The probably delayed launch of MySpace Music has coincided with the social-networking service buying ad space in New York’s Times Square and on Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard–because when an online service pours a lot of money into ads, it’s always a good sign about the viability of its business, right? But what’s more notable about the Times Square ad (pic above, via Songs For Soap) isn’t the fact that one of the Jonas Brothers looks like he’s hoisting an Urban Sombrero above his head. It’s what’s in the immediate vicinity of the ads, and how they represent big music’s accelerated decline in the new millennium.
Take your field of vision past the Planet Hollywood banners, and what do you see? On one side, you have the Virgin Megastore, which was once a monument to the power of music retail and is now waiting to be brought to its knees by commercial real estate developers. (That is, of course, if the whole market for retail floor space doesn’t crater sometime in the next six months.) On the other, you have banners for albums like Christina Aguilera’s Stripped and Elvis Presley’s #1s, both of which came out in the comparatively SoundScan-soaked days of 2002, and both of which come as a result of said building serving as the headquarters of the German conglomerate Bertelsmann–a company which, of course, is trying to extricate itself from its music-business ties as I type this.
Nice positioning, guys. You couldn’t have angled for a spot near, say, the Hard Rock Cafe?
MySpace Music Becomes Physical, Not Virtual, Reality [Songs For Soap]