Before Usher takes the Super Bowl halftime stage, Apple Music builds anticipation for the big show

Before Usher takes the Super Bowl halftime stage, Apple Music builds anticipation for the big show

LAS VEGAS (AP) – In a short film shown at the end of Super Bowl The press conference of the performer of the first part, the headline of the show Usher disappears. The singer’s sudden absence causes immediate panic among his friends, including here Ludacris, Lil Jon AND Taraji P Hensonsparking a search at various Las Vegas landmarks.

At the end, Usher is found splashing water while dancing in a fountain at Caesar’s Palace The seven-minute film “Where’s Usher!?” It’s one of several creative projects from Apple Music, which has made a concerted effort to build anticipation around Sunday’s first half show.

Since Apple Music became the sponsor of the halftime show, the streaming service is trying to make an impactful mark like never before.

“We’re trying to expand the campaign to more than one show on Sunday afternoon,” said Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music and Beats. Streaming service became a sponsor of the show in 2022 replacing Pepsi, who held the position for a decade.

Schusser said Apple Music stepped in as a company that understands the music landscape. He called their partnership a “very powerful one” with the NFL and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, which has produced the halftime show since 2019.

“We want to make the halftime show press conference the artist’s moment,” Schusser said. “We really wanted to elevate it and make it great. We did this last year. This year, we made it even bigger.”

So far, Apple Music is off to a promising start. Last year, the streaming service built a campaign for Rihanna – holding it pregnant a secret — leading to her performance becoming the most-watched Super Bowl halftime in history with more than 121 million viewers.

As Usher prepares for it headline this year’s festivities, Apple Music created a strategic plan before taking the Super Bowl stage. The streaming service has been working with the singer and his team since meeting him during Paris Fashion Week last year.

“It’s been a journey with him and his management ever since,” Schusser said. “We want to make this a bigger and global event. Between Apple Music, Apple Music Radio, talent that has a deep understanding of music and culture, and obviously the Apple ecosystem, I think we can amplify that.”

Until Sunday, it’s all about Usher. Through the streaming service’s app, listeners can watch the singer’s halftime show trailer, his curated My Road to Halftime playlist of his hits and collaborations. Usher and Jermaine Dupri created a medley of tracks in spatial audio with jams including DJs Tiësto, Gryffin and BLOND:ISH.

Nadeska Alexis from Apple Music Radio there was an interview broadcast live Thursday with Usher where the short film was shown.

It’s a story of Usher in 20 songs, an editorial feature that takes an in-depth look at his 30-year career as a performer. The platform offers a four-night check-in of Usher through their live streaming shows hosted by Lil Wayne and Estelle along with exclusive programming on Apple Music Radio that will chronicle the singer’s evolution; workout music from recent front-runners via Fitness+ and ways to revisit his past projects ahead of the release of his ninth studio album Coming Home, which drops Friday.

“From a marketing standpoint, we approach it as a product launch,” said Tor Myhren, vice president of marketing communications at Apple. “You have all the unique things about it, and then you bring it to life. With Usher, the approach is that Usher is fun. Usher is a party. He wants to have a good time. It’s really about capturing the essence of that artist, bringing it together with the essence of Apple Music.”

Myhren said there is still a focus on Usher’s performance after the Super Bowl. He said it is imperative to capitalize on the singer’s spectacle before turning the company’s attention to next year’s performer.

“We still want people to enjoy the glory of the show,” he said. “Once an artist plays in the first half, the airplay of their music for the next week or two goes through the roof. We want to be in the middle of it. We want to give our customers a much better experience.”

Myhren said the groundwork has been laid.

“It’s about the lead up to the show and how we can keep reinventing that step,” he said. “We want to continue to bring this very cool musical experience to a much more global audience.”

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