Posts tagged ‘Oasis’

February 17, 2010

Brit awards fails to surprise

Music has never been in a healthier position.   The digital age has allowed the free flow of producers and artists to create and distribute without the financial constraint and control of a record label.   This DIY model has manifested itself across the industry and has consequently allowed the public to access niche products on a much larger and attainable level – The Long Tail philosophy once espoused by techno-guru, Chris Anderson, has finally come to fruition.

The Brit awards it seems are still living in the age of mega-hits and top heavy sales, while virtually ignoring the rampant march of the digital movement.  Supported by the major record labels the awards system seems to celebrate a bygone age of pomp and granduer, clinging on to the remnants of once powerful, past glories.   Back in the golden years of the nineties, bands such as Oasis, The Verve and even Travis, sold in excess of 2 -3 million units for each album, and subsequently picked up their Brit statuette along the way.  Current winners Kasabian and last years winners of the best british band award, Elbow, have barely even sold a third of those nineties giants.  Which leads us to question the validty of the awards?

For the sake of publicity then it is wholly understandable for such a monstrously pretentious event to take place, but why then are the Brit judges trying to pander to the long tail demographic by nominating Animal Collective for an award?  Seemingly with no chance of actually winning, it seems preposterous that such a sonically experimental band should be up for a Brit – did any of the audience actually know who they were?  Animal Collective are the epitome of ‘The Long Tail’ theory, getting notable success through viral marketing and digital sales.  Although their album hasn’t even gone platinum in the UK and only reached 26 in the charts – not exactly a big seller!   The mere mention of the bands name on the Brits will open up a whole new and baffled market for the experimentalists from Baltimore.  Why they should profit from this compared to another more successful international band is baffling!  What is the criteria for nomination or is one band from each category picked randomly out of a hat?

It is a mere token gesture anyway because after all it is the high hitters and unit shifters that always triumph at the Brits no matter how lamely they try to suggest otherwise………

August 14, 2009

iTunes serve up festival of the future

It is only recently that the mainstream music industry (i.e: the major labels) have started to embrace the infinite possibilities of the online world. The last 12 months alone has seen a unprecedented amount of partnerships, mergers and collaborations between labels, distributors and service providers.  This has led to numerous ideas and innovations – the marketing departments have been kept very busy rethinking new ways of repackaging an old product within a new format.

Last year iTunes came up with a very costly and highly public affair of reconstructing the festival format within a city to receive maximum exposure.  This year they upped the ante even further with Grade A bands performing – Kasabian, Oasis,  Franz Ferdinand etc, in a top class venue – The Camden Roundhouse – for the whole of July – with free entry to all.  No expense was spared for this ostentatious exercise in declamatory statements for the new digital order.  This was publicity on a grand scale – all of the performances were recorded and briefly shown on ITV on a twice weekly show – every single performance video is available to buy through  iTunes.   Everybody who attended won their tickets through an iTunes themed micro-site and was presented with a festival tag-pass during entry – each one contained a code allowing each person to download 10 free songs.  An expensive way to attract consumers to your site, but when your site is the most influential download site in the world it is easier to see the logic.  This type of marketing is cutting out the middle man and is delivering each artist to their targeted audience through a globally recognised brand and one of the largest music distributors in the world. 

This kind of blanket publicity through strategic business partnership is symbolic of the current music industry and hints at the emerging influence of the new digital order – where music Internet providers hold many of the cards and are now calling the shots across the multi-platform musical landscape.  Expect to see many more such partnerships forming in the coming few years – and many more providers spreading their interests into other areas of the industry, particularly the live sector.  It won’t be long before sites such as YouTube and Spotify host their own multimedia festivals.

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