Is it selling out? Moby’s album “Play” was used to advertise everything. He was accused of selling out. But, perhaps it was the best decision he made.
Midnight City, a song featured on my top 111 of ’11, is everywhere lately. I hear it on Satellite radio, in the malls and stores, the bars, and even soundtracking scantily clad supermodels with wings. A Victoria’s Secret ad released a few months ago features the fantastic track, focusing mostly on the instrumental synth parts that pretty much define the song. Some might view the usage, or permission of usage, of a song to sell commercial wares as selling out, however it seems that in today’s music marketplace the placement of songs on TV, whether it be in commercial or a show, is one of the best ways to promote your song. Especially in an era of Shazam and google, it has become increasingly easy to identify a song heard outside of the traditional methods of song distribution.
It is also a great way to promote younger and less popular bands, as purchasing rights to songs by lesser known artists will be significantly less than that of an arena selling artist like Coldplay or U2. Recently Nike used a rather epic portion of the song Snjóljón by by one of my favourite new bands Lockerbie. The exposure that this will give Lockerbie could be invaluable in pushing them forward. Below is the commercial for the Össur Flex-Run with Nike Sole.
And with the recent success of previously (relatively) unknown bands based off of television show placement, it looks to be a mutually beneficial arrangement. THe artist/band gets paid or free promotion, and the show/commercial gets a better scene or a more noticeable ad. In the past several months, bands such as fun. and Adaline have benefitted from these situations. fun.’s song “We are Young” has exploded after being featured in a Glee episode.
And Adaline has received a lot more attention to her debut album after being featured prominently during a very emotional scene during the Fall finale of Grey’s anatomy (and another song again in January).
Selling out? Cashing in? Mutually Beneficial?