By Ellie Mckinsey


In September 2020, mixed martial arts brand UFC launched its own subscription streaming service. The UFC Ultimate Sound App is the world’s first media and music streaming app that provides UFC fighters with the opportunity to connect directly with MMA fans through content and music.


We have yet to see how the service will perform in the long run, but already we can see how niche music services like the UFC Ultimate Sound App will shape the global music industry in general and subscription streaming services in particular.


UFC’s app is just one of the many brand-affiliated music apps that are slowly but surely carving out a big chunk of the streaming market. Let’s take a closer look at the rise of these apps and how they can impact brands and the music industry.


Getting New Subscribers

According to Spiro Arkoudis of Tuned Global, which provided the streaming technology for the UFC app, the involvement of brands in music streaming can be beneficial for the music industry. When an app is affiliated with a brand, the fans of that brand may be greatly inclined to sign up for its content subscription service as well. This benefits both the brand and the music artists whose tracks are included in the service. This is also one of the reasons why artists should look into having their music distributed in streaming platforms.


Getting Paid

Of course, what keeps subscription services going is a subscriber’s willingness to pay for them. What’s great about brand-affiliated apps is that dedicated fans of a brand, especially one like UFC, a pay-per-view provider, are actually used to paying for content. People don’t mind paying for something they’re really interested in right from the start. This is another plus that brands can take advantage of, and artists can look forward to.


Discovering New Music

Brands with their own music streaming subscription services can also help artists be discovered by a wider audience. For example, the UFC Sound App offers a variety of mixes for fans. If your music is included in the playlists, there’s a big chance that a UFC fan will get to listen to your track, and if they like it, would go for more.


Providing a New Musical Experience

Aside from subscription services, there are other ways that audiences can discover and listen to new music. Another example of a brand-affiliated music app that fans enjoyed is Pizza Hut’s “The Singing Pizza” app, which rolled out in Malaysia. The brand partnered up with Universal Music Malaysia to offer an exclusive, 200-song playlist over a period of nine months.


The campaign basically turned each pizza box into a “digital turntable.” Customers can scan the QR code on a box to download the app and simply press the play button to get music. The more pizzas they order, the more music they can listen to. It’s a cool and exciting way to not only sell more pizzas, but also connect local music artists to new and existing fans.


The UFC Sound App and Pizza Hut’s Singing Pizza app are just two examples that show how brand-affiliated music apps can provide customers with a new experience that also benefits music artists and the music industry. With these apps, music can reach a wider, yet still targeted audience willing to pay to get what they want. We reckon we will be seeing more of those tie-ups in the future. What do you think?