From Princess to Prince

The highly controversial newspaper cover-mount of Prince’s latest studio album by the Mail on Sunday appears to have paid dividends for the paper with increased sales of between a quarter and a third. HMV even back tracked from their previous opposition to the initiative and took the unusual step of stocking the newspaper in their stores. All of which translated into the best part of three million copies of the pint-sized singer’s album making their way into homes up and down the country. So who are the winners? Well the Mail on Sunday may have broken their circulation records (set when Princess Diana died) and Prince has pocketed half a million quid for the deal. But Prince’s real gain from the deal is his increased exposure ahead of his (overly?) ambitious extended run at the O2 Dome. He’ll be set to gain a lot more from those gigs than he would have been from mediocre sales of his album. I suppose one could argue that the tactic / stunt was no less targeted than a billboard poster campaign but I’m still skeptical. The Mail claim that they have got interest from other ‘international artists’ for similar campaigns. Which I’m sure has the retailers in raptures.

My colleague Nick Thomas is a little more generous in his view of Prince than I am and asks whether he is the ultimate 21st century artist using old media to drive his digital world focused career. Perhaps…