Google is promoting Google Play on UK television with a live performance by singer Sam Smith that will be broadcast as a live ad on "Alan Carr: Chatty Man." Smith's song "Stay With Me" is currently topping the UK charts. The tv ad effort is a "collaboration between Channel 4, Google Play, MediaCom and Universal Music label Capitol." Said to be the first live tv ad broadcast in the UK, all participants will be working hard to get this one right.
Google Play's live tv ad featuring Sam Smith may be a first for UK advertising but it's also a sign of how high the stakes are for Google in the race to dominate digital entertainment and commerce and how far they've come to be collaborating with established media and entertainment companies.
Sam Smith - Stay With Me (Official Video)
The ad airs on "Alan Carr: Chatty Man" Friday night on Channel 4 from London's The Roundhouse.
Sam Smith will be singing his #1 hit "Stay With Me" and the singer says he's feeling the pressure:
"I'm really scared because we have to time this really well and get it perfect, but if this works out this is going to be a magical moment. It's never been done before and you're going to witness one of my dreams coming true."
The tie-ins with Google are numerous:
"Mr. Smith, who won the Critic's Choice Award at The Brits -- the U.K.'s top popular music awards -- has put a live, track-by-track explanation of his new album on his Google+ page. His Roundhouse performance will be recorded live and will be made exclusively available as a stream on Google Play U.K. soon afterwards. Google Play will also offer two exclusive bonus tracks on the album, "In The Lonely Hour," which is released in the U.K. this week and in the U.S. next month."
According to The Telegraph:
"Google Play branding will be visible on screen throughout the ad making viewers aware the gig will be available to download via the Google Play Store – where the entire performance will be streamed live. The gig will also be live streamed on Google’s Lightbox ads."
The project was "made possible by a collaboration between the label and Universal Music’s Globe division, as well as ad agency Mediacom, creative agency The Outift, Channel 4 and Google Play."
The partnership element is one of many signs that Google has matured from a young disruptor to an established force in search and web media.
Note: Obviously music is broadcast live on tv on a regular basis. But as the first live UK ad, this performance will be scrutinized with a higher level of expectation.
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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) is also beta blogging at DanceLand. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.