Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Building the Band Brand
Whatever happened to street teams?
Replaced by Twitter?

A year ago, before Twitter became the main communications vehicle on earth and before the Web site TMZ went T-MJ - all Michael Jackson all the time, aspiring musicians had street teams.

Seems Twittering has replaced street teams. Your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Building the Band Brand
Kaley Caperton – another Marketing Sociologist pick to click

Almost a year ago I told you about Tiffany Giardina and Malese Jow. One went on to music fame, the other to acting fame.

With the success of Gloriana, I now introduce you to Kaley Caperton

Normally hate country music, but when the world is throwing money at it, you must pay attention. That’s the good point about Caperton, she’s selling her music on MySpace, Amazon and iTunes. Great marketing. She is sending out MySpace invites, too.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Whatever happened to KISS calling it quits?
A 21st Century marketing strategy
Gene and Paul present a tribute to KISS

Monday’s announcement of Brooks & Dunn quitting or whatever brought to mind KISS. At the beginning of the decade, KISS announced they’d quit touring, but they are still at it. Can’t trust guys in tights who wear makeup.

A more clever marketing strategy would be live up to what they said. You remember how in 1984 David Bowie said he’d never sing another song of his recorded before that year. Think he’s still doing Ziggy and Diamond Dogs in his set.

So here’s where KISS went wrong. They could have taken a page from Chuck Berry and used backup bands wherever they toured.

I would have recommended the most unique tour ever – Gene and Paul present a tribute to KISS. A 23-city world tour. It would be like Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band tours. Ringo would gather musicians who haven’t had a career in 20 years and tour with them. Gene and Paul come on, do about five of their songs and then the pickup band gets to do some of theirs.

In Los Angeles the pickup musicians would be Dweezil Zappa, Eddie Van Halen, Eddie Vedder, Carlos Santana and Joe Satriani. These are the best guitar players alive – and the beauty is, none of them sing so Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley can dominate the concert with their own material.

In New York, B.B. King, G. E. Smith, Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass, Steve Cropper, Dick Wagner; Al Kooper and Paul Shaffer on keyboards.

In the UK this is the greatest of them all. Every living member of the ‘60s Yardbirds – Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Elvis Costello, U2’s The Edge. I’m lost at this point. There would be too much talent to use. Paul McCartney on bass, Rick Wakeman AND Keith Emerson on keyboards, along with Phil Collins – oops, he sings.

Let’s hear your city and the backup musicians – make them from the city you choose or in close proximity. Shakira and Juanes in Bogata?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Building the Band Brand
Steal a song to launch your career, Part quatre
Jonas Brothers Busted Year 3000

Building the Band Brand
Does your video fit your overall marketing strategy?
Alyson Michalka Bandslam Hula Hoop

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Building the Band Brand
Don’t quit the day job
Ashley Tisdale does not realize $100,000 on Guilty Pleasure

Time and again I meet the Mitchel Musso-type (but not on one of the most successful TV shows in history - wait, I take it back, yes two are on that show) who have aspirations of becoming first, famous, then rich. Used to be rich and famous, but today’s artists reverse it.

Today we have a case study of why you’re not going to be rich if you pursue your music. Her name is Ashley Tisdale. She was on the most successful basic cable broadcast of all time, High School Musical. She was a star on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.

Most people think stars like this, when they record an “album” (the term we will use for CD or collection of MP3s since it is what Billboard uses), they’re on gravy street.

Let’s look at the reality. Most stars make $1 to $2 (used to be a quarter in the ‘50s) for each album they release. Ashley Tisdale’s Guilty Pleasure released July 28 only sold 25,000 units its first week. Let’s be generous and say she got $4 of the $12 the label is charging (I’d ask what you're smoking to get that amount, but let’s be generous).

That would mean the first week she made $100,000 on Guilty Pleasure. Nice money for a week’s work. Reality is, she probably didn’t make $50,000, but more than either one of us made since the end of July.

See that Guilty Pleasure video? That probably took a third of that $100,000. What about hiring musicians? At least $25,000. The promotional tour she’s been on? About $30,000. Studio time to record – at least $10,000.

Looks to me like she spent $95,000 of that $100,000 before the album was released. Gee, I could live off $5,000 per week. Only problem is, the second week that 25,000 will fall below 8,000 and in a month or two less than 500 units a week.

Say you have a band and five members must split that $1,000 per week. Not a very good return on your investment (ROI), correct?

Then you look at artists like Tina Parol whom I just heard on Internet radio. Not even listed on Billboard. How about an up and coming band, The Maine? The Tempe, Ariz. based band hit #45 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums. That means they probably didn’t see Tisdale’s $100,000, but since they are independent, they could have. Again, studio and production eats that up.

The Maine is recouping its investment by touring with bands like Good Charlotte and Just Surrender. They are on the Warped tour.

Yet Billboard says they’re not making money touring (I bet). “The Maine has, however, garnered a devoted following via MySpace, which was helped along by the pop-punk band's connection to fans.”

Once again, like Taylor Swift and Jonas Brothers, 21st Century marketing like MySpace is creating stars.