At concerts today, it's more common to see a fan with a smartphone in the air then waving a lighter. But a new partnership between lighter manufacturer Zippo and popular live music application Bandsintown combines both actions.
Announced Thursday (Sept. 12), the partnership includes an app for fans and a direct-to-fan merchandise opportunity for artists. Bandsintown has integrated a mechanism into Zippo's existing Virtual Lighter app that notifies users when their favorite bands are playing nearby and links to concert information. This both increases the user value of the app and the impact of the brand on the live music audience.
“Through our Virtual Zippo Lighter app and our partnership with Bandsintown," said Brent Tyler, Global Brand Manager of Zippo Manufacturing Company, in a statement, "we can now more deeply engage with Bandsintown concert-goers during live music events, bringing the same look and feel of Zippo’s iconic lighter to mobile devices."
Bandsintown is a mobile and Facebook application that scans users' libraries for artists and delivers push notifications when one of those artists is playing a concert near the user. The application currently has over 6 million registered users, powering the tour dates for over 160K artists and reaching 30 million unique fans per month.
In a conversation with Billboard.biz, Julien Mitelberg, CEO of Bandsintown, said the app aims to be the place where fans tell their concert story before, during, and after the show. "With this announcement, we are evolving our business to help artists and brands align,” says Mitelberg. "Now we are in discussions with other brands on how we can leverage our relationships with bands and connect them with brands to create new opportunities."
Another aspect of the partnership is Bandsintown's Specials platform, a new revenue opportunity to sell customized band lighters directly to fans. For example, the metal band BATTLECROSS polled their Facebook fans on which custom Zippo design they wanted to be produced. After the response of hundreds of fans, the winning design is now on sale directly through the band's Facebook page. “The fan response was the most responded-to post in the bands’ history, giving an opportunity for brands like Zippo to be part of that engagement and benefit by investing directly into reaching fans through mobile platforms and social media marketing," says Velda Garcia Fayz of the Fayz Media Group, who manages BATTLECROSS.
This summer, the company’s music campaign, Zippo Encore, sponsored Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival, the 6th annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and country star Lee Brice’s tour with Brad Paisley. Bandsintown is also the official Facebook application of the 2013 Vans Warped Tour.
The Virtual Zippo® Lighter application, powered by Bandsintown, is free to install and available now for both iOS and Android users.