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Marriott to offer ‘loyal’ guests access to live music

Marriott International is providing a new twist to hotel elevator music for its guests.

Announcing its partnership with Universal Music Group Tuesday, the Bethesda-based, international travel company will provide hotel guests access to live performances by their favorite artists as well as new social content in exchange for their loyalty to its hotel brands globally.

“It’s really creating these experiences with music, and it’s something that certain Next Gen travelers are really interested and pursue when they travel all over the world,” said Gordon Lambourne, senior vice president of global public relations for Marriott International.

Marriott International currently has 4,200 hotels worldwide on five continents and recently reached 50 million Rewards members. The new addition to the company’s Rewards program also offers free music downloads, ticket offers, and access to new video series, said Jennifer Utz, vice president of Buzz marketing for Marriott International.

“We’re trying to do things that will resonate much more with the Millennials’ audience,” Utz said.

The goal is to attract younger tourists to become Rewards members with exclusive access opportunities while also promote the different Marriott brands like the Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott or Renaissance hotels as places to stay during their travels, Utz said.

Universal Music Group connected with the Marriott group in January and soon discovered the mutual benefit, said Mike Tunnicliffe, executive vice president of Business Development & Partnerships for Universal Music Group.

“The exposure that we get across all of Marriott’s 1.9 million hotel rooms — it’s another channel for our office to be seen by, and to be seen in a very cool way,” Tunnicliffe said.

He said that the more intimate concert venues could lead to more super fans, likely leading to increased social media activity that would further boost the artist’s exposure and following.

Universal Music Group’s consumer insights panel helps to match the artists with the different venues, Tunnicliffe said, providing a “menu of artists” for a particular area based on collected social media data.

“It’s another way of marketing the artists, it’s also a fantastic way of marketing brands,” Tunnicliffe said. “It’s helping the brand build up for a marketing platform that will hopefully create a long-term branding opportunity.”

To kick off the new partnership, the two companies are hosting their first event June 30 in London with an exclusive concert by local music artist Jessie J in the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel.

Catering to Jessie J’s local following in England and the Renaissance Hotel brand’s personality, for example, aims to draw a huge crowd while also promoting the rewards program.

“Similarly, when we go to Asia or when we go to Mexico, we’ll look for artists that really resonate with the Millennials in that region,” Utz said.

While the event is open to the public, admittance to the limited space venue relies on RSVPs and a first-come, first-serve basis.