“Pop Music Is More About Advertising Now Than Before — And Nobody Realizes It” from MIC.com (5/22/15)

Your favorite songs and music videos are becoming advertisements.

Research out of the University of Colorado, Denver confirms the trend. Analyzing the top 30 songs on the Billboard charts every year from 1960 to 2013, researcher Storm Gloor found that more than half of the 1,544 brand mentions he identified in popular lyrics occurred between 2000 and 2010. As the general length of songs and number of words in them have increased, so too has the percentage of brand-associated words. In 2010, 1.8% of the words in lyrics could be considered branding. That might seem small, but it’s nearly double the percentage 25 years earlier. And in 2006, 2 out of every 3 songs in the study included at least one branding reference.

Behind closed doors, there’s a lot of money changing hands to get these mentions into our music. Every time you listen to a song that mentions a brand, there’s quite possibly a deal — or a hope for a future deal — engineering that appearance. (more)

Hmmm… I admit that I am a bit torn about this story.

On one hand, selling out is selling out. On the other hand, in today’s world especially, musicians need to monetize in every way possible. It’s either that, or starve. Plus, and I hate to be all grim about it, but once you start accepting payment for your work in any industry, it becomes a product — and as such, rife with marketing opportunity.

What do you think?

Also, Universal Music Group has begun rolling out a program to retroactively insert advertisements into older music videos.

Here’s an ad (trailer? sizzle reel!) for that service:


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