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Big Data Says: Coachella Should (Possibly) Book These Acts

May 2, 2019 | Insights

StatSocial looked at the super fans of Coachella 2019’s brand sponsors — and identified the musical acts they favor most.

Ariana Grande onstage in Indio, California on April 14, 2019, during the first weekend of the Coachella festival.

For this entry we put the StatSocial audience analysis engine to work, and wed it to our to ability to interpret data and provide informed consultation.

This demo is a little sexed up, due to our focusing on popular music, but the examples below show how our insights can be intensively reviewed, carefully considered, and employed to inform lucrative and satisfying actions for both sponsors and the sponsored.

So, Coachella

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival — taking place over two weekends each April, in the Southern California, desert valley town of Indio — has come quite some way since its humble beginnings in 1999. In fairness, it came a lot of that way within its first few years. It has, however, retained its cultural status.

As a concert, it grew sufficiently significant — from its unambiguously alternative-music-oriented birth — to attract Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Prince, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and others of the biggest names the biz has ever known, to headline its main stage.

Coachella 2019

This year, the festival was mounted during the weekends of April 12-14, and April 19-21 (with the same bill each weekend). The headliner for day one was renaissance man, Childish Gambino. Day two’s bill was topped off by the Australian rock/dance/psychedelic combo, Tame Impala. Day three concluded with a set from Ariana Grande. 

For all the star power on display, the arguable woman of the hour, was (and remains) only 17-years old.

Eilish performing during weekend one of 2019’s Coachella festival.

It’s small wonder that Billie Eilish may very well have found more words dedicated to her sets, this year, than any of the other performers. She killed it.

She came out with a clear comprehension that an artist’s time on the Coachella stage should not be treated like just another gig.

The timing of her sets conveniently, or deliberately, came right on the heels of the March release of her debut, full-length album, ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.’ The album is excellent, in the view of many, and the Billboard charts support this assertion. It’s tempting to call this her moment, but it’s reasonable to suspect that she’ll have many.

For as much fun as it is to goof on the segment of Coachella’s audience attending to be seen more so than to see (or listen), the festival — in part because of the extramusical attention it attracts — remains an excellent showcase for both up and coming and established acts, who can benefit from making a big statement in front of an assembled press, eager to share their hot takes and think pieces.

The almighty SOPHIE, onstage during weekend one of this year’s Coachella festival. She is a sonic genius making most contemporary recordings sound bland in comparison to anything she produces.

Why We’ve Gathered You All Here Today

As is said at this entry’s opening, while we’re writing of a music festival, the principles are broadly applicable.

When pursuing sponsorships, knowledge is power. To be able to demonstrate not only an understanding of a brand, but of its consumers, and to show how you can cater to the sponsor, as well as their existing and future customers, has been proven to be an invaluable leg up for those who use StatSocial.

We gave the data generated by the most devoted American customers of Coachella 2019’s sponsors a thorough looking over. While taking into consideration all passions, habits, hobbies, and how the demographic data broke out, our main focus was musical acts (from the 4.5 thousand such acts cataloged in our taxonomy).

Using the affinities of the average U.S. audience as our baseline, we zeroed in on only those musical acts who exceeded that index. We then further narrowed things down to acts who have (mostly) never played Coachella. From there we selected one act per sponsor, specifically based on their appropriateness for the festival.

Let us begin.

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Rostam


We suspect that Absolut needs no introduction. Just in case: It’s a Swedish-distilled, French-owned vodka brand.

Rostam Batmanglij — aka, Rostam —was a founding member of three-time Coachella act, Vampire Weekend. He left that group in 2016, and has since been focused on various collaborations —such as Discovery, with Ra Ra Riot’s Wes Miles — and his own solo work.

Fans of Rostam can be found among Absolut’s most avid drinkers to a degree exceeding the baseline by 2.61 times.

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Weyes Blood


Amazon is an online bookselling start-up from which we predict big things in the future. (Sarcasm, they say, is the lowest form of humor, but we ask that you not challenge us to go lower.)

Weyes Blood, the stage name of Natalie Mering, is derived from Flannery O’Connor’s brilliant novel, ‘Wise Blood.’ More original and compelling than Mering’s spelling of “wise,” though, is the music she makes under this auspicious banner.

Her latest album, ‘Titanic Rising,’ was released this April. It reached number 34 on the Billboard charts.

Weyes Blood fans can be found among the Amazon faithful to a degree exceeding the baseline by 2.43 times.

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J. Cole


American Express should be familiar to all reading. You would be well-advised to not leave home without it.

J. Cole — without whom you can probably leave home, unless you’re going to do something especially fun, in which case don’t be a jerk, invite him along — has been widely acknowledged as one of Hip Hop’s leading lights since around 2009; the year he released his now classic ‘The Warm Up’ mixtape, and signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.

AmEx’s customers find J. Cole’s fans in their midst to a degree exceeding the baseline by 2.01 times.

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Ryuichi Sakamoto (or YMO?)

On the left we have Yellow Magic Orchestra (l-r: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yukihiro Takahashi, Haruomi Hosono) circa-early-’80s, and on the right we have Sakamoto as he appears today.

BMW’s “Project i” is the German automotive manufacturer’s program dedicated to developing ecologically sound, electric and hybrid cars, with a specific eye on sustainability for those living in large cities.

Sakamoto is, himself, an outspoken environmentalist. 

The segment of BMW i’s audience who are also fans of Sakamoto exceeds the baseline by 1.25 times. 

While a globally respected musician, and Oscar winning composer, Sakamoto remains best known for being one-third of the pioneering electronic act, Yellow Magic Orchestra.

YMO’s one stateside reunion (they toured here during the late-70s/early-80s), found them headlining The Hollywood Bowl in 2011. Either Sakamoto on his own, or all three of YMO’s indispensable members, would make incredible sense on a Coachella bill.

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LiSA


Bose was founded in 1964 by Amar Bose, an M.I.T. grad student who was disappointed with the sound quality of a stereo system he had purchased. From there you can probably do the math, as it were. Bose is, of course, known for their high performance audio equipment.

Lisa Olive — who performs under the stylized name of LiSA — is a J-Pop/Rock singer, and songwriter, who has had quite a few gold and platinum singles in Japan. Her theme songs for a number of video games and anime series have increased stateside awareness of, and fondness for, her music.

LiSA’s fans can be found among the most avid users of Bose products to a degree exceeding the baseline by 5.18 times.

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Public Image Ltd. (w/ Keith Levene and Jah Wobble)

L-R: Keih Levene, Jah Wobble, John Lydon

The brand requires no introduction, so we’ll just blurt out that Calvin Klein customers display an affinity for John Lydon that is greater than the baseline by 2.15 times

They said it would never happen” reunions occur so frequently that it’s amazing anyone still finds them surprising. Still, Coachella has managed to inspire its share.

Back in 2010, the festival featured a band billed as a reunited Public Image Ltd. While Lydon had the legal right to call it that, many fans believe that PiL ended in ‘84, when Lydon parted ways with guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, Keith Levene. They’ve never reunited.

In 2010, former bassist Jah Wobble, who quit in 1980, revealed that he had been approached by Lydon to be part of his planned reboot of the PiL name. Wobble, a hugely important contributor to the group’s seminal first two albums, said that he was not opposed to reuniting, but that the situation Lydon proposed was of no interest.

Whatever the ceiling on its likely quality, a proper PiL reunion would be some kind of a coup for the festival.

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A. R. Rahman


Of all Android phones to come down the pike, few have received the raves of Google’s Pixel line. Released this past October, the Pixel 3 (and Pixel 3 XL) is the product’s most recent generation.

A. R. Rahman is sometimes billed as “the world’s most successful composer.” With estimates of global sales exceeding 200 million units, at least 170 films believed to feature his music, five Oscar nominations, and two wins, it would be safe to say without reservation that he is one of them. He accomplished all of this, and more, and he is still only 52-years of age.

Rahman’s signature style, which combines Indian classical music with electronic, pop, and other elements, completely revolutionized Indian popular and film music.

Users of the Google Pixel are admirers of Rahman to an extent which is 2.07 times greater than the average American audience member.

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Iron & Wine


As the name suggests, Cupcake Vineyards is a brand making available to the nice people a line of cupcake flavored wines. It should be noted that it’s now available in cans!

Iron & Wine is the stage name of singer-songwriter Sam Beam. He has been releasing records since 2002, so it’s probably unlikely that he could be persuaded to change his act’s name to Iron & Cupcake Wine. He has, since his career’s start, managed to develop a dedicated cult following. His 2011 release, ‘Kiss Each Other Clean,’ peaked at number 2 on the Billboard albums chart.

He finds support among drinkers of Cupcake Vineyards’ wines to a degree exceeding the baseline by 2.25 times.

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James Ferraro


As much as you may believe kombucha to be an acquired taste, the improbably prolific James Ferraro is that times at least 10.

If you’re familiar with many of the music genres, and subgenres within genres, that have materialized within internet spaces over the past decade, or so, then you may know just how influential Ferraro has been. Googling him could confuse you further, but give it a shot anyway.

GT’s Kombucha can count fans of Ferraro’s art among their most loyal consumers to a degree exceeding the baseline by 8.40 times.

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Giorgio Moroder


You know Heineken, the Dutch beer which has been a favorite with American drinkers for decades.

You are also familiar with Giorgio Moroder; if not by name, certainly by sound.

He first came to fame for the string of mega-hits he wrote and/or produced for his protegé, and collaborator, Donna Summer: ”Love to Love You Baby,” “I Feel Love,” “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls,” “Dim All the Lights,” “On the Radio”… Yeah, he produced all of those.

Additionally, he produced some enormous hits in the 80s, best overlooked here. BUT, he also gave us Blondie’s scorching “Call Me,” the incredibly influential Sparks L.P., ‘№1 in Heaven,’ British band Japan’s pivotal single “Life in Tokyo,” and the brilliant scores to ‘Midnight Express,’ for which he won an Oscar, ‘American Gigolo,’ and ‘Scarface.

This is only the tip of his C.V., but you get it.

At 78, Moroder is in the midst of his first-ever proper tour. April and May will find him performing in 15 cities throughout Europe.

Moroder’s fans can be found among Heineken’s most devoted drinkers to a degree exceeding the baseline by 1.81 times.

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Seven Lions


Hewlett-Packard is a multinational I.T. conglomerate, of which you’re very likely already quite aware.

Jeff Montalvo is a popular DJ and producer who performs and records under the moniker Seven Lions. He has, apparently, never appeared at Coachella.

Fans of Seven Lions can be found among Hewlett-Packard’s customers to a degree exceeding the baseline by 1.34 times.

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Willy Mason


Marriott Bonvoy is the rebranding of the hotel chain’s long-standing customer loyalty rewards program. The new name, and new look, corresponds with the program now having a much more robust mobile app component.

Willy Mason is a singer-songwriter who has been been releasing records since the early ’00s. His fans can be found among Bonvoy’s users to a degree exceeding the baseline by 8.48 times.

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Agnes Obel


method is a cleaning goods company, with products designed for the home, body, and clothing. Everything is manufactured with a focus on being environmentally sound, sustainable, safe for pets, and having all ingredients sourced responsibly.

The soulful, sophisticated music of Danish singer-songwriter, Agnes Obel, is difficult to categorize. She cites Roy Orbison, Erik Satie, Claude Debussy, and Nina Simone among her influences. While making sense, this knowledge is of little use going in. No list of adjectives added here will help much either. Just check her out.

Consumers of method products are fans of Agnes Obel to a degree that exceeds the baseline by 4.23 times.

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ABRA


NYX Cosmetics was founded by entrepreneur Toni Ko, in 1999. In 2014, Ko sold the company to L’Oréal for $500 million. NYX is noted for its affordable, yet well-regarded, products.

Gabrielle Mirville, who performs as ABRA, was an Atlanta-area 14-year old when she started playing guitar. Within a couple of years, she began to upload videos of her inventive and decidedly DIY, acoustic renditions of rap songs to YouTube. Covers of songs such as Waka Flocka’s “No Hands” garnered her views, and gained the attention of Father, the founder of Atlanta’s Awful Records, and figurehead of the collective of awesome and idiosyncratic artists who operate under its banner.

ABRA, the self-dubbed “Darkwave Duchess,” creates a style of contemporary R&B that is entirely unconcerned with current trends. There are no contrivances here. Her music is refreshingly lo-fi and dark, while also dreamy and hypnotic.

Users of NYX’s products are fans of ABRA’s music to an extent exceeding the baseline by 5.94 times.

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Rihanna


Neither name here requires much in the way of introduction. Pantene is a Swedish originated, Procter & Gamble owned, line of hair products. It is one of the world’s best-selling haircare brands.

Rihanna is… Aw heck, you know full-well who Rihanna is.

While she has performed at Coachella as a guest — such as when she joined Calvin Harris during a set to sing their excellent collaboration, “We Found Love” — she has still not performed that long-anticipated headlining extravaganza.


Rihanna has also simply attended Coachella over the years. In 2017, she disguised herself in the low-key, easily ignored Gucci ensemble viewable to the left.

At the first weekend of this year’s festival, ‘Guava Island’ — the Amazon produced film in which she co-stars with Childish Gambino — had its world premiere (simulcast on YouTube as part of their weekend-long Coachella live-stream).

Rihanna’s fans are present among the users of Pantene’s products to a degree exceeding the baseline by 3.25 times.

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Béatrice Martin


Peet’s Coffee is a chain of coffee retailers, and manufacturer of bottled and canned drinks. Their ‘Cold Brew’ is made with their “bold, juicy” and “refreshingly crisp” Baridi Blend; a coffee specifically devised for cold brewing.

The performer here is a great match for certain café settings.

Béatrice Martin — a Montréal native who mostly sings in French — performed under the nom-de-stage, Cœur de pirate, until this past December. Via social media she announced that she’d be retiring the name.

Saying that her compositions evoke French pop and rock styles of the 60s and 70s, such as yé-yé, and/or the works of Serge Gainsbourg, for example, is not just an easy comparison due to the language in which she writes and sings. She has covered Gainsbourg’s “Je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais,” and has cited such musics as being among her major influences.

Martin — classically trained as a pianist from when she was a toddler — is not, however, a retro act. She is, though, a favorite among consumers of Peet’s Coffee to an extent exceeding the baseline by 1.84 times.

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Kim Petras


Postmates is a mobile app that gives users access to a network of couriers — with the service operating in nearly 3,000 American cities — who can be called upon to deliver a wide variety of goods, from a huge assortment of vendors.

While Germany’s Kim Petras released her first E.P. in 2011, it’s really only been since 2017 that the 26-year old’s career was launched in earnest. Since that time, she has digitally released a ton of songs — many made with notable collaborators — as well as an E.P.

Seemingly overnight, she has emerged as one of pop music’s true forces with which to be reckoned.

Users of Postmates find fans of Petras’ irresistible pop among their gang to a degree that exceeds the baseline by 1.55 times.

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Astronautalis


You know Uber. The mobile app with the cars that take you where you need to go… Yeah, that Uber.

Astronautalis is a Jacksonville-reared, Minneapolis residing, underground rapper and producer. He is a notable presence in the alternative Hip Hop world, having quite a few releases under his belt, and having guested on a large number of the releases of others.

Astronautalis fans are chilling among the Uber audience to a degree exceeding the baseline by 1.25 times.

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Alicia Keys


YouTube Music is, in case you don’t know or can’t guess, YouTube’s dedicated music streaming service and mobile app.

When those lists of “Can you believe these artists have never played Coachella?” pop up, here and there, across the internet each spring, Keys’ name is always near the top. Could 2020 be the year where that streak is ended?

Keys, who already has a huge number of admirers among the average American social media audience, finds that quantity exceeded by 3.27 times among the users of YouTube Music.

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Take a Sniff Around

Insights on top of insights can be found by the curious reader who chooses to poke around the StatSocial blog here. Peruse the many entries, offering all kinds of insights, studies, and deep dives to better acquaint you with the capabilities of StatSocial.

Throughout the blog are many examples of the sorts of insights that can only be gained with StatSocial.

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