There are few businesses quite like the music industry for bringing together some highly curious bedfellows. Hence why Ears To The House did raise an eyebrow when we encountered the collaboration between Mixmag and American Express lately – although we can’t claim to be exactly surprised by the news.
The press release states “American Express has launched a new initiative Amex Gold Unsigned that is looking to help some of the UK’s brightest talent make it big… The winning unsigned act will provide the soundtrack and feature in a forthcoming campaign for American Express Gold Rewards”.
Partnerships between dance music outlets and others to find new acts aren’t unusual, of course. But Mixmag’s decision to ally itself with a credit card company which charges merchants some 50% more than their competitors, meaning shops frequently won’t even accept them, certainly raised eyebrows at Ears To The House HQ.
American Express has a slightly different business model to many of the other card companies. They offer specific perks with their accounts, which users have to pay annual fees in the hundreds of pounds for. But they are aimed at a more lucrative type of customer – exactly the same type of customer which Mixmag is going to need in order to attract more advertising.
Because as we all know, advertisers will pay a premium for access to readers with more disposable income. Suddenly, the reasons for Mixmag signing up for such a deal don’t look so mysterious…