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whatmusic compilations

For brand owners

Whatmusic offers businesses the opportunity to make money from music in a way that enhances and builds their brands. Many companies use music to sell their brands (either directly through adverts or indirectly through background music in stores or restaurants), and many record labels have used brands to sell their music. However if a brand is used to sell poor or inappropriate music, it can very quickly be undermined, causing damage to the brand in its core areas. At whatmusic we feel very strongly about this because bad tie-ins not only hurt the brand, they short-change the customer and devalue the music - everybody loses.

Used correctly, music and brands can work synergistically together not only to reinforce brand values in a strongly emotional way, but also to increase the perceived value of the music to the benefit of the artist and record label. Finally the consumer benefits as he or she is able to experience the adventure of discovering great music, courtesy of known and trusted brands, without the effort of working through racks of records in increasingly overwhelming megastores.

Remember when your friend made you a compilation you really loved - half of it your old favourites, half of it exciting new tunes you'd never heard before? Remember the passion, the adventure and the pleasure of putting together songs that really worked with each other? These days compilations seem to be more and more like an expensive way to snap up a few songs you wanted in your collection. But now that you can do that online, one song at a time, it seems appropriate to rediscover the adventure and excitement of a mixed CD you can put on and listen to, end to end, and love every bit of it.

In a world of ever greater choice, retailers spend fortunes building brands that communicate their chosen values. Music is used extensively in advertising and as background music instore, but not as a profitable product in its own right. Bespoke compilations (reflecting the brand through choice of music, design and quality of packaging), offer an emotional link that the customer takes home. What is more, you have a high margin product that uses minimal shop space and is susceptible to impulse buying.

Working with whatmusic

is like setting up your own internal record division, without the overheads or the hassle. We use our extensive knowledge of music (all genres and styles from the most mainstream pop, rock and R&B to the rarest Jazz and Brazilian albums that we release on own label) to mould the right 'soundtrack' for you. We work with your own marketing people to develop the design, concept and (TV) marketing plan and we look after all aspects of licensing, production and fulfilment.

Whatmusic is run by Charlie Leach, who has produced and released 80 albums with whatmusic (running all aspects of licensing, design, production and distribution), in partnership with Nathan Graves, who has over 16 years of high level experience in the Music Industry. Nathan ran Universal's marketing operations in New Zealand where he launched a number of successful TV advertised compilations earning him over 25 platinum and gold awards. He then moved to the UK to head up Universal Jazz where he signed Jamie Cullum and created the biggest selling Jazz compilation ever, the multi-platinum 'Smooth Jazz' as well as creating compilations with Michael Parkinson amongst others.

Some examples of our compilations can be seen below.
If you would like to discuss any of these ideas further, please email charlie@whatmusic.com or nathan@whatmusic.com or call us on +44 20 7833 3097.

10 Dean Street

Music is an integral part of the PizzaExpress experience - always engaging, sometimes surprising but never, ever bland. This selection introduces listeners to the unique Pizza express sound. Since after all, great tunes go hand in hand with delicious food.
  • Brands: PizzaExpress
  • Artists include: Fat Freddy's drop, The Five Corners Quintet and Alice Russel
  • Released: July 2006
Pete Gooding at Sosho

This compilation was used as a cover mount for Dj magazine. Its aim was to promote Sosho as a serious music venue for people who are serious about music.
  • Brands: Sosho
  • Artists include: Nick & Danny Chatalain, Serge Santiago, Tim Deluxe
  • Released: February 2006
Love Is

This concept album was developed for EMI/ Virgin for Valentine's day. The album has sold over 100,000 to date and is a highly successful example of its genre.
  • Brands: EMI and Virgin
  • Artists include: John Lennon, Billy Joel, Joss Stone, Frank Sinatra
  • Released: February 2004
Trailer Happiness - Velvet Voodoo

Compiled together with Matchbar owner Jonathan Downey, this album was designed to offer a selection of interesting rare music for the sophisticated membership of Milk & Honey, the high class cocktail bar in Soho. The mix was branded under the name of Trailer Happiness, the newest bar in the group and the one with a music policy most closely fitting the music (funky rare grooves from the 60s & 70s). 'Velvet Voodoo' is the name of the free cocktail you get with the album!
  • Brands: Trailer Happiness (Matchbar Group) and Jose Cuervo Tequila (Diageo)
  • Artists include: International Hot, Eero Koivistoinen and Open Sky Unit
  • Released September 2004
Sad Songs

This concept album was developed for EMI/Virgin for Autumn Release. The album went straight into the charts at number 1 on its first week of release.
  • Brands: EMI and Virgin
  • Artists include: Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy, Mike & The Mechanics, Blue, Roy Orbison
  • Released: September 2004
The Very Best of Smooth Jazz

Created for Universal Jazz. This album sold 280,000 copies in the UK alone and an estimated half a million copies worldwide.
  • Brand: Universal Jazz
  • Artists include: George Benson, Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, Louis Armstrong, Mica Paris
  • Released: June 2002
Jazz Cafe - The Soul Mix

This compilation for The Ministry of Sound included music from whatmusic.
  • Brand: Ministry of Sound
  • Artists include: Jamie Cullum, Katie Mehlua, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder
  • Released: March 2004
Verve Remixed

Concept origination for Universal's Verve label. This remix album of Verve classic jazz tracks by modern DJ's went on to sell over 350,000 copies.
  • Brands: Universal, Verve label
  • Artists include: Richard Dorfmeister, Masters at Work, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald
  • Released: June 2002
Mediterranean Lounge

Compiled for Universal Music, this is part of a highly successful series Universal have been producing for Marks and Spencer for about ten years
  • Brand: Marks and Spencer
  • Artists include: Karen Ramirez, Astrud Gilberto, Incognito, Campo
  • Released: 2004
World Lounge

Compiled for Universal Music, this is part of a highly successful series Universal have been producing for Marks and Spencer for about ten years
  • Brand: Marks and Spencer
  • Artists include: Grace Jones, Orquestra Del Plata, Carlos Santana, Secret Garden
  • Released: 2004
Alfresco Jazz

Compiled for Universal Music, this is part of a highly successful series Universal have been producing for Marks and Spencer for about ten years
  • Brand: Marks and Spencer
  • Artists include: Nina Simone, Natalie Cole, Sergio Mendes, Grover Washington Jr., Herbie Hancock
  • Released: 2004
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