Archives

Marketing

A Good Reason to Go See a Show Live

“The Album Is in Deep Trouble” exclaims the title of a recent Rolling Stone article. Author Tim Ingham reports that “sales are plummeting, and the music industry is returning to the era of track-led consumption.” Jim tackles this topic in his post, The Album Is Dead. Long Live the Album, in which he also discusses why performing an album at a concert is a great idea: “It brings a coherence and a total experience to a musical performance. And while …

Read More

#TBT

#FBF: The Best Terrible Idea I’ve Ever Heard

Happy #FBF! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: The Best Terrible Idea I’ve Ever Heard. [Editor’s Note: This post is from 2009.] Jose Freese, drummer for Nine Inch Nails, has come up with an extremely creative way to promote his new album (via Lefsetz) by bundling interesting premiums with purchase. Heard that a million times, you say? As stale as the cupcake craze, you say? Well, how’s this for a premium? For just $75,000, not only will you get a signed …

Read More

#TBT

#TBT: The Album is Dead. Long Live the Album

Happy #TBT. In light of the fact U2 is going to tour 1987’s The Joshua Tree in honor of the album’s 30th anniversary, we thought we’d share this oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: The Album is Dead. Long Live the Album. The album is dead. I agree with many observers who say that the future of a collection of songs packaged up as a single commercial product pressed onto plastic or even encoded into MP3s with the expectations of significant sales is a …

Read More

Marketing

$200,000 and Rising — Fans Fund De La Soul’s Next Album

De La Soul are not strangers to creative marketing strategies. Last year on Valentine’s Day, we posted that the legendary rap group made all of its music free to download — just for one day to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their debut, 3 Feet High and Rising. For its eighth album, and its first since 2004, the trio has decided to use Kickstarter — and it’s working really well. Rolling Stone reported they surpassed their initial goal of $110,000 in …

Read More

Marketing

Single-Use Marketing Programs

Last week, rap group Wu-Tang Clan announced a never-before tried launch program for its new album later this year. Called The Wu: Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the collection of songs will be sold to one — and only one — person, after touring museums and galleries, where you will be able to buy a ticket to listen to the album for $30 to $50, according to this piece by Ilan Mochari in Slate. It’s a cool idea, and …

Read More

Marketing

Sometimes It Takes the Dead to See the Future …

Not zombies, just hippies. Specifically, the Grateful Dead. Scott McDowell wrote a great piece on 99U recently reminding me of what I’ve long believed. The Grateful Dead were decades ahead of the rest of the live entertainment business in a number of ways. You should read the whole article, so I won’t distract too much from that, but I want to point out a couple things that I think are of particular interest across all genres. He highlights “building a …

Read More

P&L

Think Twice Before You Complain About Sales

This infographic about music sales in 2013 is designed to entertain you, but I think it needs a headline. I’ll give it one now: Recorded Music Sales Shrink Again. Let’s give it a subhed or two: Even Most Popular Albums Sell Relatively Few Copies. Digital Formats No Longer Growing in Sales. Remember this whenever you start feeling a little whine coming on because you’re in the live entertainment business.

Read More

Experience

Sometimes a Little “Show” Makes a Concert Pop

Country superstar Trace Adkins has reached a stage in his career where he can do what he wants. As he puts it in this article, “I’m not too concerned about what the industry will let me do anymore. I’m not in that political competitive game right now, so I can pretty much do whatever I want to do.” Thus liberated from such limits, Adkins just released a Christmas album heavy with traditional songs, given a Celtic flavor. But that’s not …

Read More

Sign Up for Emails

VIEW PAST ARTICLES