You’ve probably heard of the hip-hop group Wu Tang Clan; but, in case you need a quick refresher, you can check out The Essential Wu Tang here. The band is releasing a new double-album. According to Forbes,
“Wu-Tang’s aim is to use the album as a springboard for the reconsideration of music as art, hoping the approach will help restore it to a place alongside great visual works–and create a shift in the music business, not to mention earn some cash, in the process.”
The group is on a quest to make music more about “art” and will sell a single copy of their double-album, presumably to the highest bidder. The owner will have a collector’s item and the rest of us will get it for free… maybe. If they buyer is a tech company, I just hope they learned from Samsung and the release of Jay Z’s Magna Carta via a mobile app, given the semi-explosion over data privacy AND that we’re still living in a highly sensitive, post-Snowden world. I must admit that I’m more excited to see what type of tech innovation will be associated with the release than I am to hear the new music. How will we get it, what type of integration will be baked into new or existing products, what type of marketing campaign will launch to promote it? So,why not do a little speculating???
If Wu Tang is smart, they would partner with a company sitting on a mountain of cash and ensure they have a seat at the table when it comes to the creative aspects of album’s release, marketing, etc.
Since the point of the project is all about seing music as art, the buyer should initially promote the tour and give away copies with paid museum entrance. Or maybe play the music along the tour.
Amazon and Netflix should get in the race! For Netflix, it could propel them into a streaming music service. Or if there’s footage of the recording, they could launch a docu-series including the making of the album and footage from the tour. Maybe even HBO, for that matter.
I’d love to see just a general Music in the Making series, featuring recent innovations in music including Beyonce’s Visual Album, Lady Gaga, Wu Tang and even K-Michelle’s upcoming Rebellious Soul musical with Idris Elba. Queue VH1?
I’m much less excited about Apple/Google purchasing exclusive rights and selling it on their music sites. It’d be a wasted opportunity for innovation in music.
Beats Music could also get in the game and challenge the likes of Apple. Maybe Dr. Dre could call up his old buddies and strike a deal. I’m sure we’ll see more innovation there.
Yahoo is my favorite choice! I’ve told you about their quest to become a Cool Conglomerate and this would be the perfect opportunity for the company to flex its muscle and show the world what the new Yahaoo is all about! You’d think the company’s stellar entertainment/digital/social cast of Seacrest, Armostrong and Pogue would have some great ideas, no?!
The possibilities are endless! My ideal situation would be a partnership with Essence and Yahoo. A girl can dream, right?? Whatever the path, it’s a great opportunity to continue the conversation about Music being one of the most original, soulful forms of art. Let’s just hope the tech community doesn’t blow it.