Now prepare yourselves for a shock. Yes, I am a fan of QVC UK and yes, occasionally, I even buy stuff from them.People always seem to look down their noses at QVC shoppers, but you can’t argue with the purchasing power of their viewers. Millions of people around the world tune into their country’s QVC channel, which makes the shopping channel a very strong route to market for hundreds of brands every year, It’s no wonder that the UK business arm turned over more than £360m in sales last year.
Imagine my surprise though, settled on the sofa with a nice cup of tea, hoping to buy some moisturiser, to then see Billy Ocean, live in the QVC UK studio, performing old hits like ‘When the Going Gets Tough’. Before he’d even sung the last note of his set, his album, promoted with a phone number and a bonus CD, had completely sold out.
Billy’s record label later stated that they had sold three times the number of CDs expected with 1,500 copies selling in the first 10 minutes alone. Wow, I’ll bet not many artists today have sold that many hard copies in as many minutes since the launch of iTunes.
But should we be surprised by this new collaboration between music artists and QVC? Not a traditional route to market, I’ll grant you but certainly one that needs to be explored.
Selling music on TV isn’t a new concept. Hands up who’s old enough to remember the K-Tel adverts in the 1970s! But blatant selling on our current music channels, such as MTV, is frowned upon and no one wants to see an advert for Jedward’s latest single scrolling across the screen during X-Factor. But these dedicated shopping channels offer the perfect place to promote a whole range of products to an audience ready and able to buy – so why not music albums?
Then, this weekend, there was an article by Matthew Goodman in the Sunday Times dated 1st August 2010 (I’d link to it but the Times charges to read their online content now), talking about QVC UK’s new music approach.
Following in the footsteps of their American parent shopping channel, QVC UK has turned to music to help broaden its appeal to viewers in Britain. So far, in addition to Billy Ocean, artists such as Beverley Knight , Sheryl Crow and the latest classical music sensation Jack Lieback, have all performed live on the show and QVC UK has provided them with a new way to generate incremental sales. On QVC US, Sir Elton John performed live from Caesars Palace, Las Vegas to promote his new album and even Justin Bieber has been bringing his brand of cool to the shopping channel.
Once clear sign of QVC’s new direction is that it is apparently in talks with the Official Charts Company about making QVC music sales count towards the album rankings. What next? The Top 40 on QVC? Just imagine, with the press of a single red button you could buy the latest singles and albums as they climb or slip in the charts and they’ll be popped through your letterbox in a matter of days. Despite the digital download revolution there is still a market for people who want to hold a CD in their hands and what better way to make this possible than from the comfort of their own sofas?
In the current financial market none of us can afford to be complacent about our customers. Especially when our competitors might be finding alternative ways to catch their attention. Keep your eyes and ears open and see if you can find alternative non-traditional route to market for your product or business.
Keep an eye on the QVC UK blog to see if your favourite artist will be performing on the channel soon.
By Liselle Barnsley
Tailored Marketing Solutions