Toyota — yes, the car company — is launching a record label in conjunction with its Scion line of cars.
It seems like every few weeks I read about (or observe first-hand) how the music business is slipping away from traditional retail. Starbucks — yes, the coffee company — released Ray Charles’ “Genius Loves Company” album on its Hear Music imprint and won eight Grammys while selling a kabillion copies.
More likely, it’s because companies are starting to discover the power they have with their existing market penetration. Toyota probably already knows what kind of customer buys the Scion, so it can get creative and specific with the music offerings. Plus, associating music with your product, when done right in a non-evil way, can make you cool. I remember how Volkswagen created a buzz int he late 90s with a series of commercials for the limited-edition Beetle featuring music by Hooverphonic and others, and I remember a friend saying that WV should just give you a CD when you buy a new Beetle.
Now were’re starting to see car companies actually signing musical acts.