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Founder explains how Guvera is misunderstood, as creditors descend

Guvera canvasIn the midst of Guvera’s precipitous contraction in the last month, during which is was blocked from launching an IPO in the Australian market and closed the service in half of its operating territories, founder Claes Loberg says everybody misunderstands. In a video called “This Is Guvera” (see it below this article), Loberg holds forth on the service’s founding purpose, which is to connect brands with users in meaningful ways.

“Guvera is a platform for brands to be useful, rather than the annoying 30-second ad that people are trying to click past and get rid of,” Loberg states. It’s about branded content marketing, in which companies market their brands by curating media content and affiliating with the music and lifestyle sensibilities of users. Loberg discusses what Coke-branded and Harley Davidson-branded playlists might be like.

The Guvera founder sat on the board of London’s Branded Content Marketing Association for a period, so he sports a background in this type of thinking. “Make the advertiser the curator of content, rather than the disruptor of content,” he advocates.

To some extent Guvera was founded as a response to music piracy which took money out of the music industry. But Loberg is also going after a larger pie: “As a business [Guvera is] responding to the $650-billion industry of advertising. It’s trying to figure out how to connect [brands] to the consumer in a world where the consumer is in control.”

Of course, the idea of brand content marketing is not original to Guvera. It’s as old as the pre-TV radio industry in the U.S., in which brands owned the total marketing voice in whole programs. In today’s streaming audio ecosystem, premium brand partnerships have been an ongoing part of Pandora’s revenue mix for a few years, including branded playlists of the sort Claes Loberg is talking about. Both Pandora and Spotify diversify their ad-supported operations with standard spot advertising and subscriptions.

guvera goodbyeThe video is meant as a PR offensive during a crucial time of deep trouble for Guvera. Thwarting the company IPO, which happened in June, now puts the service in a severe cost-cutting posture. It has curtailed operations in 10 of its 20 formerly served countries — U.S. listeners can no longer stream. Creditors and investors are reportedly headed to Sydney for a showdown with the faltering company on Thursday.

To double down on his point that Guvera is more than a music service Loberg noted that his company would be entering the social, film, and television markets. And in one eye-squinting comparison, he said this: “We do stream music, sure. Just as Ikea sells hot dogs — they’re not a hot dog company, and we’re not just a streaming company.”

 

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Brad Hill

2 Comments

  1. Sure, Claes may have had his name on a list of people associated with the Branded Content Marketing Association, but he certainly did not learn much there (if he even participated). Branded content needs to be associated with a BRAND, which means there have to be brands out there that actually want to associate with riff-raff like Guvera. Check out Twitter these days, and you will see that listeners are dropping Guvera like yesterday’s old news. What would motivate a brand (or a brand manager, who’s reputation and livelihood is on the line) to choose to work with a brand that can deliver only lies and misrepresentations? Claes, as usual, is living in a complete fantasy land..,

  2. Guvera feels misunderstood because they keep trying to portray themselves as a legitimate, law-abiding ASX-worthy corporate citizen. When in reality, senior management (and those naive enough to keeping getting paid to work there) are corporate bottom-feeders, who prey on investors via an ultra-sketchy association with AMMA (and its band of thieves) and have an innate inability to pay their debts to creditors and trusting employees. That, Claes Loberg, is the TRUTH about Guvera. You have nothing new in your grubby bag of tricks – no new technology (beyond the recent DOWNGRADE), no in-house capability or creativity to produce your branded content (let alone video and television-quality materials), no brands that want your inked-up snake oil salesman approach to “branding” and now no sales force to even engage or maintain the mis-guided brands you have conned into working with you. So, in reality, the only thing about Guvera that remains “misunderstood” is why you are still allowed to function – and why you keep wasting our time with your brand of hot dog psychology. It is B.S. Give it a rest!

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