PTTOW!, an invite-only community for marketers and executives seeking to shape the next generation of consumers (aged 14 to 34), has helped broker music-marketing partnerships and recognize artists like Kaskade and Will.i.am alongside top executives from many of the world's biggest brands (and, in 2013, the Dalai Lama) since its inception in 2009. Music remains a key focal point for PTTOW!'s latest ventures -- a cultural advisory board, featuring members like iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Roc Nation president Jay Brown -- and the first PTTOW! Music Summit, scheduled to take place February 4 in Los Angeles during Grammy week.
"There's more opportunity now than ever to create tomorrow's most innovative collaborations," says PTTOW! co-founder and CEO Roman Tsunder. "And the problem we've seen with music in the past is a lot of one-off type deals, whether it's Samsung and Jay Z or Apple and U2. We want to take the blinders off the brand-and-music conversation, and collectively work together with all the major stakeholders."
PTTOW!'s cultural advisory board was established earlier this year, and has already held its first board meeting, with a follow-up scheduled for later in November. In addition to iHeartMedia's Pittman and Roc Nation's Brown, members include Amy Powell, president, Paramount Television, Insurge Pictures & Digital Entertainment, Paramount Pictures; Bob McKnight, co-founder and executive chairman, Quiksilver; Bobby Hundreds, co-founder and chief creative officer, The Hundreds; Kerry Tucker, EVP marketing, Victoria's Secret; Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing officer, MasterCard; Sophia Amoruso, founder & CEO, Nasty Gal; Terry Lundgren, CEO, chairman & president, Macy's Inc.; Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer, Global Chevrolet & Global GM Marketing, General Motors; and Amanda de Cadenet, founder & CEO, The Conversation.
"It's been great being able to bounce ideas off of other PTTOW! members and get their take on how they're thinking about the impact youth culture will have on their brands and priorities," Pittman, a PTTOW! member since 2012, tells Billboard. "One of iHeartMedia's key strengths is our connection to diverse audiences across the company, and we love having a place at the table for discussions about how youth culture is being impacted by music, entertainment and new technologies."
Pittman, Brown and Rajamannar will also be involved with PTTOW! Music, which will host more than 60 activities and think-tank sessions in February. Confirmed participants include Steve Barnett, chairman & CEO of Capitol Music Group; Ron Laffitte, co-CEO, Maverick Management; Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer, Taco Bell; Steve Berman, vice Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M; JC Curleigh, president, Levi's; Rob Wells, president of digital business, Universal Music Group; Troy Carter, CEO, Atom Factory; Rich Lehrfeld, global media, sponsorship & experiential marketing, American Express; Werner Brell, managing director, Red Bull; Rob Matthews, general manager, global consumer marketing at Microsoft & Xbox; and Emmanuel Seuge, Global Alliances & Ventures, The Coca-Cola Company.
MasterCard's Rajamannar, who joined PTTOW! shortly after attending a private event at The Beatles' LOVETheater during this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is eager to get more involved. "The board members are literally some of the best in the music industry, across different parts of the music ecosystem," he tells Billbaord. The possibilities for this working group, I believe, are immense."
PTTOW!'s 230 members represent some $68 billion in annual media spending, one-third of all media in the U.S., and have brokered more than 50 partnerships, deals and alliances as a direct result of their membership. Recent deals include a five-year partnership between Bonnaroo and the Red Bull Music Academy forged by members Rich Goodstone of Superfly and Red Bull's Torsten Schmidt; a licensing pact between Skullcandy and Spotify; an iHeartRadio Music Festival partnership with The Audience and advisory from PTTOW! executives for brand partnerships at this year's Global Citizen Festival.
"The number and types of different partnerships we're able to bring together is our biggest success metric," says Tsunder. "A lot of CMOs have more influence than most heads of state, so the role they an play in music is only constrained by their ideas and their dreams. There hasn't been a neutral party to bring everybody together and set the ethos to create what's possible tomorrow."