newspapers anymore anyway, so what’s the damn point, Bri?
By Fred Mills
In a stunning affirmation of media mediocrity, today it was
announced that Brian Wilson and Capitol Records / EMI are partnering with
Gannett for an exclusive premiere of Wilson’s new album, That Lucky Old Sun, due Sept. 2 Gannett, of course, has as its flagship publication USA Today, which thanks to its “McNugget” style of CD reviewing and
dumbed-down music reporting is largely responsible for leading other music
media down an equally, er, dumb path.
Ever wonder why magazines publish those pointless 50-word
reviews of records and try to pass ‘em off as rock criticism? You’ve got USA Today and its clueless cadre of “critics”
to thank for pioneering that particular low art form.
On to the inevitable press release, copied below. While we
have heard the Wilson
album and think that it truly is the shit, the fact that Wilson, who doesn’t
need the patronage of a newspaper chain to get the word out in any context of
his activities, is a sad statement indeed upon the future of pop marketing.
They’re calling it “innovative promotion”;
we call it, “selling out.”
“This music is really special to me and I hope that everyone
will enjoy it!,” says Brian Wilson. We hope so too, Brian.
Especially all those grandmaws and grandpaws who read USA Today.
From August 22 to September 1, more
than 50 Gannett newspaper and TV station websites, including USATODAY.com, will
exclusively offer full streaming audio of Wilson’s
new album before its September 2 release. The innovative promotion
is the first of its kind for Gannett, which has never before partnered with an
artist to offer an album premiere across its media Websites.
Visitors to select Gannett sites,
including USATODAY.com, 32 local Gannett newspaper websites and 19 local
Gannett TV websites, will be able to listen to the full 38-minute album in
sequence or skip ahead or back to individual tracks. The album will not be
available for download from Gannett’s sites, but the streaming audio player
will link directly to Amazon.com to pre-order the CD, limited edition CD/DVD
and digital album.
While it is fairly common practice
for artists to offer promotional
pre-release web streaming of new music, it is a unique arrangement to stream an
album on newspaper and TV websites. For Gannett, this is an opportunity to
deliver new music from a respected artist familiar to its core news audience.
Top Gannett markets were chosen for the web streams, some because of the size
of the market, others because of a large Brian Wilson fan base.
“Streaming a full album is a first for
Gannett, so we are thrilled to be working with Capitol Records and a musician
of Brian Wilson’s stature to deliver music in a new way to our online
audiences. This positions us well to expand our digital platforms while
demonstrating the power of Gannett to deliver quality content across a network
of websites,” said Jim Lenahan, strategic development manager for Gannett’s
U.S. Community Publishing division.
Brian Wilson is one of popular music’s most deeply revered
figures, a legendary writer, producer, arranger and performer of some of the
most cherished music in rock history. For the release of his new studio album, That Lucky Old Sun, Wilson has returned
to Capitol Records / EMI, his original label home. The new album will be released on CD, limited edition CD/DVD, and
digitally on September 2 (September 1 internationally). On August 19, the album is released as a
limited edition 180-gram vinyl LP.