Saturday, March 28, 2009

U2, Prince camp on late night TV

Prince just finished a three-night engagement on NBC’s Tonight Show. U2 just did five straight nights on the CBS Late Show a couple of weeks ago. Record companies are pulling out all the stops to get eyes and ears on their product. It’s a battle for dollars in an age of file sharing and online music sales-one-track-at-a-time.

It’s a smart move for the TV networks too. They’re offering a unique platform for top music acts, and it lends to their credibility as well. Think the networks are all washed up? Not so fast.

Here’s what the rest of us can get out of these high profile engagements.
1) Partnerships work. Fighting over domain is the most fruitless kind of fearful, desperate act – the dying grasp of someone who has run out of ideas. Find partners. Create partnerships. (I’m trying really hard here to avoid the word “synergy.”) The fact is that collaborations with people that bring different but complimentary assets to the table are essential in this tough economy.

Plus, your customers win by gaining product from two great creators, not just one.

2) New technologies are not always the answer. What’s more simple than a four-piece combo (albeit the “greatest rock band in the world”)? What’s new about an 80-90s disco icon recycling old funk beats in strange make-up? Everything, because artists like Prince constant hit the “refresh” button on their styles.

Do what you do best, keep it fresh, and find new outlets that get your best work in front of customers in a fresh way.

3) New technologies are also part of the solution. I missed the third night of the Prince/JayLeno event live, but I found it on YouTube (of course). And Prince’s new album, while available in Target stores on Sunday, was available on line days earlier. Just because the top musicians are on TV, it doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned the brave new world of the Internet. That’s were most of their customers hang out. Apple passed Wal-Mart in music sales a year ago (April 2008) according to online tech mag In the not-too-distant future, music sales will “tip” to on line.

How can you engage your customers where they hang out? I want to help you figure it out. Give me a ring.

No comments: