It’s hard to imagine the major record companies adopting an approach that ends up being something that works–they have so much baggage. I mean, if they were a new industry in the 1990s, they probably would have tried this ad sponsored approach to online music 10 years ago and maybe had a big success.
I say that not to just knock the major labels, but because I wonder: in general what kind of advertising works better being associated with (name brand) music? And, then, how does the web make that even better?
And, then the big question relative to record economics: what role(s) do individual music tracks, or artists, play in the advertising scenario? In other words, like radio, maybe there is little justification to equate ad value to any individual tracks or artist over a big aggregate (even, a whole genre) of tracks.
To be more specific: big radio advertisers don’t necessarily look to have their ad appear after a specific track, as much as to have their ad appear a bunch of times for a particular audience.
The more specific music-brand advertising models that seem to have some traction are all about connecting a product with a music-brand, e.g., Budweiser sponsoring The Who tour, or VW using a Wilco song as the soundtrack in a TV commercial.
The successful ad systems, on the web and otherwise, are successful because they enable advertisers to compete to reach particular audiences in particular context. So, there is a sense of premium for particular advertisers.
So, if there isn’t a sense of premium for being associated with any particular track or particular artist, where / what is the thing that’s the premium attraction for advertisers?