Entertainers help bring people to Casinos. (God as my witness, I don’t know who would even cross the street to see Carrot Top.) They are viewed as a cost to do business.

HSN and QVC used to have musicians on-air to sell their CD’s, videos and especially box sets. While the margin wasn’t nearly as high as jewelry, fashion, skin care and makeup, these musical performances helped to “bring people into the store.” Today, neither network features any musicians, opting for the greater profit margin of other products. I believe this is very short-sighted. 

I have often said that the live TV Shopping Channels are expensive dinosaurs that will soon be replaced by Internet-only interactive product presentations. This is especially true when you see the carbon copy hosts the channels are now hiring. Like Fox News, they seem to be opting for looks rather than substance.

The one wild card here is Evine Live. With their “After Dark” shows, they have shown the same pioneering spirit that helped to build the TV Shopping industry. Time will tell if their innovative approaches will succeed. (I’m inclined to think they will.)

Dollars-per-minute and “margin-per-minute” are the lifeblood for TV shopping channels. That latter point is the reason you see so many partnerships between vendors and QVC and HSN. It makes sense, the more money you keep, the more money you really make. Who are the partners? Who gets the most air time? That’s your answer.

That being said, if the live shows become nothing more than video catalogs, devoid of personality, then it is time to fold their tents and steal gently into the Internet.

Selling music on TV these days is tricky, but not impossible,. With all the file sharing, streaming services, etc, it will take an innovative approach to sell music the right way. The 30 day return policy will have to be addressed along with a myriad of logistical issues. Again, difficult but not impossible.

Given the current dismal shape of the music business, record companies and artists would most likely welcome a new avenue of commerce. Partnerships would be welcomed. There is money to be made if done correctly. Equally important will be the increased viewership for the shopping channels as people tune in to see their favorite artists perform.

On the recent CMA show, there was more live music than in any previous year and the ratings were better than they’ve been for quite some time. With a few exceptions, most of the songs played were abbreviated versions. This is the same model I am suggesting for music on TV shopping. It would leave more time for selling the music.

As my involvement in the music business continues, I become more and more aware that they are looking for new ways to sell their music. With all the programming possibilities on cable and the Internet, TV shopping is looking for more viewers/customers. It sounds like a marriage made in heaven, or at least Nashville (or LA or New York).

© 2018 Steve Bryant – No portion of this or any blog can be reproduced or copied and posted on any online site or read aloud on any audio or video media without the express permission of the author.

TV Shopping Host and Coach, Musician, Author, Teacher.

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