Name: Steven Yanovsky
Title: Founder, Brand Alchemy
Panel: Beyond The TV Commercial: How Are Artists Striking New Deals With Brands? 9:00am - 9:50am, June 15. For more information visit Billboardevents.com.


What's the last album you bought?
When I buy, it's always several at a time. The last ones were Sea Wolf “Leaves in the River” (digital album), Sly & Robbie meet Mad Professor feat. Dean Fraser "The Dub Revolutionaries" (Vinyl), Dumpstaphunk (CD), Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings "I Learned the Hard Way" (CD).

Do you Twitter? If so, how often? If not, why not?
I am not compelled to tweet, but I do follow. I appreciate its utility for many, especially for journalists, who often need to convey situations and events, what's happening while it's happening. Twitter's limitations are clearly its best attribute. I believe Foursquare is where we are heading.

What's been the best use of music in advertising you've recently seen?
Heineken's "Let A Stranger Drive You Home". It's an anti-drunk driving spot that makes use of Biz Markie's 1989 track "Just a Friend" and Freddie Scott's 1968 track "(You) Got What I Need," which was the original sample used by Biz in the song. A group of partygoers are singing "Just A Friend" as they are being driven in a taxi. When the chorus hits, the cabbie pumps up the volume and joins the singing to the original sample of "You Got What I Need". Of note, this Heineken spot pushed "Just A Friend" into the Billboard/Nielsen Hot Digital Songs chart for the first time since its release 20 years ago.

At this moment in time, what most worries and encourages you about the music business?
My biggest concern is the increased commoditization and perceived disposability of music which has made it more difficult for artists, labels, publishers, concert promoters, managers and others investing in music to sustain a profitable business from it. Music is not merely manufactured, consumed and discarded like bottled water, candy bars or beer. Yet, I am encouraged by its increase in value to consumers. People steal it, share it and purchase it because it has value, which explains why it continues to be the most consumed content on the planet. And I am encouraged by brands, that more than ever, are becoming partners with music's creators, purveyors and investors, to reap the inherent financial benefits and emotional equity.

What is the most significant moment in the history of music and advertising?
The U2/Apple partnership around the release of U2's album, “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.” Although Apple had produced other silhouetted dancer spots for the iPod, this ad featured members of the band in near silhouette performing the lead single “Vertigo.” Bono carries a white iPod and the guitar and microphone were tethered to amps with white leads. It was a TV spot for the iPod, a :30 music video that ran outside endemic music video outlets and a PR and radio promo campaign for both the new album and new iPod, all wrapped nicely together.


For more information on the upcoming Billboard and Adweek Music & Advertising event, which runs June 15-16 in New York, visit Billboardevents.com.

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