4 ways the right music partner can supercharge your brand’s content

Music consultant and branding expert Josh Rabinowitz reveals how the right soundtrack can elevate your brand's content.

Choosing a music partner

Epidemic Sound sat down with Josh Rabinowitz, a music consultant and branding expert, to discuss the benefits of working with music partners. 

Quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and more, Josh knows a thing or two about music — he’s secured thousands of track placements worldwide, including more than 50 for Super Bowl ads. 

Josh dives into why music partnerships are essential for branded content. They help you:

  1. Give your brand a stamp of authenticity
  2. Put music front and center of your branded content
  3. Craft a musical ID that’s rooted in your brand’s purpose
  4. Complement your marketing team with expert music curation and insight
Checking a microphone

1. Give your brand a stamp of authenticity

Josh is a big believer in using music as more than an extension of the brand — in his eyes, it’s part and parcel of the brand’s communication. “Music gives brands not only a sense of cultural relevance, but when it’s used correctly, it makes brands feel authentic,” he says. When done correctly and expertly, “It’s not just music — it’s great music, relevant music, important music, cultural music.”

Tapped as the Cannes Lions’ first-ever Music Jury president in 2016, Josh literally judges how well brands use music in their content. “Authentic music makes brands’ content feel legit,” he explains. “Cinema started doing this in the late 1960s, whereby directors utilized music relevant to culture, rather than just typical cinematic scores: The Graduate, Easy Rider, Scorsese films, etc. Nowadays, it’s advertising that hits this emotional bullseye — this resonant music can truly make a potential customer feel uplifted, sad, in love, or like they’re on a super-cool journey.”

Christoffer Moe Ditlevsen
Epidemic Sound artist Christoffer Moe Ditlevsen

2. Put music front and center of your branded content 

Drawing on a wealth of music publishing, supervision, advertising, sync, and licensing experience, Josh can’t overstate the importance of placing music front and center of branded content.

“When you analyze the stuff that wins big at creative award shows — the Cannes Lions, the Clios — you’ll notice that music was part of the original ideation. You can tell that the soundtrack was a key piece of the early thought process, can’t you? If music is part of that initial process, you have a much better chance of creating content that endures on a musical and creative level.

“Take a look at Fallon London’s ad for Cadbury’s — it’s an oldie but a goodie. That ad would not exist in the way it does, nor hit with the same impact, were it not for that Phil Collins drum fill. The idea is so tightly wound into the music.”

3. Craft a musical ID that’s rooted in your brand’s purpose

As a brand, you need to understand what makes you distinctive, the value you deliver to your target audience, and how you should interact with said audience — more often than not through content. From there, a music partner can help you harness that knowledge. 

“Understanding a brand's relevance, and how music plays into that, is super important,” says Josh. “Nowadays, there's a large amount of money being spent, especially by brands who are youth-oriented, fashion-oriented, or even tech-oriented. They're going for very specific demographics, but it should always be the brand’s purpose that guides them. The audience, different channels, and so on feed into that.”

To reach them, Josh believes that you need a deep understanding of your customer — what makes them tick, what do they hate, what makes them jump from browsing to buying? Many brands have this kind of information available, but they might not know how music can help them reach the deepest corners of TikTok, or an uncharted section of Instagram. 

Want to create the perfect musical ID for your brand? Check out Epidemic Sound’s catalog of more than 40,000 tracks and 90,000 sound effects below.

4. Complement your marketing team with expert music curation and insight

Being a music fan helps when soundtracking brands’ content, of course. For ten years, Josh curated the Grey Music Seminar at the Cannes Lions, rubbing shoulders with icons like Stevie Van Zandt, Patti Smith, and Iggy Pop — the man knows his field. Music curation is a dream job for some, but it takes a certain type of person to nail all aspects of the role. 

“The marketing people with ‌MBAs might be passionate about music, but they don't always know how to articulate and execute it properly,” says Josh. “If you work with music experts, it could take your content to ‌a level you’ve not seen before. But most brands want total control, and that’s why it’s so rare to have in-house music expertise — more often than not, it’ll be someone from the marketing team just plucking out random tracks.”

Jordin Sparks
Epidemic Sound artist Jordin Sparks

A dedicated music partner will dig where a client can’t — whether that be selecting the ideal track, or rooting through the stems to give your final product that extra bit of juice. People on the brand side are naturally good at understanding their customers’ passions and purchase habits, but that doesn’t always carry over to the musical side.

“You have to feel comfortable with your music partner,” adds Josh. “They should have a high musical IQ in terms of creativity, musicality, understanding trends, understanding older music, catalog, music, legacy, culture — they know all of this so you don’t necessarily have to.” 

Music is a fast-paced business. Whether you’re discussing emerging genre trends, new social media platforms, or updated licensing models, it can be a tricky place to navigate on your own. That’s why Josh believes that the best music partners are long-term.

“The brands that have the most success in music are the ones built on long-term, expert partnerships — think of brands like Apple,” he says. “A long-term music partnership means your music partner gets to know your brand inside-out, translating that intimate knowledge into musical output.”


Epidemic Sound can help you find the perfect soundtrack

Josh uses Epidemic Sound to find the perfect soundtrack for his clients’ projects. Whether that’s through Soundmatch, our AI-powered audio suggestion tool; Discover for You, our in-app suggestion engine; or our plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro, he’s got what he needs to deliver the goods.

On top of all that, our curation services empower decision-makers like Josh to meet and exceed their musical briefs every single time. Whether that’s by inspiring you with the latest music trends, setting the musical direction for your creative project, or sculpting brand-specific music strategies, our Music Curation team is there to take your content to the next level. 

When asked about Epidemic Sound’s catalog, Josh had this to say:

“There are billions of impressions of your music out there, in culture. It's because it’s easy to use, and it’s not ‘stock’ music. The granular detail that goes into your curation, the look and feel of the platform, the quality of the music itself — it really impressed me.”

Our catalog is high-quality, carefully curated, and safe. An Epidemic Sound subscription goes beyond royalty-free music, removing the headache of licensing and freeing you up to do what you do best.

You can enjoy the safety of our license hand-in-hand with our massive catalog of 40,000 tracks, covering just about every genre you can think of. With dedicated customer success managers and intuitive search tools, finding the right sound’s never been easier. 

To learn more about how Epidemic Sound’s unique licensing model can support your business’s content needs, check out our Enterprise solution.

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