Earlier than Usher hits the Tremendous Bowl halftime stage, Apple Music builds anticipation forward of huge present

Earlier than Usher hits the Tremendous Bowl halftime stage, Apple Music builds anticipation forward of huge present

LAS VEGAS (AP) — In a brief movie proven on the finish of the Tremendous Bowl halftime performer information convention, the present’s headliner Usher comes up lacking. The singer’s sudden absence prompts immediate panic from his associates together with Ludacris, Lil Jon and Taraji P. Henson, sparking a search at varied Las Vegas landmarks.

Finally, Usher is discovered splashing water whereas dancing in a Caesar’s Palace fountain within the seven-minute movie “The place’s Usher!?” It’s one of many many artistic initiatives from Apple Music, which has made a concerted effort to amplify the anticipation round Sunday’s halftime present.

Since Apple Music grew to become the halftime present sponsor, the streaming service is pushing to go away an influential mark like by no means earlier than.

“We’re making an attempt to increase the marketing campaign to greater than only a present on a Sunday afternoon,” mentioned Oliver Schusser, the vp of Apple Music and Beats. The streaming service grew to become the sponsor for the present in 2022 changing Pepsi, which held the place for a decade.

Schusser mentioned Apple Music stepped in as an organization that understands the music panorama. He known as their partnership a “very highly effective” one with the NFL and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, which has produced the halftime present since 2019.

“We wish to make the halftime present press convention the artist second,” Schusser mentioned. “We actually needed to raise that and make that nice. We did that final 12 months. This 12 months, we made it even larger.”

Thus far, Apple Music has gotten off to a promising begin. Final 12 months, the streaming service constructed a marketing campaign for Rihanna — whereas protecting her being pregnant a secret — main as much as her efficiency, which grew to become the most-watched in Tremendous Bowl halftime historical past with greater than 121 million viewers.

As Usher prepares to headline this 12 months’s festivities, Apple Music created a strategic plan earlier than he hits the Tremendous Bowl stage. The streaming service has been working with the singer and his staff since assembly with him throughout final 12 months’s Paris Style Week.

“It’s been a journey with him and his administration ever since,” Schusser mentioned. “We wish to make this an even bigger and international occasion. Between Apple Music, Apple Music Radio, the expertise who’ve a deep understanding of music and tradition and clearly Apple’s ecosystem, I feel we are able to amplify that.”

Main as much as Sunday, it’s all about Usher. By means of the streaming service’s app, listeners can take a look at the singer’s halftime present trailer, his curated My Highway to Halftime playlist that includes his personal hits and collaborators. Usher and Jermaine Dupri created a mixture of songs in spatial audio with jams together with DJs Tiësto, Gryffin and BLOND:ISH.

Apple Music Radio’s Nadeska Alexis had a livestreamed sit-down interview Thursday with Usher the place the brief movie was proven.

There’s a narrative of Usher in 20 songs, an editorial characteristic that offers an in-depth have a look at his 30-year profession as a performer. The platform affords a four-night Usher takeover via their stay broadcasting exhibits hosted by Lil Wayne and Estelle together with unique programming on Apple Music Radio that can chronicle the singer’s evolution; exercise music by previous halftime performers via Health+ and methods to revisit his previous initiatives earlier than the discharge of his ninth studio album “Coming Dwelling,” which comes out Friday.

“From a advertising standpoint, we strategy it like a product launch,” mentioned Tor Myhren, vp of selling communications at Apple. “You’ve gotten all of the distinctive issues about it then convey these to life. With Usher, the strategy is that Usher is enjoyable. Usher is a celebration. He desires to have a very good time. It’s actually about capturing the essence of that artist, placing that along with the essence of Apple Music.”

Myhren mentioned there’s nonetheless a deal with Usher’s efficiency after the Tremendous Bowl. He mentioned it’s crucial to capitalize off the singer’s present earlier than turning the corporate’s consideration to subsequent 12 months’s performer.

“We nonetheless need folks to bask within the glory of the present,” he mentioned. “After any halftime artist performs, their streaming of their music the subsequent week or two goes via the roof. We wish to be in the midst of that. We wish to give our clients a significantly better expertise.”

Myhren mentioned the inspiration has been laid.

“It’s concerning the lead as much as the present and the way we are able to proceed to reinvent that step,” he mentioned. “We wish to proceed to convey this very cool musical expertise to a way more international viewers.”

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