The New Music Business: Brands & Tech

TWEED GUEST EXPERT is a series of posts authored by industry experts to introduce various perspectives on the branded entertainment industry.  Today’s post is by Peter Malkin, veteran music executive (bio below).

Everyone is painfully aware of the seismic shifts in the music business that have been affecting the industry for years.  While it used to be necessary for artists to partner with major record labels to promote to MTV, radio and the talk show circuit and to rely on their muscle for distribution  – technology has changed the game.

Distribution, marketing and promotion responsibilities often now fall upon the talent and management team.  With old revenue models sometimes nonexistent, artists must get creative to monetize their work, often turning to brands.

With the economic impact of this shift weighing heavily on labels, the role that brands play has become increasingly important.  Brands are now poised to contribute more of an investment and provide unique marketing opportunities within the overall music business.  In order to capitalize on these opportunities, any music executive must be aware of where audiences spend time online and how they are discovering and consuming content.

Understanding and keeping up with the technology tools and platforms are key to being discovered and eventually sourcing brand-funded opportunities.  The viral nature of the Internet and available web 2.0 social applications has the ability to generate maximum levels of exposure (ie. Justin Bieber).  As I began to take notes on all of these new music centric social media tools, it became absurd to me just how much was out there.  While taking notes a script began forming and just for the goof, I started to read my notes as fast as I could in a comical way.  Reading the list of services at a fast speed was an easy way to make a sarcastic point – there are so many options!

Even with all of these new platforms and promotion tools, no matter how much technology has leveled the playing field and no matter how many new avenues there are to market and promote music, it is all moot if the content isn’t great, be it music or branded content for that matter.  That’s always been the case and it always will.  Great music will always be valuable to brands as a vehicle to make an emotional connection with their target audiences.

I hope you enjoy “Management in the New Digital World”.  And let me know in the comments section which if any of these tools have worked for you and how?

Feel free to check out my latest video, “Should An Artist Sign A 360º Deal?” in which I re-enact a conversation between a label and manager whereby the manager questions why the artist should allow the label to participate in all of the artist’s revenue streams.


About the Author: Peter Malkin
Peter Malkin is a veteran music executive who spent the last 20 years managing successful artists, signing new talent to major record labels, and helping brands with their content marketing strategies and initiatives. Some of the acts that Peter has managed over the years include: The Fugees, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Joan Osborne, Spacehog, Nine Days, and Vanessa Carlton. Most recently, Peter worked at Six Flags, tasked with making music more integral to the brand and overall experience throughout the parks. Under his stewardship, Six Flags diversified its concert offerings, new revenue streams were created, and alliances were forged with content owners resulting in more music centric products being offered within the Six Flags universe.

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