We constantly hear about how innovative musicians have become. The labels are wankers, dinosaurs, out of touch, unable to adapt their business model: their days are numbered.
Well now it seems that the artists are wankers too. In this article from HBR, we find that the very darlings of the MySpace revolution, Linkin Park – a band which launched its own innovation business in 1999 and managed to build direct relationships with millions of fans etc etc – are once again turning the innovation knob (up to 11).
But this time it’s all in management doublespeak. in 2014, we learn, the band decided they needed a ‘paradigm shift’. Its executive vice president decided that there was plenty of “blue ocean” for them to explore.
Let’s hear from the band themselves:
As co-lead vocalist and founder Mike Shinoda puts it, “Our goal was to build an internal team of diverse talent to support the non-traditional endeavors the band plans to pursue in the coming years.” The move allowed us to venture freely into diversified revenue models to complement our music sales. Our business now operates like a tech startup, with less hierarchy and far more agility.
I don’t know about you but when I was a kid I really wanted to be in a rock group… With a diversified revenue model – so cool!
As the article goes on, I personally had to cough back a little vomit as I found out about the need to build a ‘differentiated brand ecosystem’ and, even better, to ‘dissected the Linkin Park ecosystem and architecte a framework to execute our new long-term vision’.
Possibly the best bit of innovation non-sense is when it is decided that the band should use ‘creative content to communicate our brand’s point-of-view.’ Perhaps they could play some songs and dance?
As you read on, you occasionally check to see that the URL hasn’t switched to The Onion. Rock musicians talking like management consultants is not on the list of things that makes the world a better place. But don’t worry,
To be clear, we are still in the music business, but creating and selling music now plays more of a supporting role in our overall business mix.