“Lala la la bop a doodi” Thank you, thank you! Please buy my music!
Yeahhhh that’s not something that musicians have the luxury of doing these days… selling music involves selling so many other things to make money in this declining and very diverse world we live in as I outlined in my previous post T-shirts and coffee. Modern musicians major income streams.
I have had an article sitting on my desk for some months now that I cut out of The Australian and have been meaning to write about. It’s about mega pop group The Black Eyed Peas and how front man will.i.am is a very clever business man and pitches the band to corporates to gain sponsorship which in turn, usually pays a musicians bills more than song sales these days. It’s critical to their bands “brand”.
“I consider us a brand. A brand always has stylised decks, colours to fonts. Here’s our demographic. Here’s the reach. Here’s the potential. Here’s how the consumer will benefit from the collaboration.” – Will.i.am
The Black Eyed Peas have been sponsored by Blackberry (which is usually shown in their video clips), Honda, Levis, Coors. Pepsi, Apple just to name a few. These brands have expanded the bands video budgets, helped with its tours and put billboards of band members in prominent places.
More and more it is becoming important for musicians to think of their own cash flow rather than leaving it to their management or record company. Being business savvy and thinking outside of the box is important for survival… but then there is always the issue of “selling out” (OH MY GOSH!) which is definitely something that some bands must be careful of to maintain their credibility.
The Black Eyed Peas have some infectious pop songs and are a brand managers new age dream with so many ethnicities portrayed in the band they can cover many different markets. They are a fun band so the whole “selling out” issue doesn’t apply to them. Selling out is what they love and they do it darn well in my opinion and that of their big name, big bucks sponsors. Income in the past year from the US music sales which doesn’t include publishing, licensing and other revenues was estimated to be $US 10.1 million.
This will.iam is super smart! He believes that corporate sponsorships and relationships are critical to the bands success. Not so long ago in exchange for exposure they were lending their music for small fees which is pretty common in the music industry for up and coming acts. Before they released their smash bang album Elephunk in 2003 the band made some multi million dollar corporate connections which launched their album and made the band a household name. Pretty good exposure! Video clips and radio plays just don’t cut the mustard these days it seems.
The band have fronted a Victoria’s Secret fashion show, NFL’s kick off show and New Years Eve in Times Square just to name a few huge events. These events and sponsorship and such a major and smart way to catapult the band to superstardom which that have since obtained with $US 18 million made with just 22 concerts in USA.
So there you have it. Just another case of business savvy 21st century musicians or shall we call them “business people with extraordinary musical abilities”.
Note to self: Write some songs that would work well in ad’s like “Wow I’m so Happy”, “I can’t get enough of this”, “Just a little bit of extra help” and “Just make it easy for me”. All phrases that marketers like to play with which should mean lots of money from ad placement!