http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEyKdpsHKy0 Super group U2 did something that not many artists have thought of doing. By breaking the concept of the starving artist, they took money out of their own pockets and gave it to people that are in far greater need, in this case, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.
The band hasn’t released an album in five years. So, obviously, the best way to promote their new material is to use the Super Bowl, which is considered an unofficial holiday to most Americans.
It is reported through Billboard that U2 raised $3 million from their Super Bowl ad. In unison with Bank of America and (Red), they bought an advertising spot during the Super Bowl and performed their new hit single “Invisible.” At the end of the ad it stated that all downloads from iTunes before midnight would go towards the fund. Three million people listened and downloaded. The single is available today but costs $1.29. The proceeds still go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.
This PR achievement bodes well for all parties involved. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS gets the money that is needed to fund more research. (Red) further establishes itself as a leader of AIDS awareness. Bank of America proves that corporations think about not only profits, but that happy people make a happy planet. U2 aligns their brand as a supporter of AIDS research. Together, they all prove this alliance was a perfect match.
Nothing speaks more volumes than the three million dollars raised because it is a measurable number. In PR, the consistent question asked is, “Is it measurable?” If something is measurable you can keep your job for another day. If not, you might be looking at the back of a person’s head in the unemployment line.
A couple weeks ago, Circa, the iPhone app news source reported a story about iTunes sales decreasing. This is news, but if you have been playing attention to the technological world around you, it won’t come as a shock to say that music streaming sites like Spotify are taking over.
Most people I talk to now use an app like Pandora or Spotify. It is the easiest and most economical way to obtain a boat load of legal music instantly. Instead of people having to buy or illegally download their music off the internet, they can just pay $10 a month and have almost any song they want within seconds.
The advantages of this are obvious. To buy an album on iTunes costs roughly $10. If you listen to a brand new album in a month the service basically pays for itself. If you listen to two new albums, you have already saved $10. It’s a great plan and something that is working well. iTunes has realized that streaming music is now the future of distributing music to the public and has released its own streaming service called iTunes Radio. Heck there is even chatter of Beats By Dre creating its own streaming service. PR wise, these two companies are staying current with the times and keeping an eye on their competitors.
The disadvantages of steaming really only affect people like me who at times can be a “music snob.” I love the fact that I have a huge music library. It has been a hobby of mine to collect music since iTunes first arrived. With streaming, personal music libraries don’t really mean anything anymore. Nothing is personal about streaming. If fully embraced, gone will be the days where you could look through somebody’s iTunes and see what kind of music they really listen to. By looking through their music library, you were looking into their soul. You knew that they either paid for that music or at least took the time to download it- not just search for it through a streaming website.
Another disadvantage of steaming music is that music on these services must be granted by the service owners. If you just saw a live show of the sickest new local artist, you won’t be able to show your friends on a streaming website because that artists might be too new. These streaming websites regulate consumers to listen to already successful artists.
What can artists learn from the latest tactic to distribute their music? When measuring your level of success, you will know you have been marginally successful once your name has been featured on one of these streaming sites. Once you are on their you can see how many people you have reached.