The New Music Retail Plan: Let’s Let The Internet Force More Inane Confrontations Until People Stop Paying Attention

So now that Kanye/50 has filtered out of the profitable end of the media cycle, Billboard wants to know how long until music retail just turns into an endless series of bare-knuckle face-offs between two or three big albums, one where all comers are weclome provided there’s a enough blood to attract casual consumers. Well hell, why not as early as next week? See, with traditional marketing both a crapshoot and expensive, Billboard notes that Nielsen’s “BuzzMetrics” system of tracking who is getting the most press has led to its own brand-new chart based around the “most dicussed and blogged about artists” and also reminding us how important such blog chatter was in quasi-legitimatizing the dead-end business plan that the Kanye/50 feud represented. So let the pointless, detrimental hyping begin:

Upcoming retail showdowns include next week’s Springsteen vs. Dashboard vs. Matchbox Twenty on Oct. 2; Alicia Keys vs. Jay-Z coming Nov. 6; Britney vs. Celine vs. Wu Tang on Nov. 13; and Mariah Carey and Lil Wayne set for Dec. 4.

So apparently these “battles” are no longer even contingent on, say, two artists being the same genre and offering different perspectives on said genre for their respective audiences. I get the feeling Billboard is being just a little tongue-in-cheek here, but what’s scary is that I can imagine execs scheming to figure out how to pit Celine Dion and the Wu-Tang clan against one another. What’s even scarier is that if it got picked up and pumped up the blogs, it would probably work. I’d say my own complicity makes me feel so dirty now, but whatever.

The Next Big Retail Battle? [Billboard]