Amazon Music Continues to Promote Live, New Music With Weekly Series

A$AP Rocky performs during the Amazon Music Live Concert Series on Dec. 8 in Los Angeles, California. The rapper announced his new album is complete and titled “Don’t Be Dumb” during the show. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Amazon Music)

When Amazon Music Live, a weekly concert series streaming after Thursday Night Football, launched on the tech giant’s Prime Video in October, the team behind the venture had a specific goal in mind.

Kirdis Postelle, Amazon’s global head of artist marketing, spearheaded the project with the hopes of promoting new music and giving artists an opportunity to not only perform live in front of a crowd but also provide them with an even larger audience on the company’s streaming service and Twitch channel following one of the most-watched sports in the nation.

“We really wanted to lean into artists who had new music that would be releasing that night or recently released music, so that was the No. 1 piece of criteria when we went out looking for artists,” Postelle tells Pollstar. “… When Prime Video made the deal for Thursday Night Football, we knew that we had a unique opportunity.

“To bring these two cultural moments together for us was a dream come true,” Postelle added. “We really wanted the best experience for artists and fans.

While that continues to be accomplished by highlighting a different artist each week, the Dec. 8 episode was likely the best example of Postelle’s vision coming to fruition. Prior to performing his set at a studio in Los Angeles, A$AP Rocky announced that his new album is completed and revealed its title, Don’t Be Dumb. He proceeded to give fans a preview by performing three new songs from his upcoming effort.

“We can provide a platform where artists can debut new music, like [A$AP] Rocky did [last week] and announce a new album and get in front of fans to play this music,” says Postelle. “And not just anybody, but super fans. … We wanted to provide the best experience for artists and fans.”

With the NFL season winding down, Amazon Music Live, which is hosted by rapper 2 Chainz, is ramping up its efforts while staying true to the goal of promoting new music. Brazilian star Anitta, who recently earned a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, will hit the stage tonight in L.A. and likely perform from her smash album Versions of Me, which includes the global hit “Envolver.” It was recently announced that 21 Savage will perform the season finale on Dec. 29.

Meg AML Show Photo Jerritt Clark Getty
Megan Thee Stallion performs in front of a live crowd for the Amazon Music Live Concert Series on Nov. 3 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Amazon Music)

Anitta and 21 Savage encapsulate the styles of music Postelle, an industry veteran who previously worked at Aftermath Entertainment and Warner Bros. Records, wanted to feature.

“We wanted to highlight Latin and hip hop,” Postelle said of the series roster, which included Lil Baby, Megan Thee Stallion, Anuel AA and Lil Wayne. “Those are the artists that don’t get big opportunities. … We wanted to give artists who wouldn’t ordinarily get an opportunity this big, and we wanted to give them sort of a first crack at it. We kind of settled on the artists that would elevate us and would give us the right cache.”

According to Postelle, those artists have boosted Amazon Music’s audience, which includes more than 559,000 followers on Twitch, a streaming platform often used to live stream video games. Viewership has continually grown each week as well as the interaction between fans in the chat on Twitch, and she hopes to build on that success and expand the Amazon Music brand, whether that’s with another season of the series or live music specials.

“We’ve learned so much from this season,” she says. “We’ll take this into next year, we’ve got the Livestream opportunities that we’re building, so the momentum doesn’t slow down. And hopefully, by this time next year, we’ll be able to do more shows and offer more artists this same opportunity.”