I got a really interesting email the other day. It was forwarded by a friend who received it because she was identified as a potential client by the sender. In an interesting business extension, Universal Music is now offering up its roster of artist to help your brand run a successful social media campaign. Universal, it seems, is now offering brands the chance to “combine your social brand initiatives with Universal Music artists to deliver a successful program.”
They very nearly position themselves as an agency with the ability to deliver integrated marketing strategies. Maybe I’m slow and I missed this transition; perhaps they’ve been at this for a while. Regardless, it gives me pause to think.
On one hand, I think that’s pretty smart; renting out the fame of their product to increase the exposure of another brand. Good for them for figuring out a way to make money in the music business because they can’t compete with free downloads.
On the other hand, though, the alignment seems forced. It feels like a disconnected and desperate cash grab. Like they have so given up on figuring out how to reinvent their business model that everyone is now in charge of “special projects.”
And then I wonder what this process will do to the reputations of their artists (okay, granted some are beyond selling out). Will it over commercialize even the likes of a Gaga or a Bieber? And, while I’m at it, what is their reputation as a digital marketing agency, if that is how they are positioning this service?
Like I said, pause for thought. A curious one. I wonder what some you think …