Friday, May 18, 2007

I'll take a grande latte and a Beatle, please

From a marketing standpoint, the most interesting thing about American Idol is watching it gain credibility among acts like Gwen Stefani, Fergie and Maroon 5, all of whom would definitely have shunned it a few years ago. But there’s no denying the power of being able to put your new single in front of one of the largest audiences in television—especially as media fragmentation obscures a lot of singles that not so long ago would have been ubiquitous. In that context, I’m curious to see how the marketing for the new Paul McCartney album, "Memory Almost Full," will play out. True, Sir Paul, probably will never sell again the way he did with that band-before-Wings in the 1960s, but on the other hand, this time around he’s leveraging the ubiquity of Starbucks to, well, make his voice heard. McCartney who is releasing the album under Starbucks’ Hear Music label will be launching it through 10,000 Starbucks outlets in 29 countries around the world, which will play it in those locations on June 5 as part of a global promotional event. No one’s talking American Idol-size numbers here—according to this story, it will reach six million people a day—but it seems a far better idea than simply relying on old channels to sell music.

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