Mariah Carey’s forthcoming Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel may have a title that’s in need of a copyeditor, but the inside is going to look like a magazine: Its liner notes, which Island Def Jam concocted in concert with some employees at Elle, will be 34 pages long and chock-full of Mimi-centric editorial, as well as ads for products like Elizabeth Arden, Angel Champagne, and the Bahamas Board of Tourism. The reason for this partnership? Well, let’s just say that it’s not because Carey is a big fan of Elle’s editorial style.
“The idea was really simple thinking: ‘We sell millions of records, so you should advertise with us,’” said Antonio “L.A.” Reid, chairman, Island Def Jam Music Group, a unit of Universal Music Group. “My artists have substantial circulation—when you sell 2 million, 5 million, 8 million, that’s a lot of eyeballs. Most magazines aren’t as successful as those records.”
Carey was “very open” to the concept when Reid showed her a mock-up of the booklet in a magazine format that included brand imagery synonymous with her lifestyle. “I wouldn’t want to do Mariah Carey and Comet abrasive cleaner,” Reid said, laughing. “I wanted things that really reflected her taste.”
Reid said the program was unprecedented. Terry Dry, president of Los Angeles-based digital-word-of-mouth marketing agency Fanscape, agreed, saying that the CD booklet advertising is a first, though he wouldn’t be surprised if more labels look into doing the same thing: “Hollywood Records [Disney], I know they love to monetize all over the place for something like a Jonas Brothers record. Open any rap record and a couple of inserts will come flying out, usually for a business the artist is a part of. I wouldn’t be surprised if 50 Cent had a Vitaminwater thing.”
Wait, I thought he already had a Vitamin Water thing when he couldn’t think of anything else to say? Anyway, given that things don’t look to be getting much better as far as the “record companies making money from sales revenues” idea goes, I look forward to future mini-mags. (At least editorial types might get paid for something, y’know?) And I do hope that L.A. decides to think outside the box down the road—hey, future wars between Universal Music Group artists could be sponsored by the Beef Industry Council. They could even rhyme over Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo”!
The Monetization of Mimi: Mariah CD To Have Ads [Billboard]
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