Will Yoon Jong Shin’s “Snow Shaved Ice” Introduce a New Revenue Model for the Pop Industry?

Singer and producer Yoon Jong Shin’s new single “Snow Shaved Ice” is a fresh breath of air in the pop industry. The single is unique in that it was sponsored by a company even though it is a pop song. Yoon Jong Shin composed and wrote the song, and the bakery chain Paris Baguette provided the funds for the song’s production and material. Paris Baguette, in order to promote the the song, shut down a store near Seoul’s Gangnam Station and used it to film the music video complete with a crowd of extras comprised of the company’s longtime customers and Yoon Jong Shin’s biggest fans.

To create just one song and music video, costs can exceed 50 million won ($49,500 USD). In fact, in today’s pop industry it is commonplace for the production of a song and music video to cost more than the song will eventually make in sales, downloads, and artist performance feeds.

The production of “Snow Shaved Ice” avoided all these costs, since the financial burden on the agency and singer have been lifted by a corporation. The method of production is similar to that of product placement in comedy shows, movies and other forms of film. Corporations pay for an already existing song and use it for its advertisements or request a fitting jingle from composers for the ads. “Snow Shaved Ice” is a unique case because the corporation has been involved since the beginning of its production, but the song can be included in the singer’s album and sung on stage.

Last Year, Akdong Musician’s “Bean Dduk Bing Soo” was also created out of collaboration with a bakery chain. In 2010, Yoon Jong Shin’s “Makgeollina” was made out of a suggestion by a traditional liquor company; in 2009, 2NE1’s “Lollipop,” which was included in their first mini album, was born out of a cell phone brand’s idea.  Yoon Jong Shin said, “in 1977, The Carpenters were commissioned by Japans’ Suntory Liquors to make a 1-minute jingle. That song was high-quality enough to be included in The Carpenters’ best album; there are many cases like this abroad.” He then added, “However, one should be cautioned that the song should not seem too commercial, because that would put off the mass public.”

Music industry experts have stated that Yoon Jong Shin’s method is a valuable one that popular singer-songwriters should consider. For singers, it could be advantageous to build their unique character as an artist. Yoon Jong Shin, beginning with “Pat Bing Soo” on his 9th album released in 2001, and continuing with using “hot bars” and mango shakes in songs, rose as a representative “food song” singer. Yoon Jong Shin said “without the image created around ‘Pat Bing Soo,’ I would not have been offered commission on ‘Snow Shaved Ice.'” 

 

Thanks to our partners at eDaily for this interesting industry update! What do you think about idols using products to fund their singles? Smart move or sell-out?

All visual and audio media courtesy of respective owners
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