From cars to drinks, product placement has always been commonplace in movies and music videos. But now a major record conglomerate and advertisers are taking it to a game-changing level. According to a recent Buzzfeed report, Universal Music Group, advertising agency Havas, and tech company Mirrad are joining forces to not only place ads in current and future videos by Universal Music artists but also to seamless insert them into existing videos—something Mirrad described as “native in-video advertising." One recent example is Avicii's “You Make Me” video, whose slightly-altered clip now features street scenes with a Grand Marnier billboard in the background that wasn't in the original version. According to Universal CEO Lucian Grange, the agreement would provide musicians “additional opportunities to generate revenue from their music videos." Among the other artists who have reportedly signed up for this include American Authors, Far East Movement and Vanessa Carlton.
While this new deal would bring in more dollars—data cited by Buzzfeed said that brands get an 8% boost in potential purchase and recognition when featured in a music video—purists are most likely to be turned off at the idea that some of their beloved music videos will be altered for the sake of commerce. And if the trend spreads to the other labels (which you know it will), you may someday be seeing videos by Drake, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Taylor Swift hawking anything from gadgets to designer wear. You can see how native in-video advertising works in this Avicii clip of "Lay Me Down" below (via Billboard).