Daily Archives: July 1, 2010

Evaluating Management

Too many layers, not enough bass, but The Voice struggles to dominate and finally rings out clearly!

The problem is, The Voice shouldn’t have to struggle to dominate, which is what it should be doing in every song, no?

:) That’s my final evaluation of “Something ‘Bout Love.”

And, if I’m being honest, I could make the same assessment of David’s current management.

Just to separate things out: Jive the label is the one behind the music quality and air time (including radio, online streams, music videos, and sales).  Management handles David’s appearances and publicity.

“Too many layers, not enough bass…”

We saw this in the handling of the Chords of Strength book tour.  Staying at the level of “many layers” of where David’s imagined fanbase supposedly resides – mostly in the suburbs – prevented them from exploring the “bass” level – the subculture markets located in urban sites.  Sure, COS did fabulous by debuting at #15 on the New York Times bestseller list for nonfiction.  If promotion was handled more strategically, with an understanding that they needed to reach BOTH the mainstream and the marginal markets, it might have reached #10.

“The Voice struggles to dominate and rings out clearly…”

I think we’re all clear that, had David been invited to sing on the “We Are the World” remake, he would have said yes, considering that he eagerly and proudly took part in the Spanish version, “Somos el Mundo.”  I think it’s also clear that no one wanted The Voice anywhere near the fetus since the song clearly helped to launch Bieber fever by giving him the opening lines.  Having said that, there is no suppressing the Voice, and when it finally rings out clearly (as it most certainly did on Somos el Mundo), people stop to listen.

Quietly, David went about doing his charity work and showed up for sports events and singing before the President.  Now, the nation has a chance to hear The Voice in all its glory come July 4th at a huge event like the Capitol 4th celebration!

The great setup of  the “new single” buzz online the week before a publicly televised event like Capitol 4th positions The Voice to ring out clearly in its early struggles for domination.

I’m excited about these new directions for David since they should really launch him back into the spotlight in a major way.

However, I’m still feeling the “too many layers, not enough bass” effect here.  It’s clear by these choices that Management imagines David’s “fanbase” as a wholly conservative youth community with equally conservative moms.  And while that tends to be true, it’s missing some core subculture markets that are totally in David’s corner: including “urban,” soul, Latinidad (although the appearance at the Telejano Music Awards shows some semblance of acknowledging this), and gay audiences, which include numerous Archies. (But you’d never know that from marketing choices.)

Justin Bieber may be a “tween sensation,” but we cannot overlook the effect of having R&B (Usher) and hip-hop (Ludicrous and Sean Kingston) behind him.  The tweens and teens may be crazy over his moppet, but the urban audience is providing the “bass” sales to the “layers” of suburban tween and teen markets.

So, when I say, David’s management may be following Jive’s musical lead in foregoing “bass” for “layers,” we may see respectable numbers and spots on the pop charts, but landing at #1 or going platinum will take longer than expected.

Acknowledging and including “the bass” simply provides the foundation for broad appeal and a deeper, far-reaching musical career.

Not to mention “Soul David” still has the universal appeal and effect.

Here’s the full version of “Something ‘Bout Love”:

Evaluate management yourself: