As the music industry continues to experience a dramatic paradigm shift and a loss of profit, artists themselves are seeking more fruitful means of surival: namely music licensing. It’s not a new strategy of course, with artists like Moby having paved the way for the current crop of acts to get real paid via commercial, TV and film infiltration.
Ze Pequeno at music/pop culture blog PopMatters penned a lengthy piece this week called “Selling Out to Survive,” which includes interviews with indie artists like Bay Area folkies The Dodos, melancholy Montreal popsters The Dears and Petra Haden, who are part of a new throng that’s allowed tracks to be placed in adverts for brands ranging from Outback Steakhouse to Miller to Toyota Prius to even the University of Phoenix. While pretty much all of those profiled have come to terms with the fact that this is probably the most clear-cut ways to pay bills, the idea of “selling out” continues to be a touchy subject in the indie circles.
Natalia Yanchak, keyboardist/vocalist of the Dears, offers one of the more sensible reasons for doing ad placements. “Placement allows us to do things like more touring, especially internationally. It allows us to do more of the things we weren’t able to do before.” Like reaching an audience who might never have heard your track otherwise.