Branding Ideas℠

Mariah Carey Sells Out

It’s no secret that the music industry has been struggling to boost profits amidst decreasing sales and a broader array of media for consumers to, well, consume. Island Def Jam, the music group whose artists include Mariah Carey, U2, the Killers, Kanye West and others, recently announced that will start integrating branded advertising in their artists’ CD booklets. The new model will launch with Mariah Carey’s upcoming album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, due in stores at the end of the month. The album will include a 34-page mini-magazine filled with lifestyle ads sponsored and co-created by Elle Magazine along with the record label. Lyrics and other information about the album will presumably be mixed in with the ads, making for great brand visibility but not necessarily a very pleasant or easy-to-navigate user experience. If Island Def Jam is hoping this new business model will kill CD sales once and for all, they might be on to something. On the other hand, their primary interest appears to be making money, since there will also be a digital version of the booklet available when you purchase the album on iTunes and other digital sales outlets. With savvy consumers becoming increasingly aware of advertising and finding new ways to avoid it, this is just another example of companies coming up with ever more inventive means to make an impression.

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