Tonight on CBS.com, Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra will perform at 9pm/6pm Pacific, and then later on Letterman’s regular television broadcast. As a Gabriel fan, this certainly catches my attention and I’m curious to see how it might influence future big-budget tours where a popular artist can’t make it around the whole country. The television/web component, along with the corporate sponsorship available by working with CBS must be appealing to Gabriel, and his performance should be typically compelling.
Judging by CBS Interactive Music Group’s Streetdate email and a post on the Last.fm blog, it appears they are making a case study of tonight’s Peter Gabriel performance on Live with Letterman. The limited exposure of the tour and great loyalty of the Gabriel audience could enable CBS IMG to reap measureable social interaction between its television, radio and social platforms, in an adult music context. Since wealth is concentrated with older folks, the show’s sponsor Citibank (also current owner of EMI looking to sell), is wise to target Peter Gabriel’s fans who are probably 40 at the very youngest.
Peter Gabriel’s live collaborations with the New Blood Orchestra was limited to a few big towns. Tonight’s performance on Live with Letterman is a great opportunity for the rest of the country to see him sing “Solsbury Hill,” his most popular song with the rock audience. The first volume ”Scratch My Back” featured covers, so maybe a Radiohead song for the kids and the 8-minute-plus “In Your Eyes” will be part of a web segment.
Enjoy a listen to the New Blood version of “Solsbury Hill” after the jump!
The New Blood version of Solsbury Hill
What if there is a considerable bump in sharing and viewing of the clip? Will it spill over into Last.fm hits because of its high search ranking on Peter Gabriel’s non-hits featured on this album? Could it lead to sales of Peter Gabriel albums? Will more people sign up for Citibank accounts or have a more favorable view of the company that is measurable? It seems the CBS Interactive Music Group is on patrol to see some of these effects… this is more than just a tv show!
Now forget all that. Here’s some video from Peter Gabriel’s YouTube page, followed by CBS’s promo. Compare and contrast. They shouldn’t be that different, but they are.