Bands, Brands, and Backlash

Today's industry update features a couple of pieces from the New York Times that cast a critical eye on the current state of affairs betweent he worlds of music and corporate sponsorship. 

The first, by Jon Pareles makes note of the increase corporate creep at SXSW this year:

"It was, in a way, the income-inequality debate carried into the realm of attention: The tiny fraction of a percentage of performers who have made it big were grabbing even more exposure away from the struggling majority."

Read more here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/arts/music/south-by-southwest-festival-starts-to-feel-corporate.html?ref=music&_r=0

The next is a critique of the co-branding ventures now regularly engaged in by corporations and music artists. In this piece, David Carr notes the increasing corporatization of the festival. He takes aim specifically at Lady Gaga, who performed at a special, contest winner-only event set up in conjunction with Doritos:

"Her actions — to happily shill for Doritos, then deliver a lecture on the importance of independent thought — perfectly encapsulate the conflicted state of the industry.

Read more here: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/business/media/a-new-model-for-music-big-bands-big-brands.html?ref=music

And to top it all off, we have Lady Gaga herself devivering the Keynote Address, wherein she talks about her views on sponsorship: