OK I admit I am making fun of myself a bit in this post, but I couldn’t resist when I saw this. A friend shared with me a post on the worst movie merch and in the mix I came across the Twilight merch, which included a Cullen crest bra, a $1,979 Bella engagement ring, and best of all the Twilight condom. When I discovered this I had instant inspiration for a snide comment, even as a Twilight fan. And alas, you get this.
I don’t hide the fact that I’m a fan of the Twilight Saga. I have read all the books, saw the first two films at their midnight showing on their opening nights (And have my tickets for the midnight release of Eclipse), partnered to launch a Twilight Fansite, and have done a number of Twilight posts over the years. So when I saw that one of my favorite Social Media sites, Mashable, started covering random Twilight news I was intrigued.
In the beginning it made sense. Their first post covered the story of how the New Moon trailer leaked on the web, which I guess to a degree is news relevant enough since it was a huge social media hit and the studios tried to cover it up. Then they had a live video chat with Twilight stars Peter Facinelli and Billy Burke about social media, again relevant since it was meant to be a social media interview. Those of us who attended the event might recall the poor audio quality, choppy video and masses of teenage girls that flooded the room with no interest in social media. And every month or so since then the Twilight stories have continued to roll in.
In each instance there is some sort of social media tie in. They either cover a twitter reaction, Myspace premier, YouTube video, or other loose tie in, but the fact of the matter is Twilight is the only pop culture phenomenon that really gets this sort of attention on Mashable. I made a comment to Mashable on Twitter in late in April asking them what their connection was to Twilight, but never got a response. And my buddy Danny Brown left a comment on a recent post on Mashable about release of the Twilight Saga: Eclipse trailer simply asking, “And this is social media…. how?” Which has left me to believe that I’m not the only one out there thinking it’s a bit odd that Mashable has given the series so much love.
At first I thought maybe it was a specific author writing all of the posts and perhaps they were fans of the Twilight series, but as I dug a little deeper I found that the social media giant has been generating content about the films from a variety of writers; Ben Parr, Jennifer Van Grove, Barb Dybwad, Christina Warren, Adam Ostrow, and a handful of others. I never pinned Parr or Ostrow as Twilight fans, but then again most people don’t pin me as one either, so what do I know? The regular Twilight news just doesn’t seem to make sense. It’s not as though Twilight is doing anything new or innovative with social media, so what makes it so newsworthy to the Mashable staff?
This is my plea to you Mashable…What is your connection to the Twilight Saga movies? I know I’m just a lone blogger and a search and social addict, but I would love to know what it is about Twilight that dazzles you. How did the Twilight Saga inject itself into your editorial calendar? Do you have some sort of marketing tie in with Summit Entertainment? Are your staffers a huge group of Twi-hards? Are the posts an easy piece of link bait because they have the word “Twilight” in them? I’d love to know, and based on some comments I am reading on some of your past Twilight posts so do a lot of other Mashable readers.
Filed Under (music) by Mike Wilton on 08-09-2009
Tagged Under : New Moon, New Moon Soundtrack, twilight
I’ve talked a lot in the past about the future of the music industry, it’s marketing, and the bands that are already performing ahead of the curve. With the RIAA and record labels in a constant panic about the decline in CD sales each year and the millions of illegal downloads that happen each year they have been forced to try new techniques to drive record sales. Various labels and bands are coming up with new ways all the time, but one of the more up and coming methods is the tiered pricing method. Offered by Nine Inch Nails, and perhaps more popularly by Josh Freese in his outrageous attempt to promote his album ‘Since 1972’, the tiered pricing structure hasn’t really hit the mainstream audience so much as industry veterans and independent artists.
However, Summit Entertainment and Chop Shop/Atlantic Records are about to change that with their announcement regarding tiered pricing for the pre-order of the highly anticipated New Moon Soundtrack. The soundtrack to the sequel of last years fall blockbuster Twilight has been gaining hype and speculation since before the film was even in production. Twilight, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 sold 165,000 copies in its first week. If that weren’t enough Twilight went on to be the soundtrack with the most paid downloads in digital history, with 412,000 downloads, putting it at number two on Nielsen SoundScan’s list of the 100 best-selling digital albums of all-time. All this done without any special promotions or hype to drive sales, which leads me to believe that both Summit and Chop Shop/Atlantic are anticipating another successful soundtrack with some substantial profits made from this tiered format.
The four tier structure offers something for everyone and starts as low as $9.99 and caps at $499.99.
Digital – The Digital package is being offered for $9.99 and gives purchasers a digital MP3 download of the album 72 hours before its release on October 20th as well as a MP3 download of the single Meet The Equinox by Death Cab for Cutie on September 13th.
Standard – For $16.99 buyers receive the New Moon Soundtrack CD on October 20th. An MP3 download of the single Equinox by Death Cab for Cutie on September 13th, a weekly e-mail subscription to “Twi-Insiders” with exclusive New Moon information including artist confirmations, clips of music, artist interviews, lyrics and more, and a New Moon sticker sheet.
Deluxe – For $34.99 the Deluxe package offers everything listed in the first two packages as well as a New Moon poster.
Limited Edition – The Limited Edition package offers 50 Twilight fans everything listed above as well as a limited edition Death Cab for Cutie t-shirt and a personalized Twilight Soundtrack Commemorative Plaque for having sold over 2 million copies. The kicker? This one is selling at $499.99
While the tiered structure seems to have worked well for bands like Nine Inch Nails, I am left to wonder how well something like this will do for a soundtrack from a film marketed mostly at teens. I would imagine the bulk of pre-order sales will come from the Digital and Standard packages while a few of the more seasoned Twi-hards will actually fork out the cash for the Deluxe and Limited Editions. My guess is that if any of the Limited Edition packages are purchased in this economy the bulk of them will be sold to spoiled little rich girls who aren’t getting pony’s for Christmas or uber geeks that live in their parents’ basement. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing but love for uber geeks, but c’mon use that $499 to get out of your parents basement instead of buying a plaque for an accomplishment you had nothing to do with.
All in all I like that record labels are trying things like this. Offering digital and CD copies of the music with a few extra perks makes me a bit more willing to spend the cash to go out and purchase an album. Paying $16 bucks for a jewel case, a pretty liner and a CD just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. Hell paying that much for a digital download of an album doesn’t even seem worth it anymore. So this is a nice change of pace. I do think that in a lot of instances though the labels still don’t quite get what it is that the fans really want. Sure the plaque is nice, but is that something fans of these films and their soundtracks really wants? I bet you if you dropped in a Rob Pattinson signed copy of the Twilight Soundtrack or a similar perk you’d probably easily make more sales. But what do I know? I’m just a search marketer and blogger…