While strides have been made for women in music, statistics have shown that women artists are severely overlooked and underserved in the industry. Across popular songs from 2012-2019, women made up less than 22 percent of artists, less than 15 percent of songwriters and less than 3 percent of producers. Because of this disparity, SeeHer launched the SeeHer Hear Her vertical to eliminate gender bias in the industry and increase the percentage of women in front of and behind the mic.
To support this objective, SeeHer teamed up with Breakr, a two-sided marketplace that connects artists and brands directly with influencers to launch products/campaigns and break new music. Together, we launched an accelerator program for emerging women artists. Our goal was to create a pilot program transforming how brands and creators interact via technology and cultural programming, while elevating and mentoring emerging women in music.
The #HerBigBreak contest served as a talent discovery & career accelerator wrapped in a competition format, designed for multi-platform social engagement. It leveraged the best of what makes TV competitions work combined with the strategies top creators use to grow their reach to drive real, life-changing results.
SeeHer performed a landscape analysis of opportunities for female artists in the music industry. After finding that there were few opportunities for emerging women artists, SeeHer and Breakr teamed up to create a first-of-its-kind accelerator program collaborating with creators.
The campaign, #HerBigBreak, served as a career accelerator program to help women artists overcome gender bias within the music industry. Through access to education, resources, and relationships, #HerBigBreak helped three incredible artists break through.
The campaign launched with a competition across Breakr’s 65,000 creators and artists across Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, etc. and applicants flooded in. Artist submissions were vetted and shortlisted by industry executives, who advised and mentored the artists. Artists were then partnered with a “creator partner” or “creator partner team” who championed their work via integrations across their social footprint. The creator partners’ audiences voted for their favorites. Through a rigorous evaluation process, D’anna Stewart of Compton, CA, Brianna Knight of Spring Valley, NY, and Amanda Adams of Tampa, FL were selected as winners.
Most contests end there; however, this is where the true impact began as we launched a four-week mentorship program, complete with a concert performance opportunity.
The three winners received mentorship from a highly impressive group of women executives including: Baby Tate; Dana Droppo, Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing, Billboard; Adrienne (Ada) Hopkins, Strategic Partner Manager, Top Creator Communities, YouTube; Amber Grimes, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Love Renaissance (LVRN); Cori Gadbury, Director, Tour Marketing, United Talent Agency (UTA), Donna Lamar, Executive Creative Director at Spotify; Tolu Ayeni, Music Partnerships, Instagram; Coco and Breezy, Producers/DJs and CEOs of Coco and Breezy Eyewear; Morgan Wilkinson, Creator Partnerships, Group Black; Poizon Ivy, Dallas Mavericks DJ Personality; Lynn M. Dana Droppo, SVP, Marketing, Billboard; Adrienne Hopkins, Strategic Partner Manager, YouTube; Cori Gadbury, Director, United Talent Agency; and Donna Lamar, ECD, Spotify.
These mentors provided D’Anna, Amanda, and Brianna with career advice, marketing strategies, and introductions. To conclude the program, Breakr produced a virtual Twitch concert to showcase the winners’ music in front of thousands of viewers presented by SeeHer. And our relationship with these artists continues.
To create music equality, women must be given the opportunities and tools to succeed in the industry. Through this accelerator program, three emerging women artists were introduced to key leaders in music, given insight and mentorship into what it takes to succeed in a male-dominated industry.
SeeHer and Breakr empowered three independent women artists, who were mentored by key music executives, received coaching and insight on the development of influencer marketing campaigns, performed during a live Twitch concert and continue to receive support and opportunities from the network established through this contest that have the potential to open doors to economically sustainable career paths. That is true impact.
This program demonstrated how we can transform the way brands and creators interact via technology and cultural programming, while elevating women artists. This was done with a very limited not-for-profit budget. The PR media value equated to over $1.5 million dollars; the social media delivered over 13.8 million impressions generated from co-creation with artists and influencers; and the Twitch concert live stream featuring our winners was #4 overall on the platform (#3 in music).
This contest proved that we can advance towards our goal of gender parity within the music industry, as long as we create the opportunities for women artists to learn, grow, and thrive throughout the industry. We are now taking this model to scale.