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Swedish House Mafia

Swedish House Mafia x IKEA: A Partnership Made In Heaven

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(Hypebot) — In a brand pairing that’s at the same time obvious and unusual, IKEA is teaming up with electronic music’s Swedish House Mafia to explore music and creativity at home.

By Lev Kotia, Associate at CAD Management 

When you think of IKEA, what comes to mind? Building your own furniture or a labyrinth of room exhibits perhaps? Well, now you can add music production to that list.

Basic home design isn’t often built with music creators in mind. After all, most people looking for home upgrades don’t care about whether or not it’s suitable for producing. IKEA now seeks to change that–alongside the popular EDM artist Swedish House Mafia (SHM).

SHM grew to fame after releasing their marquee single “One” in 2010. They became well known worldwide for their progressive electronic music and paved the way for many popular EDM artists such as Alesso. They broke up in 2013, but recently reunited and are steadily reaching new heights as they plan to drop their debut studio album Paradise Again.

Now, with IKEA, they are working on a collection of home furnishings that are designed to give musicians an affordable option for producing at home. There aren’t many details on what this collection will consist of, but it is set to launch in September of 2022.

Although this partnership seems atypical at first, IKEA and SHM are a match made in heaven.

At-home production has seen a rise in popularity over recent years as it becomes more accessible with advances in technology and Internet resources. The number of “bedroom producers” are growing rapidly, with revenue from 2018 increasing by 35%. Meanwhile, while professional recording studios are still highly relevant in the music industry, they are decreasing in number, with over a 15% decrease in the number of recording studios in the US from 2007-2016.

It is becoming much easier (and cheaper) to learn a DAW, buy some audio equipment, and plug in a guitar at home than it is to try to get a foot in the door at studios. This has especially been true since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Suddenly, everyone was stuck at home with nowhere to go and nothing to do. Meanwhile, studios took a major hit, with 80% of them losing work. Since musicians quite literally couldn’t access a recording studio, the solution was to create their own at home. And although we seem to be out of the worst of it now, it seems plausible that many home recording studios will be here to stay.

Aligning itself with this new trend, IKEA has found an authentic way to  draw in more clientele from the music world.

By offering affordable furniture that is tailored to the everyday “bedroom producer,” they are essentially investing in the home recording business with an understanding that it will only continue to grow.

In fact, this isn’t IKEA’s first time investing into an outside industry, and it isn’t even IKEA’s first time looking towards the music industry. Earlier this year, during the Tokyo Olympics, they announced a line of gaming chairs and tables. Demand for furniture targeted towards gamers also grew as a result of the pandemic, and IKEA made sure that it was part of the conversation. Additionally, just last month, IKEA announced a partnership with Sonos, presenting a table lamp with a built-in speaker that would fully launch next year.

As far as SHM goes, this is a strategic marketing move that will allow them to reach audiences that they may not have been able to reach before.

Across the globe, IKEA has 445 locations, with over 50 in the United States alone. The company saw a recent boom in sales due to the pandemic, as people began to confront their state of living at home and expand home offices to be more suitable for a work-from-home environment. Additionally, the number of people who visit an IKEA store each year has been steadily growing from 2010 to 2019. In 2019 alone, 1 billion people visited one of the IKEA stores. Essentially, SHM has found a way to access IKEA’s consumers, which consist of people across all demographic categories. This access will allow them to potentially draw in millions of new fans driving new interest not only in their recorded music but their future touring dates as well.

This collaboration also has interesting implications for the music industry at large. It forces us to think outside of the box when it comes to brand partnerships. We have also recently seen collaborations between artists and food companies (such as partnerships between artists like Travis Scott and McDonald’s), between artists and technology (see Billie Eilish and Amazon Echo Studio), and even between artists and food brands (Glass Animals and Jackpot Peanut Butter). There seems to be truly no limits to what partnerships are possible between music and other industries.

The music industry is more saturated than ever before. It takes a lot to stand out and build a loyal audience in today’s world. Creativity in the way artists are marketed to reach a wider audience is more important now than ever. That includes expanding our understanding of what a brand partnership could entail and what benefits both sides can receive.

Swedish House Mafia x IKEA will only be the beginning of a long road of possibilities opening up in the music industry. There is no doubt that as more brands see the value of music, the level of connection between brands and artists will be stronger than ever.

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