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Weird Al Critical Analysis

In: Business and Management

Submitted By LC23
Words 1069
Pages 5
Critical Analysis Three
October 23, 2014

The Internet Should Have Killed Weird Al. It Only Made Him Stronger

Background

For the past three decades, Weird Al Yankovic has created parody music and has made a name for himself through his success. Yankovic is known for songs such as I Love Rocky Road based off of Joan Jett’s I love Rock ‘n’ Roll and he has also created the song, White & Nerdy, which was not intended to be based off of Chamillionare’s Ridin (Suddath).
Throughout changing customer trends, Yankovic has been able to adapt to the changes and stay competitive in the music industry. In the 1980s, many artists used MTV, the T.V. show, as a medium to promote their music. During the 2000s, Yankovic had to adjust due to a decline in customer watching MTV. By 2006, Yankovic switched over to YouTube as his new advertising medium (Suddath). With the use of YouTube, he created 169 music videos and has 748,032 subscribers (AlyankovicVEVO).
The demand for traditional albums has dropped 8.4% in sales; as a result, Mandatory Fun is Yankovic’s last album, which was released in the summer of 2014 (Christman). The music industry is facing a major threat of music theft known as piracy. Illegally acquired music resulted in a drop of revenues from $14.6 billion to $7.7 billion ("For Students Doing Reports"). Due to the music environment constantly changing as well as emerging, Yankovic needs to consider timely business models that present opportunities for him to stay competitive in the music industry while also managing his brand.
Problem Statement How should Weird Al Yankovic adapt to the rapid changes of the music environment and continue to enhance his brand?

Alternative Solution One
One alternative solution for Yankovic to adapt to the rapidly changing music environment, while also enhancing his brand is to license his songs to TV shows and commercials through licensing houses. For example, the song, I Love It by Icona Pop was featured in the HBO show, “Girls” and became a “summer anthem,” reaching hit No. 2 in America’s Top 40 in the summer of 2014 (Griffith). Yankovic could use music licensing houses as a driver to have his music be accessible to current and potential customers.
A licensing house acts as medium between companies and artists, for companies to find music and purchase licenses directly from the artists. The licensing contract can be inexpensive, around $1,000 or lower and includes limited rights (Griffith). If there are larger, more expensive contracts, licensing houses will act a broker between the artists and agencies. By adapting a licensing business model, Yankovic will be able to have his music featured in TV shows and commercials, allowing his brand to reach customers. Yankovic can utilize licensing houses to gain brand awareness while potentially gaining revenue from iTunes streaming or concert sales.
Alternative Solution Two A second alternative solution for Yankovic to enhance his brand is by participating in guest appearances. For example, Yankovic could be present for a launch of a new product or the opening of a new nightclub. Due to the popularity of celebrity appearances, the cost of hiring a celebrity to attend or host an event has increased. For example, in 2006, Britney Spears earned $350,000 for sitting on a VIP stage at a night on New Year’s Eve. Even for B and C-list stars, a minimum they will typically earn is from $10,000 to $15,000 (McKay). Yankovic would be able to adapt to the changing music environment by appearing at events to allow customers to be more conscious of him and his brand. This increases exposure to customers and could potentially lead to an increase in song downloads or an increase in concert sales.
Recommendation
Yankovic should use both the licensing business model with the strategy of guest appearances to enhance his brand. By incorporating both model and strategy, Yankovic will have potential avenues to promote his brand. In today’s music industry, artists schedule a limited number of appearances for fear that the Law of diminishing returns wanes the impact of effectiveness of an artists’ presence at events (Wallop).
By implementing both solutions, Yankovic is able to stay competitive in the music industry while also improving his brand. Licensing houses will provide music exposure to potential customers while guest appearances can display his brand. By using both approaches, he will potentially be able to earn revenue through licensing his music, appearing at events, and the combination of both strategies can increase sales for his concerts and albums.
Tracking Metrics Yankovic can track the intermediate success of his investment in the licensing business model and guest appearance strategy by monitoring the sales for his concerts and the number of downloads for his music. In addition, he could see intermediate success by tracking the top music hit list and seeing if has reached a high ranking.
Yankovic’s investment in the guest appearance strategy will potentially lead to customer’s buying his music, which will generate royalties. In addition, this will lead to a cash inflow. There would also be a cash outflow due to investing in this strategy. It can be difficult to track conclusive success to see if Yankovic has created high brand awareness for the long-term.
Yankovic can possibly track conclusive success of his investments in both the licensing model and guest appearance strategy. Yankovic could see if there was a positive return from his investments if there is an increase in music downloads or an increase in concert ticket purchases.

Works Cited
"AlyankovicVEVO." YouTube. YouTube, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 Oct. 2014. .
Christman, Ed. "Digital Music Sales Decrease For First Time in 2013." Billboard. Billboard, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 Oct. 2014. .
"For Students Doing Reports." RIAA. RIAA, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 Oct. 2014. .
Griffith, Erin. "How a Small Music Agency Is Helping Indie Artists Sell out." PandoDaily How a Small Music Agency Is Helping Indie Artists Sell out Comments. Pando Daily, 22 Aug.
2013. Web. 17 Oct. 2014. .
McKay, Hollie. "Paid to Party: Celebs Demand More Money to Do Less 'work'" Fox News.
Fox News, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2014. .
Suddath, Claire. "The Internet Should Have Killed Weird Al. It OnlyMade Him Stronger." (2014): n. page. Print.
Wallop, Harry. "Pop Music: What’s Happened to the Money, Money, Money?" Telegraph.
Telegraph Media Group, 7 May 2014. Web. 22 Oct. 2014. .

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