Music = video games & deodorant

[ image courtesy of Jordon / Flickr ]

As I sit listening to a real CD, I am nearly put to tears today about where the music industry has tread.

Two announcements passed before my eyes:
1. Def Leppard art debuting their new single in video game “Guitar Hero III” [thanks Shiny Shiny]
2. Hip-hop producer Jermaine “JD” Dupri has partnered with P&G, makers of “Tag Body Spray” to create TAG Records. [via Trendcentral]

While my own loyalties hew to the old model of the business, however outdated they may be, I can see why they are doing this.

Things are different from the days when I was working for Capitol Records, an independent record store, the college radio station and the local public radio station. [At the same time.] Capitol has moved further down the ladder in importance in the industry, becoming yet another barely defined brand in the EMI Music behemoth cache of holdings. That record store closed its doors. The public radio station was absorbed in a statewide consolidation. All that is left is that tiny college station.

The crossover between video games and music is nothing new, but taking it to the point of debuting a single from a diamond-selling band within one is. This is a band that used the old outfit to sell an astounding 12 million copies of a single title. As store after store reduce their inventories of CDs and DVDs to make room for video games, then that seems to be the best place to show up. Fish where the fishes are, yeah?

I think the TAG collaboration is a bit more indefensible. Aside from the easy jokes [“Our records don’t stink.” Or, “Our records sometimes stink, but we cover it up.” Or…] it seems like less of a natural transition from one to the next. TAG has tread near this before, with an item highlighted one year ago this week by yours truly. That has worked well for TAG — they have had 26 million people see that video, and by extension their logo. And more importantly, there have been 26 million views of the dreamy Pete Wentz using the TAG product.

If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how the TAG brand is expressed in this new record label/deodorant relationship.

One thought on “Music = video games & deodorant

  1. While the less interesting story is two cases of music pros asking where kids and money are at at the same time these days (’cause they ain’t at the record store), I wonder if the motives of the partners aren’t a quest for two very different demographics. While P&G is clearly looking for street cred for it’s very contrived youth image(it having a good handle on the other issue, of selling .02 L volumes of something that assuredly spewed out the end of some sort of industrial tube for prices more appropriate to, say, a bottle of very decent, 20-30 year-old single malt scotch). But is the addition of Def Leppard to Activision’s menagerie is not an appeal to draw in more of the 30 and over, nonconventional videogame market: the Wii is notoriously kicking the crap out of PS3 and XBox in the older, “casual gaming market,” with the Guitar Hero (and now Rock Band) franchises a rare exception. The other common link between Guitar Hero and Tag body stenches’ musical crossovers? iTunes.

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