I came across an article via Twitter about Moby; nothing unusual about that you might say, until you realise the headline compared his seminal album ‘Go’ to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.
Before some of you become apoplectic with rage (I fear for it’s too late already for some of you), both are landmark recordings, changing the face of the music industry, but in very different ways.
Much has been written about ‘Thriller’, so I’d not get into it here (I’ll save that for another time).
The phenomenally successful ‘Go’, by the mopey vegan owes its success to the fact that every track on the album bypassed the usual route to success by every recording on the LP being licensed for use for other parties, most notably ad agencies.
The full article can be read here – it’s an interesting read, & it demonstrates the value of thinking differently.
Moby & his manager bypassed the traditional route of approaching record company execs & formulated a strategy essentially targeting ad agencies & manufacturers.
The success of this now means that record labels, like film companies now effectively have an eye on ‘merchandising’, in this case the lucrative licensing market; indeed, acts may be dropped from their labels if they disagree over a licensing deal.
As much as labels complain about illegal downloads (which is a problem that does need to be addressed), licensing tracks has become very big business & a highly viable revenue stream, both for the label, but the client as well as the artist.
We’re aware artists are in a rapidly-changing musical & commercial landscape. Now more than ever, artists wishing to be successful need to have one eye on the marketplace, one eye on the Internet as well as constantly awareness of changes in technology.
Whilst it’s (mostly) given quality work is a must for any artist, those that can exploit a niche stand to secure an advantage in an increasingly competitive & crowded space.