Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oprah and "going indie"

Bon Jovi's in Australia. Oprah Winfrey's in Australia. I'm personally more interested in the former, but there's no doubt the Land Down Under has been touched by the Oprah Effect and that she's probably the best thing to happen to Australian tourism since... well, I don't know, Crocodile Dundee? :P Anyway, Oprah filmed a couple of shows at the Sydney Opera House today and Bon Jovi was part of the first. They reportedly performed "It's My Life" and "Livin' on a Prayer" before Oprah interviewed Jon. Triple M has a photo gallery from the show which you can check out on their blog.

Meanwhile, a story about Bon Jovi possibly ditching the record label to become independent artists has been doing the rounds. It's actually based on an interview that Tico Torres gave during the Lost Highway tour, in which he said:
“We are still on a major label but we can see the writing on the wall,” Tico tells Undercover News.

Part of the problem, he says, is that the old model doesn’t work in the current world. “It was a conglomerate machine that was invented many years ago which in essence owned and manipulated bands but also gave bands a chance to get some upfront money that was again recoupable,” he says. “The companies always made a lot of money of it. It got to a point where the price of records were so dear for the buying public that as soon as the internet came in there was there was another avenue for people to listen to music”.
For what it's worth, I think there could be great potential in being free of a record label. Jon would most likely want to start his own label if they chose to part ways with Island, and the main issue would be distribution, which shouldn't be a major problem for a band with such a massive existing fanbase. But to reap the benefits, it would also require Bon Jovi to be a lot more proactive and innovative with their promotion. It would mean utilising social media far more than the occasional "Hello Facebookland" message, and generally trying a lot of things that I don't think Jon is particularly comfortable with. If Radiohead's and Nine Inch Nails' methods are the "new model", Bon Jovi have a long way to go.

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