All Access Exclusive: Inside iHeartMedia's 'On The Rise Tour'
Q&A With iHeartMedia Rhythmic Top 40 Brand Manager/NPP Strategic Servicesâ€™ Cat Collins
October 23, 2014 at 3:26 AM (PT)
iHEARTRADIO will kick off its inaugural "On The Rise Tour" featuring a bevy of new artists starting next TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28th in SAN FRANCISCO. iHEARTMEDIA Rhythmic Top 40 Brand Manager/NPP Strategic Services’ CAT COLLINS talked with ALL ACCESS about the tour and what they hope to accomplish, with a helping hand from PREMIERE EVP/Music And Partner Integrations ALISSA POLLACK.
How did the iHEARTRADIO On The Rise Tour come about?
COLLINS: The Brand Management teams are encouraged to be creative, think differently, and use our unique platforms and assets to create and foster mutually beneficial industry relationships. We continuously receive feedback from our listeners, who look to us to discover new music and artists. With that in mind, we created the “On The Rise” tour, integrating live music in a club setting for emerging artists. All parties (PDs, labels, artists, etc.) embraced the concept as a way to marry up all of our platforms to help expose emerging artists in ways other than just airplay.
Being a Brand Manager for Rhythmic Top 40 has really opened my eyes to the artist's struggle and how amazingly tough it is to break. There is so much artist talent in various phases of development that often get lost in the shuffle or their music doesn’t fit perfectly in a format lane. Together with our artist and label partners, we can use iHEARTMEDIA's collective marketing and muscle to help cross an artist such as JAKE MILLER from his rabid and substantial base to a mainstream audience through programs like the "On The Rise" tour. Similarly we can take artists like T MILLS and COLETTE CARR, who have so much talent, but seemingly fit somewhere between Top 40 and Rhythmic Top 40, and give them their shot, too. In addition the "On The Rise" tour includes a cause related message that is relatable to the artists fan base and is an integral part of the tour.
ALISSA, please give us a little bit of background on the Musicians On Call JASON POLLACK Bedside Performance Program and the FIND YOUR GRIND FOUNDATION.
ALISSA POLLACK:“The Musicians On Call "JASON POLLACK Bedside Performance Program" was started in memory of my father to carry on his legacy of sharing music as a tool to bring joy and laughter into people's lives, like he did mine growing up. By creating this program in his honor with Musicians On Call, we are able to bring some of the biggest names in music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities because music is such a powerful aid in the overall healing process. We are excited to partner with the FIND YOUR GRIND FOUNDATION, which helps inner city youth escape their "daily grind" and find their "true grind" participating in programs like Musicians on Call.
How were these particular artists chosen?
COLLINS: After we nailed down the concept we needed the right headliner at the right time. JAKE MILLER has had much success and an impressive fan base. With Jake getting ready to release his debut album for WB, he is perfect artist to headline. LEE L'HEUREUX and PETER GRAY at WB have been great partners and see the true value in the "On The Rise" tour, not just looking at these as radio branded shows, but seeing the bigger picture of a cool concept and how our platform can really benefit the artists.
The supporting artists fit well in a lineup with JAKE and are in various different phases of their careers. Each artist (MIKE STUD, COLETTE CARR, BECKY G and T MILLS) have substantial social networking followings – MIKE and T. MILLS have a proven touring track record and, BECKY G just recently sold out some amusement parks with shows in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. COLETTE is an indie artist that has amazing talent in very respected, with millions of YOUTUBE views and is an incredible live performer. It’s a great lineup.
Are you going to be traveling along with the iHEARTRADIO On The Rise Tour?
LIVE NATION is producing these shows so I get to go to a few and enjoy the performances. Gonna hit SF and BOSTON for sure.
When you say that you'll use all of iHEARTMEDIA's platforms in the respective local markets to break the artists, does that include airplay in those markets?
No. Airplay is an independent local programming decision from our programmers. If programmers want to play any of the artists, cool, but this idea is designed to benefit to the artists with marketing, promotion, exposure and experience. Anything beyond that is a terrific bonus!
An eight-city tour is a pretty big undertaking. What obstacles have you had to overcome to get to this point?
No obstacles really, just making sure all our Programmers and markets wanted to do this and were onboard and all the PDs loved the idea. From there BILL DWIGHT at LIVE NATION was able to route and help facilitate.
Will more dates/cities be added? How about hitting NYC on the way back to Ohio?
No plans at this time.
How are stations in those markets going to tie into the iHEARTRADIO On The Rise Tour promotionally?
Whatever they want to do. All the artists are down for on-air, online and in person promotions. It’s whatever our local teams can imagine -- and we will make it happen.
What yardstick will you use to measure the success of the iHEARTRADIO On The Rise Tour.
Great question. Ticket sales, online impressions for artists and stations, as well as feedback from the artists, programmers, LIVE NATION and FIND YOUR GRIND FOUNDATION. We want everyone feeling like we came up with a great opportunity and made the most of it from an exposure and business standpoint.
Since this is only an eight-city tour, will you do another iHEARTRADIO On The Rise Tour in the Spring?
Let’s go back to your last question and evaluate from all aspects and all angles.