This summer at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Live Nation introduced new AR features, giving brands a new way to engage with fans and festival-goers at the peak of their excitement. Spearheading these efforts is Kevin Chernett, Live Nation's EVP of Global Partnerships & Content Distribution, who in his 16 years with the company has helped it evolve with the changing media landscape. Here, he talks about the future impact of 5G, how they're measuring success of AR-powered experiences and what they're working on next.
Why did you decide to join Live Nation?
In the late 90s, I was a partner in a business that built and monetized artist websites while also managing their fan databases. When I learned that Live Nation, which was known as Clear Channel Entertainment at the time, was building a Media & Sponsorship business it felt like the natural next step for me. 16 years later I’m still glad I took that step.
What’s currently happening in marketing that most excites you and how is it changing the future of the industry?
Each year, new technologies and platforms emerge which change the landscape. This drives me to constantly be learning and working towards the new, ensuring that Live Nation is always leading instead of following. Right now, I’m excited about what 5G will bring to the future of live entertainment. A faster, more powerful connection unlocks a more social, frictionless and immersive fan experience while presenting a powerful opportunity for deeper engagement between fans, artists and brands.
From your perspective, what's the biggest opportunity for brands when it comes to embedding live music culture into their strategies?
Connecting with an influential audience before, during and after an emotionally-charged, once-in-a-lifetime experience that, for many, is the highlight of their entire year. They wait in anticipation, plan, shop, travel for this moment, and relive it long after it ends. Brands have many touchpoints to add value across that journey when fans are excited and truly receptive, while also getting to be a part of cultural moments that people remember for the rest of their lives. That level of attention is powerful for a brand, especially in today’s fractured landscape.
What are you working on now that's innovative and anything new in the works?
We recently launched a suite of AR products to enhance the fan experience with creativity, purpose and utility. At Music Midtown in September, we partnered with Hyundai, one of the first companies to leverage Live Nation’s new AR tools, to create an immersive experience for fans on-site at the festival and at home to explore new features of the completely redesigned 2020 Sonata.
We are also focusing our efforts on exploring ways to create more interactive, social and immersive content experiences for fans so definitely keep an eye on this space.
With introducing a new suite of AR tools, how are you tracking and measuring success among fans and event-goers?
Adoption and number of users are always key metrics, especially as we introduce new technology and experiences that invite new behaviors to the environment. The metric that excites me the most so far is engagement time, which has greatly surpassed our initial expectations.
What big learning moments have you experienced during your career?
In 2014, we launched our live streaming business to broadcast a live concert every single day for a year — something that had never been done before. It was tremendously successful and I learned that to change consumer behavior, you have to be willing to take big risks and stand by them.
How do you pick and develop the talent on your team?
I believe in the importance of a strong team culture and look for people who can think beyond today’s limits. I learned early on in my career that empowering my team to succeed or fail, in a supportive environment, is the best way for them to learn, develop and grow.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t ever assume.
What’s something that most people don't know about you?
I was the lead singer of a band for a brief moment in college.
What book/podcast would you most recommend to fellow marketers?
Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog.