Charlie Puth. Andra Day. Lukas Graham. Before many of these music artists cracked the Billboard charts, they were featured in Delta’s Artist Spotlight, which provides free music streaming through the airline’s onboard entertainment system, Delta Studio.
Since its launch in May 2014 with Sam Smith, the program has featured different artists each month from all genres of music, many on the cusp of stardom about to make their mainstream breakthrough. Although the primary focus is on emerging artists, the program has also included Grammy-winning hitmakers like Taylor Swift and Coldplay.
Each artist is chosen by a team under the Delta Marketing umbrella and Pollack Music & Media Group based in Los Angeles. A combination of factors goes into each selection, including market research such as radio play, social media buzz and international appeal. It also helps that the team is full of passionate music fans with their pulse on the hottest artists climbing the charts.
Several of the artists Delta has featured, such as Grammy nominee and “Rise Up” singer Andra Day, say being a part of the program has helped their careers soar. “I received the Delta Artist Spotlight in August 2015, right before my album was released, and the program provided me with an amazing opportunity to share my music with millions of new fans in those early days,” said Day. “I look forward to building my relationship with the brand as my career continues to grow.”
And the accolades and awards have certainly followed for her and other rising stars. Day was one of four Delta artists who were recently nominated for the music world’s highest honor. In all, Delta Artist Spotlight musicians shared 13 Grammy nominations this year. Spotify also recently announced that Kygo, who was the Delta Artist Spotlight in December, became the fastest artist of all time to reach one billion streams.
July’s Artist Spotlight will be Fitz and the Tantrums. The band’s commercial breakthrough came with 2013’s “More Than Just a Dream”, including two No. 1 hits with “The Walker” and “Out of My League.” On their self-titled third album, the group has broadened their catchy pop-soul sound, with “even more kinetic energy and savvy hooks,” according to iTunes.
Like every Spotlight artist, customers can listen to tracks from the band’s new album and watch music videos – free of charge – on Delta Studio. What’s more, beginning July 1, all content featured on Delta Studio will be free for every customer flying on two-class aircraft, which makes up nearly 90 percent of Delta’s fleet. Delta Studio currently offers up to 300 movies, 750 TV shows, 100 foreign film titles, 2,400 songs, 18 channels of live satellite TV on select aircraft and a selection of games on aircraft with seat-back entertainment systems.
Featured artists also receive special recognition in their month’s issue of Sky magazine. Some also participate in special airline events, including fan meet-and-greets and private concerts. For example, as an Official Airline Partner of the Grammys, Delta hosted a behind-the-scenes tour and dinner with Andra Day to kick off this year’s awards weekend.
“Delta has long championed the work of both emerging and celebrated artists through Delta Artist Spotlight,” said Ranjan Goswami, Delta’s Vice President – Sales, West. “We are so proud to play a small part on their path to stardom.”