The platform will apparently be launched under the moniker "Steve Madden Music" and will highlight a different recording artist every other month. The first artist to sign up for this deal is current chart sensation Katy Perry, whose latest single "I Kissed a Girl" raced up the Billboard Hot 100 after selling 173,000 digital downloads this week. Next is upcoming R&B-rap crossover artist artist Little Jackie.
The Billboard report quotes Steve Madden himself as saying, "[The labels are] after the same girl that we're after. Even the mind-set of trying to make a hit shoe or a hit record is the same. People always want to know what's cool. I figured if [Sean "Diddy" Combs] and Russell [Simmons] could get into my business, then I could go into theirs."
The platform will apparently have extensive in-store components, with live performances from the artists at flagship Steve Madden stores, artists' videos appearing on-screen and at point-of-sale within the 70 nationwide stores as well as a significant online presence through a soon-to-be-launched Steve Madden Music website.
Retailers are increasingly getting in on the brand-music act with a number of high-profile promotions in the retail environment, including Urban Outfitters, American Eagle and Tommy Hilfiger, which is in its third year of staging "The Hilfiger Sessions," and in April launched tommytv.com. In the non-fashion sector, Whole Foods recently launched its own Artist Discovery Series.
[Billboard.biz (sub. required)]