With G-Unit boss 50 Cent, if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense. That’s probably why he took the unusual route of debuting the 90-minute film “Before I Self-Destruct” on the Web instead of the usual channels. According to Mashable, on November 19th about 255,000 people logged on to Ustream to watch the movie. There was also a live Q&A session with the artist directly after the film ended.
While those might not seem like big numbers, they’re significant if you’re a musician in a world of declining music sales. With a first week album sales projected at an abysmal 160.000, artists even well known artists, need to do any and everything to get all eyes on their current projects. Don’t get me wrong, doing a 160K in the first week is good, but when you’re used to doing at least 850K, 160 is just a drop in the bucket. But then again, this isn’t just about 50’s music, this is also about the mogul making his directorial debut.
Broadcasting the movie premiere is a good look, because it has the potential to go viral reaching a wider audience than television. And at the end of the day, web promotion is cheaper. The time and money it would have taken to take it to the big screen would have probably cost more than the actual cost of making the movie from start to finish.
While it remains to be seen whether or not the movie will boost “Before I Self-Destruct” album sales, 50 is definitely on to something here. Even though music artists aren’t new to the social marketing game, it’s only been used as a compliment to more traditional forms of marketing until now. If more big name artists begin premiering their content on the web, the movie and television industries may have something to worry about. Internet killed the video star and movies and TV maybe next.
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