For a while now, we've been pointing out that people in both the advertising and content businesses need to recognize that they're both in the same business
. All advertising is content, and all content is advertising -- whether intentional or not. The latest example of this is pointed out by reader lavi d
, who points us to a clip from NPR's All Things Considered about how Procter & Gamble has teamed up with Def Jam records to create a new record label: Tag Records
, which is connected to the P&G product Tag Body Spray.
Rather than bringing on a big name star to "endorse" its product, Tag Records has signed a relative unknown, and is basically promoting both this new musician, Q, and the body spray at the same time. The music doesn't necessarily directly promote the body spray, but the promotions go hand in hand, and there is no real border between the content and the advertising. If the content itself is good content, it doesn't much matter. And, it appears that other brands are following suit. The radio clip notes that the energy drink Red Bull is apparently building its own studio to do the same thing. To some extent, it's no surprise that Def Jam would recognize this as a direction to go in: we pointed out in the past how a bunch of hip hop music execs were way ahead of the curve
in recognizing new business models where the music itself is part of the promotion for something else.
And here, once again, we're seeing a totally new business model for the music business. Suddenly the success of the musicians on these labels isn't as much about selling music
as it is in getting the music out there to promote other products as well. This doesn't mean (as I'm sure some angry commenters will imply) that all music will soon have some sort of consumer packaged goods connection -- but it shows, once again, that new business models emerge, and those business models will ensure that plenty of good
content continues to show up. Because, if the music put out by these record labels suck, then it won't do much good for anyone: the consumer goods they're connected to, the musicians or the labels.