On June 20, 2012, Pepsi and Billboard announced that the two companies would be teaming up for their first ever “Summer Beats Concert Series.”
According to the issued press release, the Summer Beats Concert Series will include performances throughout the country by today’s hottest musical artists. The Series will feature three concerts — to be held in Los Angeles, CA; Nashville, TN; and New York City, NY — that will be streamed live on the internet via Pepsi’s Twitter account.
The first of the three streamed concerts was held in Hollywood, CA on June 26, 2012, and featured Katy Perry. Following the live stream, the concert will be available for viewing via Billboard.com on-demand. Katy Perry’s concert location, as well as the fact that Perry would be headlining the show, was kept secret until shortly before the concert, and it is assumed that the identity and location of the other Twitter streamed concerts will be handled in a similar manner. The Nashville, TN concert is expected to occur in late July, while the final New York City, NY concert will be held at the end of August.
Each of the concerts will accommodate roughly 1,000 concert attendees. Tickets for each event will apparently be free, as tickets for the Katy Perry concert were handed out through Pepsi street teams. The locations of the ticket handouts were tweeted on Twitter, with each location having a set number of tickets to the event.
However, while the concerts will only be held in three U.S. cities, what is set to make the events especially unique will be the use of Twitter as a national and international means to watch and interact with the concert. While the concerts are streaming live onto the Pepsi Twitter account, users will have the ability to tweet with the designated hashtag (for the Katy Perry concert it was #KatyPerryNow), which, according to the Series’ press release, will allow online viewers a chance to “nfluence elements of the performance.”
The Summer Beats Concert Series’ use of Twitter as a medium for reaching out to fans is strikingly similar to the recently launched Live Nation “Million Tweets” sweepstakes. Both initiatives are aimed at garnering attention for concerts and brand recognition through Twitter usage. In fact, both initiatives will be offering rewards for the use of Twitter hashtags.
While the Million Tweets sweepstakes is built upon building tweets and giving away prizes as users tag tweets with the #MillionTweets hashtag, the Summer Beats Concert Series will be running a separate contest for Twitter users, asking them to tweet photos of themselves embodying the phrase “Live for Now” along with the accompanying hashtag. The chosen winners will be given VIP access to a concert and given the role of “the official Pepsi NOW Photo Correspondent on-site.”
According to the Summer Beats Concert Series, the hashtag interaction and the concerts themselves will not be the only Twitter interaction available through the new partnership between Pepsi and Billboard. As part of their “broader partnership with Twitter,” free weekly music downloads and original recap videos are currently available through the Pepsi twitter account.
This recent interest in combining music industry promotion and Twitter certainly signifies that Twitter has made a large impact beyond just the world of social media. Should both the Live Nation and the Pepsi and Billboard Twitter partnerships succeed, there will almost certainly be a further influx of music promotion and Twitter in the future.