Wal-Mart Stores takes retailtainment to a new level with exclusive concerts on Wal-Mart TV.
The series, called Wal-Mart Soundcheck, features half-hour concerts and artist interviews on TV monitors throughout Wal-Mart. Each month, Wal-Mart will feature a band playing four to six songs; shoppers can also watch the videos and download songs at Walmart.com.
Wal-Mart’s 3,000 stores run a 30- to 40-minute performance on Wal-Mart TV every few weeks on a Friday night. Stores run two- to three-minute sneak previews on TVs in the home electronics department leading up to each concert.
Then the concerts and interviews are available free at Walmart.com; fans can download songs from performances for 88 cents each.
The series began last week with a five-sing set from punk band Yellowcard and another five songs from rock band Switchfoot. Up next, through mid-March: country singer Miranda Lambert and R&B band Ne-Yo. Concerts often will coincide with new releases, and the number of concerts will vary by month.
Wal-Mart won’t say whether it gets first dibs on artists’ albums, similar to its holiday 2005 deal as the exclusive retailer for Garth Brooks: The Limited Series, which sold 500,000 copies on launch day and one million in two weeks.
Wal-Mart follows up with an exclusive on the Feb. 7 release of Brooks’ The Lost Sessions CD (including a duet with his new bride, Trisha Yearwood).
Procter & Gamble’s new Gillette Fusion razor co-sponsors Soundcheck as part of a media deal between the brand and Wal-Mart.com.
“This unprecedented, multi-channel music offering is yet another opportunity to further deepen our relationship with customers, and provide an intimate setting for them to see and hear top musicians,” said Kevin Swint, Wal-Mart’s divisional merchandising manager for digital media, in a statement.