to personalised messages from the featured artists.

Pepsi has also lined up a network of social influencers to create remixes and covers of the featured artists’ songs.

Viacom Velocity, Viacom and MTV, along with their integrated creative agencies, will be responsible for content creation and for spreading the inspirational individual stories.

Why this matters for egta’s members

The Sound Drop is a great example of a global brand using its influence to spread news about radio and music, and to support the stars of the future. For all Pepsi’s weight as an iconic brand, the project’s success could only be achieved through the huge reach of radio, as well as the unique connections radio can create between artists and audiences. This new initiative demonstrates radio’s important role in brand engagement, music promotion and in driving listeners to new artists and platforms.

This project also highlights the complementarity of radio and digital platforms, such as Shazam, which together offer a great blend of massive reach and social interaction that can in turn support an advertiser’s marketing objectives.

Target: Radio
Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» Press release (please click here)

» The Sound Drop on YouTube (please click here)

Download in PDF

Please click here to download the PDF version of this egtabite.

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