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The plan was to create a group of direct partnerships that would both hit every critical marketing and distribution platform and reflect Pearl Jam’s philosophy and sensibilities.
I.B. BAD BREAKS DOWN THE PEARL JAM MARKETING EXPERIMENT
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This week, Pearl Jam is testing the viability of a new business model devised by the band in tandem with manager Kelly Curtis and former Sony Music President/COO Michele Anthony, both of whom have been working with the group for two decades.

The plan was to create a group of direct partnerships that would both hit every critical marketing and distribution platform and reflect Pearl Jam’s philosophy and sensibilities, which Curtis, Anthony and the band felt would enable them to successfully self-release the new album.

Well in front of Backspacer’s release, the principals formed exclusive partnerships with Target for physical product, iTunes for downloads and Verizon for the mobile market, while also making use of Pearl Jam’s ongoing partnership with MTV/Harmonix’s Rock Band. Each brought to the table economics and sizable marketing clout, which included high visibility for the project. Target was chosen in part for its willingness to accept the involvement of indie retail and the Pearl Jam fan club, at the band’s insistence.

The marketing oversight is being handled by the veteran marketing team of Danny Bennett and Jay Krugman, who have had great success working with Columbia on Tony Bennett projects.

In the early going, the plan seems to be working well; first-week projections on Backspacer are around 200k, fueled by lead single “The Fixer,” which is Top 5 at Alternative, Triple A and Mainstream Rock.

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