Azoff's Call On Wal-Mart Pays Off
February 18, 2008 at 5:45 AM (PT)
Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?
THE NEW YORK POST writes that IRVING AZOFF, the long-time manager of THE EAGLES and a music industry heavyweight, last year convinced the band to self-release its 2007 CD, "Long Road Out of Eden" -- its first album in 28 years -- and it ended up selling 2.6 million copies in the US.
It was AZOFF's idea to have the CD sold only through WAL-MART, a risky proposition that could have ruined the band's comeback. As THE EAGLES prepare to kick off their 2008 tour -- which could bring them to NEW YORK in MAY -- THE POST caught up with AZOFF to discuss the WAL-MART deal.
Q: Why did you decide to sell directly through WAL-MART?
A: WAL-MART has tremendous resources that no label could afford to bring to the party [getting premium placement in the front of the store and at the registers] in addition to what they spent on TV, circulars, and radio advertising.
Q: Didn't you view it as a risk that the album wasn't available in key markets like NEW YORK CITY, which doesn't have WAL-MART?
A: The WAL-MART circular goes to 85 million households. There are 140 million people per week shopping at WAL-MART. And with the Internet, people are just as happy to go online to buy a CD. Also, VIRGIN [in NEW YORK CITY] was selling it [because they went to WAL-MART and bought it for $11.88] and put their sticker over it and priced it at $15.98 or $17.98. They marketed it up. They got their normal margin.