Monday, 8 April 2013

Future idea for the music industry

Imagine if bands/artists/djs didnt need to get signed by labels, they didnt need to sell records or charge for shows... instead they were entirely sponsored by a brand who paid for everything in return for the publicity, promotion and association with that artists. 

Now most people and most bands think that to be an advert for a company sucks ass, that whole Neil Young aesthetic - having "not sponsored by anyone" on videos at the same time that Michael Jackson was pushing Pepsi. BUT stop and put aside those pseudo Marx ideals for a moment and think for second, what is your favourite company, brand or product? You might think most are scum but there must be one or two you love. What if those guys were sponsoring your band? Be that Converse because you love their shoes or Ecover cos they are an ethical washing powder company and you are a Vegan twee-core band. 

Maybe you you wouldn't mind being sponsored by Apple, or Redstripe, or Monster Energy drinks or the company that makes you favourite headphones. You could be sponsored for a tour, an album, a single and video. And you think the fans wouldn't like it? Well as soon as they realise your album download would be free or tickets to your entire tour would be free then things would quickly change.. 

And if you think that there isn't the money out there to do this then think again. Your massive bands can be sponsored by the massive brands, smaller bands with less fans would be sponsored by smaller companies, all the way down to your local pizza delivery company sponsoring local bands. This could work it just needs the right pairing of bands and brands. I cant think of one band out there that I couldn't match a relevant company to...

Companies already spend more than huge amounts of money on promoting their brand, their products and placing them with relevant artists; over 2012 for example Mini gave like ten grand a time to bands featuring their car in a video, it only needed to be in it for a few seconds. Most top of the range pop videos can and are virtually all be paid for by product placement. 

This format could in a really ok way be applied to all artists, small scale online street wear boutiques sponsor upcoming artists mixtapes or short tours. One off gigs with free entry sponsored by tattoo parlours. Anything works once you think about it enough. It all start with a conversion between the band and whoever is matching them with a company. Who do you like? What is acceptable to you? etc etc. Then its about conversations with companies, and explaining why the particular artist is so right for them. Job done.

Please leave any questions, opinions, agreements, disagreements, faults or flaws or other points in the comments below.


  1. I believe Kid Rock is being sponsored by Harley Davidson as we speak. Many artists are already sponsored like this - but not to the extreme you're suggesting. It's definitely an idea. Not sure how much an advertising spend per year would compare with putting on a major tour for a well known artist. It would be an extra cost to the sponsor I guess, as they're not likely to replace any existing campaigns with a tour campaign (for example). Or maybe that depends on the who/what.

    Maybe you could lead by example and try and hook some people up to put on a show?

  2. its an interesting idea, Kid Rock and Harley Davidson seems very apt. It coud be done in different ways, maybe only albums being sponsored and free, and tours being a separate thing. But then again you would need a record label with an advance for you to have the big tour... its a difficult one

  3. ..also for tours/shows to be free it would need to be spearheaded by big name bands first to create a culture of acceptance, otherwise people would feel a free show is just a half assed devalued thing not worth turning up to.