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NBC Hearts Bon Jovi

October 21, 2009
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Somewhere out there, there’s a segment of our readership that is actually interested in the news that Bon Jovi will release their thirteenth studio album, named The Circle, in November.  For those of you that aren’t interested, I’m with you.  But what is interesting about this news is the fact that the band has seen fit to sign an exclusive deal with NBC to market the new album.  This means the peacock has dibs on interviews, live performances, and promotional tie-ins.  They’ve even gone so far as to call the band their new “Artist in Residence.” 

Jon Bon Jovi’s public announcements are less than enthusiastic about this new deal.  As quoted in the New York Times, Mr. Bon Jovi:

“Of course you usually try to be out there everywhere, when a new album is coming out,” Mr. Bon Jovi said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “So we have to sacrifice certain shows and relationships. We hope this doesn’t jeopardize any of them. But in a shrinking media environment, you have to kind of reinvent the wheel.”

Hardly a ringing endorsement of a new-found friendship.  NBC on the other hand, seems ready to milk this thing for all it’s worth, tying the New Jersey rockers into guest spots on SNL, the Today Show, Jay Leno and any other NBC television property they can think of.  There will be a Nightly News interview with Brian Williams and a celebration of Jon’s acting career on Bravo’s “Inside the Actor’s Studio.”  I’m waiting for a “30-Rock” appearance as themselves or a “Heroes” cameo.

This is probably a smart move on NBC’s part.  Bon Jovi has always had a huge soccer mom following and there’s no doubt that this is a demographic that will watch anything Jon Bon Jovi is a part of.  As the JBJ quote shows though, this is little more than a necessary evil for the band.  In today’s world of uncertain revenues, expect to see more of these types of things, not less.  I’ve gone on record supporting an artist’s right to make a buck any way they can, and this deal is nothing more than the band (more accurately the band’s management) ensuring that the costs associated with making an album are recouped and that everyone involved from the record label to the band come out of this thing making money.

So don’t be surprised when you hear Bon Jovi-penned theme music for “Law and Order” next season, or suddenly hear Journey as Oprah’s new house band.  It’s just the nature of the beast nowadays.  I guess it’s a matter of time before attention whore U2 broadcasts a live show on YouTube.  What’s that you say?  Oh, crap.

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