A New Song and Dance for Branded Content
Euro RSCG Buys Majority Stake in Music Content-Production Company The:Hours
By Rupal Parekh
Published: July 07, 2008
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) --
Branded content is whistling a new tune as Havas ad agency Euro RSCG Worldwide today said it has bought a majority stake in an independent record label and content-production company.
The company, called The:Hours, launched earlier this year as a music content-production platform to service brands as well as to distribute music via a deal with Universal Music Group.
The:Hours created original music for a worldwide Cartier campaign that broke in May. The campaign included songs from Lou Reed and Marion Cotillard, whose portrayal of Edith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose" won her an Academy Award for Best Actress. On the record label side, it recently signed the band Fires of Rome, whose lead singer penned a single for the movie "Fantastic Four."
With offices in Los Angeles, New York and Paris, the company is led by Alexandre Sap and Leslie Dubest, founders of Recall Records, and entrepreneur and media/entertainment industry player Fabien Moreau. In New York, The:Hours will sit inside Euro's creative department. Work already has begun on custom music campaigns for some of Euro's clients, but an agency spokeswoman declined to identify which ones. (Jaguar, Dos Equis and Danone are among those on the agency's roster.)
The move to acquire a record label, a first in the agency business, comes amid sweeping changes in both the music and ad industries, which are constantly recalibrating to figure out how to best evolve their businesses and compensation models.
"It's an amazing time to be in our business and there are huge opportunities to be seized by those agencies that create new future-facing business models for their clients -- we believe that music is one of those hence this exciting initiative to acquire our own music agency and record label," Euro Global CEO David Jones said in a statement.
The partnership will allow Euro to "direct access to artists, music supervisors, industry entrepreneurs, music publishers and distribution networks such as Universal and iTunes," said Mr. Sap, The:Hours' CEO, in a statement.
Going forward, Euro plans to acquire another U.S.-based boutique record label to integrate with The:Hours, as well as a publishing catalogue of roughly 10,000 tracks that would be a source of proprietary content for Euro RSCG's creative teams worldwide, an agency spokeswoman said.
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