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Posts Tagged ‘monetization’

Booklet deals – the Monetization of Mimi?

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

mariah_careyIs matching bands to brands with advertising on CD booklets a well thought out campaign to hedge the downturn in record sales?

Hypebot.com fueled a debate and asked its readers whether Mariah Carey’s “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” released on Sept. 15 – should include as part of Ms. Carey’s Album packaging a 34-page mini magazine, with ads from Elizabeth Arden, Angel Champagne, Carmen Steffen’s, Le Métier de Beauté and the Bahamas Board of Tourism?

Is this a questionable practice? Is the corporate cog digging music even deeper into the dark pit of advertising? Is the musician’s art being vandalized by the addition of paid sponsor ads littering the CD booklet alongside the liner notes and lyrics? Or, will this brainstorm idea makeup for lost revenue – and as one reader commented: “I see a trend here….. free = comes with ads, no matter how you slice it. I’m okay with that if it keeps the music free. We’ve had it good for too long and I’m not against getting the Artists paid.”

No doubt, corporate Mariah is getting paid, but alas so will “Mimi” – and if paid ads could help the independent artist pay for marketing, producing, and retailing their music, it might be a very interesting and useful concept. Again, time will tell.

Mariah Carey’s CD is gaining attention not only because of the ad controversy, but seems her beef with Eminem is heating up again. After the video for Obsessed featured Carey dressed as a deranged stalker and word has it was meant to portray Eminem – the rapper came back with a heated rush track “The Warning” – and if you’ve followed any of the music gossip out there, you’ve heard the whole story. This is buzz, the best in Viral Marketing – all publicity is good publicity, and the beef is brewing nicely between two of music’s biggest hitters: at the exact precise moment in anticipation of the CD launch!

Image source: www.topnews.in/people/mariah-carey

The Free Thinkers

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

In search for insights on “Free” digital music, the music industry’s Kevin Arnold was asked his perspective on the value and future of free music. The CEO of digital distributor The Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA) had this to say:

” We definitely believe Free has value in a number of ways for music. First and foremost, in the way it has almost always been used in music and in many many other consumer businesses: as a free sample to introduce a product to new users.  Just like the handouts at Costco, tasting at a winery, or swag bags at conventions and parties, labels and artists have long given away music in the form of samplers and promo CDs, free performances, and outlets like radio and MTV.  In the digital world this act has value in ways that we’re still learning and consistently surprise us.  Who would have thought that the free giveaway of Nine Inch Nails’ last record would end up with it being the top selling album at AmazonMP3 last year?   The important thing with this type of (promotional) Free is that it is done on the artist/content owner’s terms, and that they can control the process to manage the value of the effort and get what they want out of it.

Beyond the promotional Free are the more recent attempts at commercial offerings that “feel like free”.  This covers pretty much everything from the massively popular streaming sites like MySpace, Playlist, and imeem to ideas like ISP-endorsed free file-sharing or newer models like PlayAnywhere from Catch Media. The key difference is that these platforms aim to offer not a few sample tracks but rather full releases and catalogs. In exchange, content owners expect to get paid for the use of the music.  These models still have a long way to go towards providing monetization levels that most content owners are comfortable with, and many unanswered questions as to whether these services help or hurt other online sales models remain.

Good old-fashioned free P2P file sharing can also be valuable in some cases, generally for the developing artist in accordance with the “give-it-away-until-you-can-charge-for-it” theory.  But this should be done at the discretion and control of the artist or label, ideally with some measurable results, be they emails from new fans around the world or more people coming to your shows. In any case, only the content owner can decide if any of these flavors of Free work for them or not.”

Kevin Arnold tells us that although free is a good way to go, its important to manage this practice with discretion and control by the artist or label. Monitor and measure the results of the give-a-way, by new fan e-mails or an increase in attendance at your shows.

Giving free music is a way for the artist to create a fan base, and creating good music is every reason for a person to be a fan. This is definitely a good place to start.

MIDEM 2009: Fresh ideas for the new music industry

Monday, January 19th, 2009

At Pro Soul, we’ve always got our feelers out for what’s happening in the music industry.

One of the best ways to do this is by keeping tabs on the happenings at MIDEM, “the world’s music market, where nearly 9,000 international music (labels, publishers, artist managers and many more), digital and mobile professionals gather to do business.)

The 2009 MIDEM conference began yesterday in Cannes, France, and features distinguished speakers sharing their thoughts on key issues affecting the music industry today.  MidemNet, the weekend-long precursor to MIDEM, focused on a topic important to Pro Soul and its artists: monetizing music in the digital age.  Over 1,400 Industry experts discussed new and exciting ideas to address the opportunities and challenges surrounding the development of the artist-fan relationship, particularly on the Internet.

We’ll be bringing you the latest news out of MIDEM, so stay tuned!