Well, almost what I would have done…

Bon Jovi, known more for loud music than acute marketing sense, is profiled in a recent Wall Street Journal piece, Battling Music Pirates. At first glance, it’s straight out of Permission Marketing. The band is offering listeners who buy a copy of their new CD a chance to enter their serial number online and get concert tickets, fan info, etc.

The good news is that the music business is starting to see that the relationship with the fan is worth more than the profit on a single CD. Last year, for the first time in more than five years, no record in the US sold more than 5 million copies. That means that reliably reaching a small audience who WANTS to hear from you is a far better strategy than attempting to sell everyone in the world.

The bad news is that the band is “battling.” That it views fans as the enemy. Why should I go to the site and register my email address and a lot of personal information? What’s in it for me? Is the access to tickets just bait, or is it really a reward for my long-term attention and cash?

Here’s the challenge–we need to remember who we’re working for. We’re working for the people who pay us (with attention.) Bon Jovi is making a really brave first step. But they have to take their time. Not get greedy. Not start spamming those fans who take a step and enroll.