THE LEFSETZ LETTER: 1234

Would this be a hit in an Amazon.com commercial? More importantly, would John Mellencamp have sold a LOT more records if his song had been

featured in an APPLE ad instead of one for Chevy?


Once again, we don't have a piracy problem in the music business, we've got an EXPOSURE problem. Leslie Feist's album was released on May

1st. It was a must buy amongst hipsters. But those not in the know had NO CLUE! All it needed was a bit of exposure.


Back in the day, as the kids are so fond of saying, radio would have given this record a chance. Maybe featured it on a "Smash or trash?"

segment. That was back when radio was run by innovators, when the program directors were music fans as opposed to wannabe general managers worried about ad sales. Or when we were all addicted to FM stations that were the heartbeat of society as opposed to calcified museums of what was played THIRTY YEARS AGO!


Bob Lefsetz, Santa Monica-based industry legend, is the author of the e-mail newsletter, "The Lefsetz Letter". Famous for being beholden to no one, and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to music business honchos like Michael Rapino, Randy Phillips, Don Ienner, Cliff Burnstein, Irving Azoff and Tom Freston.

Never boring, always entertaining, Mr. Lefsetz's insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music's American division and consultancies to major labels.

Bob has been a weekly contributor to CelebrityAccess and Encore since 2001, and we plan many more years of partnership with him. While we here at CelebrityAccess and Encore do not necessarily agree with all of Bob's opinions, we are proud to help share them with you.


You wonder why we can't sell music? BECAUSE THERE'S NOWHERE TO HEAR IT!


Oh, believe me, if they had the VMAs NEXT WEEK they'd feature Feist. But a month ago, if her label had called up Christine Norman she would

have LAUGHED! Our RESEARCH tells us our audience is not interested. She's too OLD!


But then Apple makes the record a hit, and EVERYBODY WANTS HER!


I started getting e-mail about this track as soon as the ad hit TV. Mostly from outsiders, not part of the industry INFRASTRUCTURE! My

buddy who hasn't bought a CD in this CENTURY told me he was hooked, and so was his thirteen year old niece. It was a silent revolution. Til

now. FIVE MONTHS after the release of the record, the mainstream media has finally taken
notice: http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/Music/article/261411


Isn't it funny that "1234" sounds NOTHING LIKE what's on the radio. But APPLE chooses it for its ads. Aren't major corporations supposed to

play it safe? Go with brand names? FAMILIARITY? But that wouldn't fit with Apple's image, as a cutting edge corporation. They need the

new and different.


Meanwhile, although sales are good, I'm sure P2P downloads trump legitimate track sales. This is an evanescent act, right? But maybe, if

you STEAL the music you'll find out THE REST OF HER OEUVRE IS GOOD! You might become a fan! People who buy singles aren't fans, and this

business needs FANS! It was BUILT ON FANS!


Oh, don't tell me about placement in TV shows. You become identified with the content, the show. And you get two plays a year if you're

lucky. Whereas this Apple ad is UBIQUITOUS! And somehow, Leslie Feist looks completely cool doing it. Her fans haven't abandoned her, they

feel she's HIT THE JACKPOT, WON THE LOTTERY! Hell, getting in bed with Apple isn't selling out, it's jumping on the rocket. Apple is COOLER

THAN MOST MUSIC!


But most companies are not. Microsoft is not. Amazon is not. (Yeah, do an ad for a company that sells everything from books to toasters.)

There are very few cool companies.

ANY exposure is not good exposure. Better to lay off than associate with a lame company.

I don't want to get into a deep analysis of commercial tie-ins. Unlike the labels and agencies who tell you you should just make the deal,

it's VERY COMPLICATED! Depending mostly on whether it's about breaking through or going on a victory lap. What's more interesting is how

the pillars of the business have lost their way, are in decay. The majors won't sign and promote a Feist. Radio won't play it. And brick

and mortar retail won't stock it. In other words, you can't hear it and you can't buy it. Great formula for success.

Let's not revel in the success of "1234", let it be evidence how screwed up things are. It's not about radio and TV now embracing the track

and the act, but figuring out how we can make it easier for the public to hear new and different music and ACQUIRE IT!

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