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Bill Radke: Music album sales keep on dropping, down about 15 percent from last year. But there are some new releases that might help. Today, Mariah Carey drops her newest CD, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.” Marketplace’s Daryl Paranada reports that inside that CD, you’ll find something a little different.
Daryl Paranada: When you open up Mariah Carey’s new CD, it’ll have the stuff you’re used to: liner notes and lyrics. But the CD’s booklet will also have advertisements.
Jeff Straughn is VP of strategic marketing at Carey’s label, Island Def Jam.
Jeff Straughn: It’s an actual magazine with a lot of interesting photography and insights.
You might call it a mini-magazine. Thirty-four pages of Mariah-centric content. The advertisers were carefully chosen to reflect Carey’s taste — like high-end shoemaker Carmen Steffens, and cosmetics company Elizabeth Arden.
Straughn: This is a way that we can help make money and offset what we otherwise are spending on the production.
Elle magazine produced the booklet. And Straughn says other companies jumped on board because their ads will have a longer shelf life, and reach a bigger audience, than traditional magazine advertisements.
But music purists resent what they see as an intrusion of ads into art. Billboard deputy editor Bill Werde says in the digital age, the music industry has no choice but to get creative.
Bill Werde: I don’t really see any downsides to this. And I think the music fans are going to get great additional content that they don’t have to pay for. And I think that Mariah Carey and her record labels are going to make some money off of this.
Island Def Jam says it has similar marketing plans in store for other artists on its roster.
I’m Daryl Paranada for Marketplace.
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