C4 & Google Play Music in world first with Sam Smith ad-break takeover

In a world broadcasting first, BRIT Award-winning singer Sam Smith’s biggest London performance was streamed live on Channel 4 during an entire ad break.

The three-and-a-half-minute bespoke ad-break originated from a collaboration between Channel 4, Google Play, MediaCom, The Outfit and Universal Music label Capitol.

Google Play branding was visible on screen throughout the ad (using a digital on-screen graphic) and performance itself was also labelled “Live from London” to add to the specialness of the spot.

At the end of the performance, viewers were invited to download the gig in full via the Google Play Store.

In the build up to the takeover, a series of teaser ads were sprinkled across E4’s schedule from the previous Monday.

This groundbreaking idea was conceived in response to a brief from Capitol to [email protected], MediaCom’s specialist entertainment division, to find a unique and engaging way to connect with Smith’s core audience in order to promote his new album.

It’s incredible to be part of a world first. Stay With Me being broadcast live to the nation will be a very special moment for me.

Sam Smith

This unique partnership builds upon Channel 4 Sales’ heritage of delivering innovative ad breaks for our commercial partners that go beyond the traditional ad execution to create an exclusive must-see event that our viewers will want to make an appointment to watch.

Danny Peace, Agency Principal, Channel 4

We are proud to be part of television and marketing history with our artist Sam Smith, and are thankful to our forward thinking partners Mediacom, Google Play, The Outfit and Channel 4 for helping our idea come to life.

Nick Raphael, President of Capitol Records

We knew that for a mainstream artist that had earned credibility with a tastemaker crowd, we had to showcase Sam Smith as an outstanding live performer in a mass reaching channel. We are thrilled to be part of this exciting partnership that both innovates in broadcast and drives consumption through digital channels.

Dino Ioannou, Mediacom’s Global Head of Universal Music

Through Google Play Music, we're looking to shake up the way music lovers connect with the bands and tracks they love. What better way to show our ambition than lay on this world first with Sam Smith, one of the hottest acts on the planet today.

Stephen Rosenthal, Google UK

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