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Linkin Park as a "brand"

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We usually stick to just tour/show news when the band is touring, but now that there's a break before The Hunting Party Tour heads to China, we thought we'd post about a recent article that involves Linkin Park.

 

Linkin Park is investing in other companies in a move to make more money, as they shift to have their band as more of a BRAND.

 

The Independent says, "Their new firm Machine Shop Ventures will focus on investing in “early-to-growth-stage consumer-focused companies that align with the band’s ethos of connecting people and innovation through tech and design”, they announced this week in a flurry of jargon."

 

"The band dropped its external management at the end of last year and now organises its business affairs through its own corporate arm. Or as Linkin Park co-lead vocalist and founder Mike Shinoda put it: “Our goal was to build an internal team of diverse talent to support the non-traditional endeavours the band plans to pursue in the coming years.”"

 

Machine Shop's Kiel Berry is featured in an extensive piece titled, "What Happened When Linkin Park Asked Harvard for Help with Its Business Model."

 

"We restructured Machine Shop to focus on innovation through non-traditional business partnerships and creative design thinking. Over the course of a year, we built strong case studies in fashion, design, and technology. Once this groundwork was laid, we realized that the traditional music management model would have to evolve to support these innovation activities. Most management companies consist of music industry professionals and digital departments that support music marketing activities — but what we were trying to do just didn’t exist within that framework.

 

To be clear, we are still in the music business, but creating and selling music now plays more of a supporting role in our overall business mix. As we get ready to headline a five-city stadium tour of China this summer, we are also planning to meet with technology companies, consumer brands, and venture capital firms to discuss opportunities for partnership. Of course we’ll play the shows and meet with fans, as we’ve always done. But along with continuing to make great music, today’s Linkin Park is now better positioned to operate in the ever-evolving cultural and business landscape."

 

 

Mercedes Benz has come out as a huge sponsor of Linkin Park's new tour in China, with their name being plastered across the tour images several weeks after the original dates were announced. "The Mercedes-AMG C 63 is sportier and more agile, demonstrating performance at every turn. Watch it take to the track in our latest collaboration with Linkin Park."

 

Fans are obviously very connected with Linkin Park online and can see examples of these collaborations all over. Joe is working on a new set of headphones, Mike has launched a new wrist watch, and more.

 

So what do you think? Are the new product associations overwhelming for you as a fan, or do you enjoy the band having their name on many different items? Do you consider Linkin Park more of a brand, or do you continue to think they will always be referred to as just a band?

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Mercedes Benz has come out as a huge sponsor of Linkin Park's new tour in China, with their name being plastered across the tour images several weeks after the original dates were announced. "The Mercedes-AMG C 63 is sportier and more agile, demonstrating performance at every turn. Watch it take to the track in our latest collaboration with Linkin Park."

While AMG is a subsidiary of Daimler AG it is not Mercedes Benz. Mercedes Benz is another part of the Daimler AG and AMG is just creating a high-performance luxury class of Mercedes cars. Basically they're the official tuning company for Mercedes. So actually AMG is the sponsor in this case.

 

I don't like what they are doing. People already have the opinion that Linkin Park is just there for the money and investing into multiple companies (apparently mostly in high profile and luxury companies) makes it even more. I wouldn't care if they invest in "normal people products" to create some cool stuff for their fans but if you look at the products they are things maybe 0.01% of their fanbase can actually buy. If you look at the watch: POA. What the fucking fuck? I don't know what they are actually selling it for but if you put a "pricetag" like that on it, it will cost a shitload of money. For me it looks like "How much money can we earn from our fans just by putting our name on it?".

Edited by graveguard

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I don't think branding LP will take away anything musically from them, this is just an expansion of the name "Linkin Park". If anything, doing these kinds of things will bring more attention to the band in the future.

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While AMG is a subsidiary of Daimler AG it is not Mercedes Benz. Mercedes Benz is another part of the Daimler AG and AMG is just creating a high-performance luxury class of Mercedes cars. Basically they're the official tuning company for Mercedes. So actually AMG is the sponsor in this case.

 

linkin-park-tour-en-a1-sponsor-crv.jpg

 

I was just going by the poster, lol.

 

My opinion is roughly the same. I'm not sure how many people are that supportive of it. I get it that bands get boring sometimes and you want to spice it up, but hyping a game for months saying there will be so many updates to it to come for ages (8 Bit Rebellion) to entice fans to buy it so they can get a song...meh. I mean I like the song and a different release model is cool, even though I would prefer it if they'd just release true b-sides (unreleased songs) and rarer live stuff on SINGLES. But singles are outdated and no one buys them. Still, digital singles seem to work....?

 

But it's not about releasing the music since they truly haven't put new music out with this type of partnership in the past few years. The Dell thing was odd, but I guess we wouldn't have gotten those demos elsewhere.

 

They partner with a LOT of stuff....Medal Of Honor for COG, video games in the ATS era. The Camden Summit Q&A was even ended early because some idiot criticized their video game associations. This stuff just draws more people to LP in the end and allows the band to make more money themselves since album sales are downright embarrassing these days for rock bands.

 

You don't see many fans actually buy these products since they are so expensive.

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I feel everyday less fan of Linkin Park.
Since A Thousand Suns era ended, they changed a lot, like they put a new chip inside their own heads (Mostly Mike and Chester as the main faces in the band). They started to sell us as fans: Laptops, Clocks, Cars, Motorbikes, Software, Clothes, PCs, etc.
With that, probably the 50% of the interviews after ATS were about their collaboration with companies and how they worked to create art for i don't know a car, or how they built the software to make new music, or how they improved something for a PC, etc etc. More about brands and merchandise and less about what made them what they are now, les about music.

 

That was the main reason why our Wretches And Kings staff stopped the updates on November of 2014. We really got tired of translating "shit" about them that was almost 98% unrelated with Linkin Park, and their music. Standard interviews about the same shit constantly let us realize that this band was going to somewhere that we were not enjoying, that we are not interested to follow.

 

Got friends, many friends selling their collection, because they hate Linkin Park now, i got others really confused, some feel really guilty because they can't manage this constant wave of "buy this" from Linkin Park, not taking in account that their last 2 albums are very very very weak musically, and the lyrics are shit with a couple of exceptions in both albums.

I don't like this, i don't like this Linkin Park 2015, call me a hater, im ok with that.

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linkin-park-tour-en-a1-sponsor-crv.jpg

 

I was just going by the poster, lol.

 

My opinion is roughly the same. I'm not sure how many people are that supportive of it. I get it that bands get boring sometimes and you want to spice it up, but hyping a game for months saying there will be so many updates to it to come for ages (8 Bit Rebellion) to entice fans to buy it so they can get a song...meh. I mean I like the song and a different release model is cool, even though I would prefer it if they'd just release true b-sides (unreleased songs) and rarer live stuff on SINGLES. But singles are outdated and no one buys them. Still, digital singles seem to work....?

 

But it's not about releasing the music since they truly haven't put new music out with this type of partnership in the past few years. The Dell thing was odd, but I guess we wouldn't have gotten those demos elsewhere.

 

They partner with a LOT of stuff....Medal Of Honor for COG, video games in the ATS era. The Camden Summit Q&A was even ended early because some idiot criticized their video game associations. This stuff just draws more people to LP in the end and allows the band to make more money themselves since album sales are downright embarrassing these days for rock bands.

 

You don't see many fans actually buy these products since they are so expensive.

 

Embarrassing sales? Are you forgetting both ATS and LT were the best selling rock albums of their respective years? And THP was the 36th most sold album of 2014 (not sure if that's only American sales or World Wide). Which, considering the albums they were up against, was pretty damn good for a hard rock album. I definitely would not call their sales "downright embarrassing."

 

I also remember reading this one article that stated that this is a good way for the band to stay relevant in this world for years to come. I mean, so many rock bands from the early 2000s struggled to keep their popularity (many of them didn't). Linkin Park has always been good with being able to adapt to the world around them while pursuing their own dreams and ideas. To me, this isn't the band selling out. It's what I believe is a step in the right direction. We'll just have to wait to find out if it really is.

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Embarrassing sales? Are you forgetting both ATS and LT were the best selling rock albums of their respective years? And THP was the 36th most sold album of 2014 (not sure if that's only American sales or World Wide). Which, considering the albums they were up against, was pretty damn good for a hard rock album. I definitely would not call their sales "downright embarrassing."

 

I also remember reading this one article that stated that this is a good way for the band to stay relevant in this world for years to come. I mean, so many rock bands from the early 2000s struggled to keep their popularity (many of them didn't). Linkin Park has always been good with being able to adapt to the world around them while pursuing their own dreams and ideas. To me, this isn't the band selling out. It's what I believe is a step in the right direction. We'll just have to wait to find out if it really is.

 

I should have elaborated. I mean rock music as a WHOLE is suffering largely from album sales, and that's no secret at all. I'm not saying Linkin Park is embarrassing for their album sales. I'm saying 2010-now, artists aren't moving nearly anything off the shelves compared to HT/Meteora times, and even MTM, when people largely bought albums. This is directly evidenced by the band and their management refusing to release "Making Of" DVDs for Living Things and The Hunting Party because they don't think there is enough demand for it to sell well enough.

 

Linkin Park has done an incredible job at staying relevant and a lot of that has to do with changing their sound.

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To be honest I don't really care.

 

This seems a normal and expected move to me. Sometimes I feel the fanbase react negatively towards the band, never really understood what the band was about to begin with. Those people got mad when the band where no longer hybrid theory or this or that.

 

They have always been about doing there own thing and following whatever is exciting to them and that just seems to be an extension of that. Before you judge, lets see what they actually do. Creativity in the music business is low, but oppurtunity is at an all time high with new technogoly and social media as a tool to promote. The business as a whole is ready for innovation rather than just the music. Mike has always been very much intreasted in this, he has always talked about it, he has appeared at conferences around the world and spoken about it, this is just an extension of that. Even when they started they based the band name around a domain name. This really is just the band being themselves.

 

But as a fan for me, it all starts with the music. So please more music. All the other stuff will be cool, but let it be something that comes inbetween new music and tours. Considering you get an album around every two years and a tour some years and some not in your area, if there is other intreasting stuff coming out, then great.

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They have always been about doing there own thing and following whatever is exciting to them and that just seems to be an extension of that.

 

This is very true as Mike has designed DC shoes all the way back in 2004, or even before, and I believe they invested in this DrunknMonkey clothing thing (that has since disappeared).

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I should have elaborated. I mean rock music as a WHOLE is suffering largely from album sales, and that's no secret at all. I'm not saying Linkin Park is embarrassing for their album sales. I'm saying 2010-now, artists aren't moving nearly anything off the shelves compared to HT/Meteora times, and even MTM, when people largely bought albums. This is directly evidenced by the band and their management refusing to release "Making Of" DVDs for Living Things and The Hunting Party because they don't think there is enough demand for it to sell well enough.

 

Linkin Park has done an incredible job at staying relevant and a lot of that has to do with changing their sound.

 

Ah my bad. Sorry about that. But what also plays a part is that rock gets nowhere near the mainstream success it did back in the early 2000s, and with things like internet, pirating, and the ability to buy individual songs, rock music can't possibly sell nearly as well as it did back then.

 

I'm also bothered by the fact that no "Making of..." for THP got released. The band definitely showed interest in releasing one before THP released. At least we are getting these LPTVs.

Edited by brady03

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Wow, I didn't expect so much backlash on this.

 

As you grow older, your interests change. That's not to say they don't want to make music anymore, but they want to expand their horizons. In 10, 20, 30 years, will they still be making music? Maybe not. They can't depend on however much money they have now to support them so far into the future (which, I admit is kinda silly to say, they're filthy rich, probably). The thing is as life goes on, Linkin Park will start fading into the shadows. You have to be open to try things, collaborations is one of them. Being in a band shouldn't have to limit you to making music, and only making music as your career. They're not in their 20s anymore, they'll be in their 40s soon enough. We can't expect them to not want to branch out to something more "mature".

 

Sure, they're collaborating with a watch company and a car company. It's marketing. So what if less than 1% of people in the Linkin Park fanbase will never get that product? It's still being marketed. Don't forget we're not the only market. The fans of THAT company, and hell, people who like those types of products will still be looking at it. All we are is a source of advertising, when

 

And if you're arguing it makes them look like they "just want to make more money," well, no shit. They make music a) because they love to and B) it's their job. Without money, they can't keep touring. They can't keep making albums. They can't put food on the table. They're filthy rich, but how far can that last if the only rely on Linkin Park? Anyone who wasn't a teenager from 2000-now probably thinks they're shit anyway (as evidenced by quite a few sources), but we can't expect that, as growing individuals and a band, that they're influence has to be entirely focused in one area.

 

With Machine Shop changing its course, Linkin Park isn't changing. They'll be the same band they are as they continue to play shows and record music. Machine Shop is still innovating, much like Linkin Park has done since Minutes To Midnight. The purpose is still to promote connection with music.

 

TL;dr: Priorities are not changing. Linkin Park will keep creating music as they always did. You guys are equating branching out to other projects to lack of quality in their music. It's simply not happening.

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I don't see why people are reacting so negatively to this. So they're lending their names to products. So? If they can make money simply by saying "Linkin park supports this", then more power to them.

 

As long as they're still making music, then there's really no problem to be had. We as fans can't get angry that they're cashing in on their name recognition. I actually think this is a huge positive. The music making aspect of the band isn't changing, but they now have a bigger marketing machine behind them, spreading their name out farther than it's ever been. This will inevitably only draw more eyes and ears to Linkin Park the band.

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I don't see why people are reacting so negatively to this. So they're lending their names to products. So? If they can make money simply by saying "Linkin park supports this", then more power to them.

 

As long as they're still making music, then there's really no problem to be had. We as fans can't get angry that they're cashing in on their name recognition. I actually think this is a huge positive. The music making aspect of the band isn't changing, but they now have a bigger marketing machine behind them, spreading their name out farther than it's ever been. This will inevitably only draw more eyes and ears to Linkin Park the band.

This is exactly how I feel about this, nothing wrong with getting more exposure.

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I can't even explain how little this bothers me. I actually hope they make some successful investments. Also, I haven't personally seen interviews where it takes over the entire conversation. Their involvement with the fanbase is pretty much the same as it was 5 years ago. They haven't taken something away from us to go this other route. If I had the money they had I'd be investing it too and trying to make as much as I can.

 

I don't think the last 2 albums have been great but we can't say it's because their focus is on something else or not. Mike made a new FM track and will probably make more which suggests he's still very interested in making music. Plus, those albums not being good is only my opinion :P

 

I you don't want something, don't buy it. I'd love a Mike Shinoda custom watch but there's no way in hell I'd shell out the money for that. I'm not mad about it.

Edited by LINKINMARK

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I feel everyday less fan of Linkin Park.

Since A Thousand Suns era ended, they changed a lot, like they put a new chip inside their own heads (Mostly Mike and Chester as the main faces in the band). They started to sell us as fans: Laptops, Clocks, Cars, Motorbikes, Software, Clothes, PCs, etc.

With that, probably the 50% of the interviews after ATS were about their collaboration with companies and how they worked to create art for i don't know a car, or how they built the software to make new music, or how they improved something for a PC, etc etc. More about brands and merchandise and less about what made them what they are now, les about music.

 

That was the main reason why our Wretches And Kings staff stopped the updates on November of 2014. We really got tired of translating "shit" about them that was almost 98% unrelated with Linkin Park, and their music. Standard interviews about the same shit constantly let us realize that this band was going to somewhere that we were not enjoying, that we are not interested to follow.

 

Got friends, many friends selling their collection, because they hate Linkin Park now, i got others really confused, some feel really guilty because they can't manage this constant wave of "buy this" from Linkin Park, not taking in account that their last 2 albums are very very very weak musically, and the lyrics are shit with a couple of exceptions in both albums.

 

I don't like this, i don't like this Linkin Park 2015, call me a hater, im ok with that.

I'm not going to call you a hater. More like a person who has no fucking clue what the business side of the music business is like. You don't have to buy a goddamn thing Linkin Park puts their name on, so why do things like this get your panties in such a bunch? You apparently think these guys should just be music-creating robots who aren't allowed to have any kind of corporate interests outside of the music they make, and shouldn't have any means of making a living one day when Linkin Park inevitably isn't a band anymore. If you're giving up on the band's music because of their business ventures, you never should have called yourself a fan in the first place.

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I don't think the last 2 albums been great but we can't say it's because their focus is on something else or not.

 

I agree that the songwriting has gone way downhill since ATS. They had a lot left over from ATS that they could have made a sequel or something to it, like Primo, but they didn't want to go that route. They have 6 people and have to collectively decide what to do. Anyway yes the last two albums are subpar compared to the "first 5" for me.

 

But it's not because Mike wants to make a watch, I agree with you. It has nothing to do with LP making a Dell laptop or whatever. It's just whatever direction they go in for an album and how much time they spend on it. You can REALLY tell ATS took years to make versus LT came together in months.

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This doesn't bother me one bit, I say good for them. It's awesome that they're branching out. I don't see why this will unsettle fans or even make fans give up on Linkin Park. That just doesn't make sense to me. They're still going to make awesome music, so yeah.

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Yeah I get the feeling they really took the time to craft ATS to the finest detail of how they wanted it. Not that the recent albums aren't what they want. I just got this feeling from the entire ATS hype/cycle that this was something special, something they REALLY cared about. Maybe I'm just mad about the direction they took :P

Interestingly, Bono, of U2, and Dr. Dre, have made more money outside of making music than they ever have making it. Dre from Beats Audio and Bono from his Facebook shares. So if anyone that is mad here is also a fan of U2, get your shaking fist out cos Bono dun SOLD OUT!!!



but srsly...why would you be mad?

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Diversifying and adapting to changing markets. Good for them. They once said they are comprised of 6 CEO's. Personally, the side projects and other efforts and ventures they work on only draw me further into the band and their music. For me, the more they do the more I appreciate their talent and skills.

 

To add, I feel that when you're passionate about something like a band, if you really want to be a part of them you learn to see how they change, adapt, and grow, and in turn you do the same with them.

 

I have seen all these articles on them having a brand and now more businessman than performers, and sometimes it does bother me. Had they remained stagnant, would the articles be written in the opposite way? Would fans be expecting more? I love hearing every other month how one member is rapping, another is doing art, another is creating a toy, etc. They are smart, their creative juices are always flowing, and why not use the music as a base for everything else and grow from there?

Edited by loulax07

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This is not what "selling out" is, before anyone calls it that. Linkin Park almost never does what people are telling them to do - look at A Thousand Suns, for example. They make their own choices on what they want to promote.

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This is not what "selling out" is, before anyone calls it that. Linkin Park almost never does what people are telling them to do - look at A Thousand Suns, for example. They make their own choices on what they want to promote.

Exactly.

 

I don't see why people are reacting so negatively to this. So they're lending their names to products. So? If they can make money simply by saying "Linkin park supports this", then more power to them.

 

As long as they're still making music, then there's really no problem to be had. We as fans can't get angry that they're cashing in on their name recognition. I actually think this is a huge positive. The music making aspect of the band isn't changing, but they now have a bigger marketing machine behind them, spreading their name out farther than it's ever been. This will inevitably only draw more eyes and ears to Linkin Park the band.

I agree completely. These days if you are an artist or band, you are also a brand and it actually would be odd if they did nothing with it. In the end this also could bring more benefit to us fans. Sponsorships can give oppertunities for LP to play in countries, cities and other places where they normally would not go at times.

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...
Soul^ already summarized most of my opinion so I'll just add two words:
Fort Minor.
While Mike can call it this time "Mike Shinoda" to promote his solo stuff, he still using the FM name, UNLIKE all the watches, boots, coats, boats and goats he's attaching his name to. If their other businesses will teach them how to handle LP better, it's even a priority - definitely not inadvisable thing.
Another thing, people don't have to buy every product (not music) that use the name "Linkin Park", "Chester Bennington" or "Mike Shinoda", if someone prefer to do so, he can't whine about the ammount of products they're releasing after he just made a demand.
As long this is not affecting the music (like album every 7 years, one tour per year) I don't understand why is that even bother people, I prefer 6 wealthy guys that can do whatever they want musically, instead of a struggling band that will be forced to make three "poppy" albums in a row just because they need money and need to prove the band's existence to the label.
"Poor" LP can't release album like The Hunting Party in the middle of 2014, rich LP can do whatever they want any time. I prefer the second option.

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Meh who cares. Its not like they are forcing fans to buy stuff they endorse. Won't make anyone any lesser a fan if they can't buy the products. If you like what they are selling and can buy it, good for you, if not, you don't have to bitch about it.

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