Article | Onlythebeat

SFX and MasterCard Partnership has good intentions but negative realities

Saturday, August 09, 2014
Kim Reyes

Credit card company MasterCard is looking to make their stake in electronic music’s economic boom through their new multi-year partnership with media company SFX Entertainment. SFX owns major festivals like Tomorrowland and Mysteryland, as well as Beatport, the online music distribution store. According to Mastercard’s official press release, they aim to, through this global partnership, “simplify the way hundreds of millions of electronic dance music (EDM) fans worldwide can access SFX events, engage with content and connect with their community.” Mysteryland-2014-line-up-woodstock

Related: Mysteryland 2014: The Woodstock of EDM

The platform intends to establish a unique experience for fans that includes ticketing, social networking, retail, and live events. On top of that, SFX’s platforms will use MasterCard as its official sponsor for financial services. What this partnership seeks to do is create a digital and physical community for fans to easily engage with events, its promoters, and other festival goers. However, in a world where EDM fans are already connected, is there really a need to put a brand name as the face of the community? Mysteryland – Lineup Released

Related: How to Hack beatport: Buy Your Way into the Top 10

To put it simply, electronic dance music is one step closer to commodification with this partnership, if it isn't already at that point. The increasing popularity of music festivals has driven promoters to hike up prices of not only concert tickets, but also of food and water. Though attending a festival can be an unforgettable experience in itself, it’ll cost you — and that’s why this partnership is concerning for the future of dance music festivals. The partnership, at best, sounds alluring with its special exclusive features and content, but it is mostly an enticing way for MasterCard to grow their customer base, and it's no secret that they’re aiming to appeal to young adults. MasterCard’s chief marketing officer confirms this fact via Billboard: "The objective for us is to be the leading financial brand to a younger audience, which is where the SFX fan already is, and build a future with those audiences." Tomorrowland

Related: OTB’s Ultimate Tomorrowland Guide

Not much is known about the partnership details just yet, so no one is sure of how cool and surprising these exclusive opportunities will be; but it is important to remember that MasterCard has previously held partnerships with big music shows like the Grammys and Justin Timberlake’s tour. The company continually strives to connect with consumers through music trends, and what better way to do so than through electronic dance music, a genre that has rapidly captivated the world in the last few years. It will definitely be interesting to see what this partnership delivers, as it begins its roll out in September before it officially launches next year. Maybe we’ll see some cool features through this partnership, but we’re banking on more cringeworthy high-budget content, like the PSA put out by Electric Zoo, a festival that is produced and promoted by SFX.