I read a great write up on Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson’s AVC.com about the release of Lupe Fiasco’s new mixtape, Enemy of the State. I know you’re asking, why would a VC blog about a mixtape? Well unlike most mixtapes, Lupe’s new album included a brief 31 second Hewlett Packard commercial entitled “HP skit”. The commercial, I’ve included the video version below, is one of those headless voice over commercial with cool animations that HP has become known for as of late. Now without knowing, the particulars of the compensation agreement between Lupe and HP, Wilson goes on to speculate about what an advertising based model could mean for an artist and advertisers:
So Lupe included an HP advertisement on the Enemy Of The State mixtape. Let’s say Enemy of the State is downloaded a half million times. And let’s say that the average downloader listens to the mixtape all the way through five times. Then that HP ad would be listened to 2.5 million times. At a $10 cpm (high but not crazy high), that would be worth $25,000 as an audio ad buy. If Lupe could put out one of these mixtapes a month, then that’s $300,000 per year.
A win win for both advertisers and the artist if you ask me. The advertisers win because instead of hoping a Lupe fan watches the HP commercial, you’re placing the commercial in an album that Lupe’s fans are sure to listen too. This will lead to a better brand engagement. Lupe wins because he gains awareness, spreads new material that could potentially draw more fans to his show, and oh yeah he gets a little change in the process. So if having to suffer through a few ads means that my favorite artists releases more material, then I wont mind suffering through a few commericals.
Now of course this model is not without its faults. The first one that comes to mind is, the stiffiling of creativity. If you think about it, the mixtape market has in the past been known as the place for creativity and innovation. Artist used mixtapes to experiment with new styles and discuss content that they would not normally release on their album. If the artist’s goal is to align themselves with a major brand, the artist might soften up their content, or stick to their traditional musical roots in order to align themselves with a “good brand” (this could be good or bad depending on what side of the fence you’re on.).
So the question is, would you mind a few ads in your favorite artist’s mixtape if it meant more music? Do you think brands can align with mixtapes?Category: Celeb 2.0, Featured | Tags: ad support, lupe, lupe fiasco, mixtapes, New Media