Why Now?

I know.  Starting a blog in 2010 is like taking up the pogo-stick.  Blogging was fun for about two minutes but all but a handful of slightly obsessive die-hards have now given up and moved on.

But in 2010, it feels more important than ever to examine the territory where musicians and marketers come together.

The former are looking to get paid and get exposure.  The latter are seeking to edge a brand into the glow of the extraordinary emotional relationship between a fan and a song or artist.

The formula makes perfect sense on paper.  A brand funds some kind of music property, which could be a gig, a TV show, an album or a song.  The artist gets paid decent money, which is an increasingly rare thing these days.  Fans enjoy the music, often without paying anything, which is more and more the way fans like to enjoy it.  And the brand enjoys rewards in the form of enhanced standing in the eyes of those fans, otherwise known as its target market, hopefully resulting in more sales of whatever it’s trying to sell.

But the reality, even in 2010, is that this beautiful algebra more often than not doesn’t work out.  Music lovers get a shitty experience.  Or the artist finds the compromises involved in working with brands too uncomfortable.  Or the brand gets poor (or at least unproven) return-on-investment, the visionary brand manager whose idea it was gets the boot and the brand ends up sponsoring sport for the next ten years.  Often all of these occur at once.

The territory where musicians and marketers come together is still a battleground with a very high body count.

I have been working with brands and music for about a decade.  I’ve been a music fan for far longer.  I hope, with the help of some like-minded contributors, to record and offer objective-ish analysis of encounters between brands and music, and thus try and reduce the casualty rate among fans, artists and brands.

And, for now at least, a blog seems like a pretty convenient way to do this.


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