Finding a groove in festivals: Q’s with Amazon Music’s Kirdis Postelle

COLOR VL24 221135 031724 Santiago Covarrubias OCESA
VIVA AMAZON MUSIC: OCESA’s Vive Latino festival in Mexico City, which was sponsored and live-streamed by Amazon Music, was the most-watched event for the tech giant. Amazon Music has expanded its presence in the festival space by live streaming major events such as Stagecoach, Dreamville, Primavera Sound and Head In The Clouds. (Photo by Santiago Covarrubias / OCESA)

Amazon Music took big steps in the field of live music last year with a successful second season of Amazon Music Live, City Sessions and the live streaming of major festivals such as Dreamville, Stagecoach, Head in the Clouds and Primavera Sound. Prime Video and Twitch have established themselves as entertainment hubs for music fans and festival live streaming leaders with their programming, but Amazon isn’t resting on its laurels.

The tech giant not only gave fans access to music events via livestreams again in 2024, but also made a giant leap by entering the festival circuit as the title sponsor of Vive Latino, a Mexico City staple that continues the culture and beloved rock-en-español celebrates genre. . Amazon Music helped create a festive, inclusive atmosphere, where multi-generational fans could hold listening parties and purchase exclusive merchandise and vinyl at Amazon stations.

“There are many festivals, but this is special because it goes hand in hand with what Amazon is as a brand,” said Paul Forat, head of Amazon Music in Mexico. Pollster at Vive Latino. “It has a huge interest in culture and connecting fans with artists in some way. (Vive Latino) is more than a music festival; it is a celebration of culture. … All we want to do is take it to the next level and bring it closer to the fans in different ways.

Amazon Music confirmed that the livestream was the company’s most watched music event, making the partnership with OCESA Mexico a great success, one that the company will build on in the future. Pollster spoke with Amazon Music’s Global Head of Content and Artist Marketing Kirdis Postelle to talk about building relationships with fans and artists, as well as the company’s plans for 2024 and beyond.

Pollster: What can you tell me about this year and what Amazon Music has accomplished so far?
Kirdis Postelle: We started livestreaming during the pandemic to keep customers and fans connected, and that philosophy hasn’t changed. We just want to keep creating great experiences and content for fans. With Vive Latino we gained a truly global viewership. Those artists have fans all over the world, and the same goes for J. Cole, and the artists who performed at Dreamville are global artists, and their fans want to see them. It also gives developing artists in the lineups the opportunity to perform in front of a global audience and potentially be discovered. We want to keep our artists and their fans and our customers as connected as possible.

What have you learned from the success of Vive Latino?
I couldn’t be more proud of this festival. It’s the most watched festival we’ve ever done. It was the first time that so many different Amazon business units came together to support a festival. Growing up in music, going to festivals and being part of the music industry for so long, I was still in awe of the greatness we saw there. There were three-year-olds with their parents and their parents were there with their parents. … I just didn’t expect it, and I’m just grateful that we got to be a part of that.

What does this mean for the future of Amazon Music?
What we’re really focused on from a music services and livestreaming perspective is fandom. For me, it’s about keeping artists connected to their fans and helping artists grow their fan base. In 2024 we will collaborate with more festivals around the world than ever before. We’ll be developing more of our own livestream IPs like Amazon Music Live and City Sessions. We just want to keep growing our audience, so we keep helping artists grow. I come from an artist marketing background… and I’ve seen the livestreaming business centered around artists, but as Amazon Music grows and as I grow, I believe more and more that it’s really about fandom.

In a way, with your artist-oriented background, you can also win over fans by winning over the artist.
We had a presentation not too long ago about our music business, and (Amazon Music General Manager) Ryan Redington posted a photo of the Beatles in the ’60s and Taylor Swift. When you look at that, you see that the fandom doesn’t change. It’s only growing and fans will go where their artist goes. If we can create an outsized impact for the artists in a way that resonates with them, they will bring their fans along.

The company has some special programming such as Amazon Music Live and City Sessions. What other programming can we expect in the future?
We had a great Amazon Music Live season last year and we’ll be back again this year. I am very proud of the work we did with AML last season. We just did a great livestream of Black Crowes City Sessions, and we’re expanding that series and developing that format.

There’s a Stagecoach live stream coming up. What is the strategy behind the genres and festivals you want to work with?
It’s about bringing experiences and content to fans and just meeting them where they are. … With Beyoncé’s success in country music, there are all these new country music fans that we’re going to be able to reach who wouldn’t have thought about a country music festival before. On our livestream they can see a number of artists they discovered through Beyoncé. We want to be able to serve fans and customers wherever they are or whatever genre they love.

Some of the fans and customers we have will never be able to go to a festival, but with Twitch you get the chat experience, you can talk to other fans, and for some people that’s as close as you can get to a festival, and we’re proving that experience for them. Honestly, that’s all I care about: being able to deliver for fans and artists in a way that’s meaningful to them, their career, and their fandom.

I’m fascinated by Amazon Music’s strategy with its livestreams, programs, and recent sponsorship of Vive Latino. What is the ultimate goal? What would be considered a successful 2024 for Amazon Music?
For me, it just grows our livestream audience and reaches more fans. For example, for Amazon Music Live, if I can double my audience and continue to diversify the livestreaming audience this season, then that’s what success would look like for us. The more I can grow the audience, the more we can do for artists, the more we can diversify our audience through types of live streams and the more we can develop our own IP. This is what success will look like to me in 2024.

See ¡Vive Latino, Viva México! OCESA’s festival that symbolizes the country’s cultural shift