News You Can Muse

16 Dec

If you’re over the age of 45, you probably hadn’t heard of the band Muse—at least not until they opened for U2 during its 360 Tour a couple years ago. Before that, they had gained acclaim and hit the charts in 2003 (and had been playing since the mid-90s), but the U2 tour grew their fan base exponentially. As a result, they hit a new chart this year—the Forbes Celebrity 100. Arguably among the least recognized names on the least, Muse ranks tied at #47 with a one-year gross revenue of $76 million and net income of $35 million (both figures in U.S. dollars). We’ll never know how things would be for Muse had they not opened the shows during the U2 tour, but it’s certainly safe to say their sales, fame, and income wouldn’t be what it is.

So, the question is, what can you do to partner with a complementary entrepreneur to further both of your efforts? This is what happens when bands tour together. In the case of U2 and Muse, the benefits to Muse are obvious, but U2 benefited as well in reaching many (notably younger) Muse fans who may have had a lesser acquaintance with U2’s music. Likewise, in whatever venture you have, at least consider the possibility that your “competition” may actually be a potential partner. You may even team up among many promotional partners—much like bands do when they are billed on festivals. Sarah McLachlan created the very successful Lilith Fair in the early ’90s that boosted her own career but also that of many other female rockers of the time. Likewise, Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction started Lollapalooza in 1991, which went on to promote and feature some of the biggest rock acts of the 1990s.

Share with us your ideas and experiences with promotional partnerships like this.

(By the way, U2’s earnings for the same year were $195 million, solidly planting them in the top spot among rockers on the Forbes list. Their 360 Tour set a record with sales topping $700 million, surpassing the Rolling Stones Bigger Bang Tour’s $554 million a few years earlier.)

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