- IHeartRadio, the internet radio platform with 100 million users, debuted a contest on Snapchat that leveraged Snap Map to give fans a chance to see a private performance by New Zealand pop star Lorde, according to a release made available to Mobile Marketer. Entrants got a chance to win tickets to an "iHeartRadio Secret Sessions By AT&T" live performance on Aug. 29 in Los Angeles.
- Local fans entered the contest by finding iHeartRadio on Snap Map, Snapchat's mobile mapping feature that shows a smartphone user's location in relation to friends, events, nearby attractions and businesses. IHeartRadio was represented by Bitmojis of its Los Angeles on-air personalities.
- Fans were asked to take a selfie in the same geofence as a Bitmoji and use iHeartRadio's exclusive filter, then send the snap to the iHeartRadio account with #iHeartLorde and #iHeartContest hashtags. They could also post the photo on Twitter or Instagram with the same hashtags.
The Lorde contest isn't iHeartRadio's first foray into using Snapchat to market itself. The company noted it signed on for Snapchat's Discover platform in 2015, and earlier this year announced the winners of its iHeartRadio Music Awards by posting Snapchat acceptance speeches from the winning artists. The company said its use of Snap Map to launch the most recent campaign offered a chance to engage users in new ways.
Snapchat, for its part, is becoming increasingly popular for these types of promotions, where location-based technology is leveraged to tie digital features — Snap Map, for example — to physical events or locations in a bid to drive foot traffic. As other social media platforms search out ways to measure offline attribution, Snapchat is emerging as a strong contender in the space, staking out value at a time when some are questioning its innovation strategy.
The platform also recently found itself tied to Lorde, whose sophomore album "Melodrama" rolled out earlier this eyar, as part of a test of its new "Crowdsurf" feature. Crowd Surf leverages machine learning to combine users' videos of a live event based on their audio track and give an almost seamless look from multiple viewpoints.
IHeartRadio is in a crowded market for streaming music with its free offering and two paid subscription services, iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access. Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music, which is included in the e-commerce giant's Prime subscription service, are also vying for a piece of the mobile radio market.
The key technology to watch in the streaming industry is artificial intelligence (AI), which companies like Spotify are developing to help music fans discover other artists they might like. Spotify clearly wants to develop expertise in AI, having acquired companies like Niland, MightyTV and Sonalytic that use machine learning to personalize music recommendations. The technology may help independent labels to promote their artists among a wider group of listeners without having to depend on radio play or other third-party forms of publicity.