BBMak Browser Is Out to Retain Fans
"The record business is so fickle, and it's very hard to keep in touch with your consumers because they are changing all of the time," said Ken Bunt, director of digital marketing at Hollywood Records, Burbank, CA. "But with something like a browser, it allows us to stay in touch like never before."
In return for their e-mail addresses, users can download the BBMak browser from www.hollywoodrecords.com and www.neoplanet.com. Hollywood Records worked with Neoplanet to develop the browser.
The band greets browser users with a "welcome" when they log on and cheers them when they log off. Pictures of the band are on the perimeter of the browser, and there are links to the BBMak European Web site and a BBMak shopping area.
"We're talking about putting out a BBMak DVD this summer," Bunt said. "We're definitely going to tap into the people that have the browser because we know that they are very loyal fans."
Hollywood Records sent news of the browser two weeks ago to "several thousand" e-mail addresses of BBMak fans. Response rates were not available at press time.
"When BBMak puts out their next record, I already know that those thousands of people that have the browser like BBMak, so I can let them know before anybody that they have a new record coming out," Bunt said. "They can start to tell their friends, and you can pretty much count on those people buying the new record."
Bunt said he is surprised the movie industry has not latched on to the browser concept because he said movies have a shorter shelf life than music.
Universal Studios is one Hollywood player that has adopted the browser marketing mentality, most recently to promote "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
To date, there have been more than 100,000 downloads of the Grinch browser, available at www.meanone.com and designed by Neoplanet.
"The Grinch browser can very easily follow the life cycle of the movie brand," said Kevin Campbell, vice president of new media marketing at Universal Pictures, Los Angeles. "It is easily updated and can be customized to meet the needs of that business with links to home video-DVD purchase opportunities, promotional partners and related Web sites."
Campbell said that because so few studios use a browser to reach fans, it gives Universal a strategic advantage.
"I have received calls from other colleagues at other studios asking about the success of the browser," he said. "I think they are catching on."