The veteran electronic music producer and his team at independent electronic label Monstercat combined a video game tie-in and Marquee for a multifaceted campaign with unprecedented success.
For nearly 20 years, Ryan Raddon has been creating music meant to propel party experiences, soundtrack nightlife, and lift the spirits of his listeners. Under his stage name, Kaskade, he has established himself as one of the world’s premier DJs and music producers, earning multiple Grammy nominations and headlining music festivals worldwide while holding down multiple Las Vegas residencies. Last year, with the world effectively shut down, Kaskade took on the challenge of bringing his brand of feel-good music to yet another frontier — the vibrant world of video games.
In December 2020, Canadian independent electronic music label Monstercat and Rocket League, the popular vehicular soccer game, partnered with Kaskade, making him the face of the game’s first-ever music-themed season. For Rocket League's Season 2, described on its site as a “high-powered hybrid of arcade-style soccer and vehicular mayhem,” Kaskade’s songs were featured as player anthems in-game and as tracks on its soundtrack. “Gaming and electronic music are a marriage written in the stars,” says Kaskade. “Everything I created for the games was also designed to translate to a dance floor, sort of a second language they’re prepared to speak.”
The tracks Kaskade contributed to this season of Rocket League — “Closer,” “Flip Reset,” Solid Ground” and “Miles To Go” — make up his recently released Reset EP. “Miles To Go,” the EP’s lead single with singer Ella Vos, is more than just another dance song, it was a special track inspired by the times and the climate of the world in 2020. “‘Miles To Go’ was written at a time when the entire world was essentially on fire,” Kaskade explains. “All I’d like to do is offer inspiration and hope that we can get to a better place. The destination has never been as important as the journey and ‘Miles To Go’ tells that story.”
As Kaskade and his team prepared for the March release of this inspirational anthem, they had two objectives in mind: “The goal for ‘Miles To Go’ was to introduce Kaskade to new fans in the gaming community, while making sure the single resonated with his core audience,” says Monstercat’s Music Marketing Lead, Tabitha Neudorf. To build his listenership in the gaming community, they partnered with Rocket League and the ever-popular Fortnite. And, to engage fans who may not have been up to date on the gaming tie-in, they turned to Marquee. Neudorf adds, “Marquee was a critical part of our campaign in ensuring long-time Kaskade and Ella Vos fans felt connected to this single.”
The team’s strategic use of Marquee’s features also complemented their release strategy. To extend the life of the single beyond the game and initial rollout, they started the Marquee a week after the track’s release. Staggering the campaign around the song allowed organic listenership to grow on its own before boosting it with Marquee’s full-screen recommendation. And, with Marquee’s targeting capabilities, they were able to reach the right U.S. fans. “With the ability to target both artists’ audiences on the track — Kaskade and Ella Vos — we were able to use one advertising method to hit two different audiences,” says Neudorf. This cross-promoting tactic helped each artist broaden their own audience.
Their strategies paid off — each listener who received the Marquee streamed the single an average of three times and showed no intent of stopping. Neudorf found, “With save rates playing such an important role in the longevity of a track, we were thrilled to see over 20% of listeners who saw the Marquee either saved the track or added it to their personal playlist.” The multi-pronged campaign for “Miles To Go” and the Reset EP have driven Monstercat's highest first-day and first-week streams for a new release. As of this writing, “Miles To Go” has racked up approximately 4.7 million plays on Spotify.