Newsday’s Battle of the Bands
2017 Winner

Newsday’s Battle of the Bands

Newsday, LLC

Melville, United States

Category Digital Audience Usage and Engagement

Overview of this campaign

Our goal was a fun summer project to showcase some of the up-and-coming musical talent on Long Island, increase local video views, use social media to drive people to our app/website and reach out to millennials. We also wanted to do something truly cross-departmental, with editorial, social media, multimedia, design/development, marketing, advertising and community affairs all working together.


We decided to try and pull together an idea we’d been kicking around for years but hadn’t been able to execute — an island-wide Battle of the Bands contest where we’d ask musicians to upload a video and tell us about their band. Long Islanders would then watch the videos and vote for their favorites. The top 10 vote-getters would advance to our panel of judges, who’d crown a winner.


Our hope, since this was the first year of the contest, was to get a few dozen entries and 10,000-25,000 votes.


Results for this campaign

The contest exceeded all expectations. Thanks to a major push by our social media and marketing departments, it became the talk of the local musical community and 81 bands entered. Bands competed with each other on social media to drive their supporters to our project, it received 324,744 page views and 58,660 unique visitors, approximately 100,000 votes cast. 


In addition to the main voting interactive, we wound up creating more than a dozen pieces of unique content that we used both online and in the newspaper — from a photo gallery of the 10 finalists to a “meet the judges” feature to an interview with the winning band. We were also able to share exclusive footage with our sister television station, and do promotion with a partner radio station. 


We shot 13 Facebook Live videos around different aspects of the contest (for example, we visited each of the 10 finalists in their garages/studios/etc.) We reached 1,708,488 people on Facebook, with 91,899 video views.


The contest prize was a music video shot by our multimedia team, who on the fly taught themselves the different techniques needed to create a professional-quality MTV-style music video. We were also able to create a behind-the-scenes photo gallery and “making of” video, and premiere the video on


We sold a sponsorship for the interactive to a local college. And a number of local music venues contacted us after the contest to see if they could host the winning band and work with us on future events. We wound up going with a prominent local music hall, The Paramount.



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