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音樂也需要品牌

2008-06-28
音樂也需要品牌
作者:英國《金融時報》保羅•塞克斯坦(Paul Sexton)
2008年6月24日 星期二
與上個世紀60年代簡陋的T恤和披頭士(Beatles)的口香糖相比,音樂界的商業開發推廣已取得很大進展,F在,設計師品牌運動鞋和巨星代言的烈酒終于被認可為一個重要的收入流。

近幾個月,唱片公司紛紛利用廣為議論的“360度”全方位合約,試圖從藝人的官方授權產品、巡演的收入和出版發行、以及唱片銷售收入中分得一杯羹。有時,這是對更高比例預付版稅的回報。然而,許多功成名就的明星還是選擇與該領域內的主要公司達成利潤豐厚的獨立協議,將商業開發推廣的利潤據為己有。此類公司可能成為一個藝人全球營銷戰略的一部分,并創造出可與唱片銷售相匹敵的收入。環球唱片(Universal)旗下商業開發推廣部門Bravado首席執行官湯姆•班尼特(Tom Bennett)表示:“5年前,我不記得有誰稱自己的樂隊為一個品牌。突然之間,每個人都是品牌了,所以你必須以那種方式思考!

Bravado正在擴展。在近30年的時間里,它已建立了一個龐大的客戶基礎,包括環球旗下藝人,從坎耶•維斯特(Kanye West)到Girls Aloud組合,還包括許多其它唱片公司的藝人,例如百代唱片(EMI)的Iron Maiden樂隊和索尼BMG (Sony BMG)的碧昂絲(Beyoncé)。Bravado曾屬于Sanctuary公司,去年被環球唱片收購后,Bravado得以利用環球唱片在77個國家的分銷渠道,并抵達其它T恤衫公司到不了的區域。

班尼特表示:“最開始時,都是些玫瑰花結和圍巾,完全是在模仿足球,F在,我們與Iron Maiden樂隊一起去日本開演唱會,(商品銷售額)可以達到人均20英磅。過去,如果我們能達到人均1英鎊,就好像贏了彩票一樣!

“目前,一些較為豐厚的‘人均'銷售收入來自知名流行樂隊,例如辣妹組合(Spice Girls)、麥莉•塞勒斯(Miley Cyrus)、New Kids On The Block的復出巡演——這些時候的銷售收入最高?惨•維斯特的受歡迎程度已遠超出我們所想象。在一輪美國巡演中,他的現場觀眾將達到40萬至50萬人,而我們能收入500萬美元!

唱片連鎖零售HMV的媒體主管杰納羅•卡斯塔爾多(Gennaro Castaldo)表示,藝人與關聯品牌銷售“依然只占總營業額中相對較小的份額,不到5%,但這個數字始終在增長,而且目前已接近幾年前的兩倍”。

英國音樂家戴夫•斯圖爾特(Dave Stewart)曾是Eurythmics樂隊成員。如今,他將錄音及制作與現代唱片業顧問的角色結合起來,為O2等公司服務。他表示:“常常很難讓音樂家們將自己看作一個品牌,但到了最后,他們會成為品牌,不管他們喜不喜歡!

“某些藝人馬上就能理解,比如多數說唱歌手,因此,Jay-Z等人已擁有自己的威士忌和鞋類品牌。認為商業開發推廣只是印有你姓名的T恤和馬克杯的想法,就像是來自另一個世紀的事物!

班尼特表示,他的公司與唱片公司的合作關系幫助建立了“我們從未有過的零售合作關系,因為環球與那些關鍵客戶有關系。這打開了非常多的業務之門!

Iron Maiden樂隊和他們獨特的吉祥物、面容邪惡的面具Eddie,從上世紀80年代初就一直與Bravado合作。這支重金屬樂隊在Phantom Music的聯席經理安迪•泰勒(Andy Taylor)稱:“我們以及幾乎所有樂隊,仍然在唱片合約之外(與商業開發推廣商)簽約!

在Sanctuary時,泰勒協助發展了“360度”的概念。但他表示,與現在大型唱片公司的做法相比,Santuary對于藝人的價值要高得多,原因在于其擁有的公司,包括Bravado!拔覀兛梢院鸵幻嚾撕炇鸪霞s、發行合約、商業開發推廣合約和演唱會代理合約,并提供所有的服務。在我看來,這是360度全方位公司應有的樣子!

“(幾大唱片公司)不提供其它領域的服務,他們只是從唱片以外的領域獲取部分利潤。所以,簽署360度全方位合約的只有那些新樂隊,他們需要這種合約,也準備出讓從商業開發推廣中獲得的部分收益!

“一些知名藝人,例如羅比•威廉姆斯(Robbie Williams),確實會向唱片公司出售唱片以外部分收入的分享權,但是同樣不是由它們提供這些服務,它們只是分享收益而已!

進一步認識到當今音樂商界此類所謂“商業化”的地位之后,環球從Atmosphere Apparel創始者兼所有者馬克•斯特雷德威克(Mark Stredwick)手中收購了這家英國公司,而斯特雷德維克繼續將Atmosphere作為一家獨立經營的公司來管理。該公司擁有Metallica樂隊與Red Hot Chili Peppers樂隊在北美以外地區和Rage Against the Machine樂隊在歐洲的商業開發推廣權。Bravado已經擁有Metallica在北美的代理權。

班尼特表示,Bravado與國際服飾連鎖企業的聯系為藝人帶來了好處。它與Spencer Gifts的關系使得該零售連鎖商承銷了Led Zeppelin樂隊的精選輯《Mothership》!八鼈冎皬膩頉]有承銷過唱片,”他表示,“Q-Prime(樂隊經紀公司)欣喜若狂!

積極的商業開發推廣活動還能在新唱片發行前提供良好的市場營銷。Bravado為Metallica準備的存貨上已標有這支多次取得白金銷量的搖滾樂隊即將推出的專輯,這將是環球在今秋的首推專輯。

Bravado有一個官方摩托車頭盔系列,是為搖滾樂隊Slayer生產的,零售價為每件200英鎊。第一批已發貨1.2萬件,這意味著240萬英鎊的總收入。此外,雖然可能不具有朋克精神,該公司代表新浪潮英雄Ramones樂隊的系列是服裝連鎖商店H&M最受歡迎的產品之一。與玫瑰花結和口香糖相比,Bravado已取得相當大的進展。

譯者/管婧

閱讀本文章英文,請點擊 BRANDS HELP BANDS REACH MUSICAL HIGHS
BRANDS HELP BANDS REACH MUSICAL HIGHS
By Paul Sexton
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Music merchandising has come a long way from the humble T-shirts and Beatles' chewing gum of the 1960s. Now designer trainers and superstar-endorsed spirits are finally being recognised as an important revenue stream.

The much-discussed 360-degree deal has, in recent months, seen record companies seek a share of the profit from artists' officially licensed products, touring receipts and publishing, as well as record sales. This is sometimes in return for bigger advances against royalties. But many established stars opt instead to keep merchandising profits for themselves by cutting lucrative separate deals with leading companies in the field. Such companies can become part of an act's worldwide marketing strategy and generate income to rival their record sales.

“Five years ago,” says Tom Bennett, chief executive of Bravado, the merchandising arm of Universal, “I don't remember anybody calling their band a brand. All of a sudden, everybody's a brand, and you have to think that way.”

Bravado is expanding. Over some 30 years, it has built a client base that includes Universal artists, from Kanye West to Girls Aloud, and many who record for other labels, such as EMI's Iron Maiden and Sony BMG's Beyoncé. Formerly part of Sanctuary, which last year was absorbed by Universal, Bravado has access to Universal's distribution channels in 77 countries and is reaching the parts of the world other T-shirts cannot reach.

“At the very beginning,” says Mr Bennett, “it was rosettes and scarves, it was a complete carry-over from soccer. Now, we can go to a concert with Iron Maiden in Japan and do £20 a head [on merchandise sales]. Back then, if we could even do £1 a person, it was like we'd won the lottery.

“Some of the bigger ‘per heads' now would be on big pop groups, so the Spice Girls, Miley Cyrus, the New Kids On The Block reunion tour — that's when it goes through the stratosphere. Kanye West is turning out to be way bigger than we ever imagined. He'll play to 400,000-500,000 people on one US tour and we'll do m (£2.5m).”

Gennaro Castaldo, head of press for the HMV retail chain, says artist and related merchandising “still accounts for a relatively small part of overall turnover, less than 5 per cent, but it's growing all the time, and is now approximately double its level of a couple of years ago”.

English musician Dave Stewart, formerly with Eurythmics, now combines recording and production with advisory roles about the modern industry for companies such as O2. He observes: “It's often hard for musicians to think of themselves as a brand, but at the end of the day they become one, whether they like it or not.

“Certain artists get it straight away, like most hip-hop artists, so Jay-Z and so on have got their own whisky and shoes. The idea of merchandising just being T-shirts and mugs with your name on it is like something from another century.”

Mr Bennett says his company's partnership with the record label has facilitated “retail relationships we've never had before, because of the relationships Universal has with these key accounts. It's opening an awful lot of doors”.

Iron Maiden, with their distinctive, “Eddie” evil-faced mask mascot, have been with Bravado since the early 1980s. The heavy metal band's co-manager at Phantom Music, Andy Taylor, says: “We, and virtually all bands, still do deals with [merchandisers] outside of the record deal.”

While at Sanctuary, Mr Taylor helped develop the 360-degree concept. But he says it had a greater value to an artist than the current big label interpretation does, because of the companies it owned, including Bravado. “We could sign an act to a record deal, a publishing deal, a merchandising deal and a live agency deal, and provide all the services. That to me is what a 360-degree company is.

“[Majors] don't provide the services of the different areas, they merely take a share of the profits from the areas outside records. So the only bands doing these 360-degree deals are new bands who need the deal and are prepared to give away a share of what they generate from their merchandising.

“Some big artists, such as Robbie Williams, did sell to a record company a participation in other income outside records, but again it was not them providing the services, merely sharing the income.”

In further recognition of the standing of “merch”, as it is known, in modern-day music commerce, Universal has acquired the UK-based Atmosphere Apparel from founder/owner Mark Stredwick. Atmosphere, which Mr Stredwick will continue to run as a standalone business, holds merchandise rights outside North America to Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and European rights for Rage Against the Machine. Bravado already represents Metallica in North America.

Mr Bennett says Bravado's international links with apparel chains have provided benefits for artists. Its relationship with Spencer Gifts led to the chain carrying Led Zeppelin's Mothership compilation album. “They've never carried a record before,” he says. “Q-Prime [the band's management] were over the moon.”

An aggressive merchandising campaign also provides good marketing in advance of a new release. Bravado's inventory for Metallica is flagging up the multi- platinum rock band's forthcoming album, a Universal priority in the autumn.

Bravado has a line of official biker helmets for rock band Slayer retailing at £200 each, for which the initial ship of 12,000 pieces represents a gross of £2.4m. And, while it may not be the spirit of punk, the company's range representing new wave heroes the Ramones is one of the most popular lines for clothing chain H&M. It has come a long way from rosettes and chewing gum.
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