The New York Times is reporting that Scion is and has been backing indie and punk bands to help sell their brand and have developed Scion A/V. One of the artists quoted in the piece is historic punk act The Melvins who will be releasing a "mini-album" next year on Scion's dime.
The New York Times piece states:
Dale Crover of the Melvins, a metal group that is releasing a mini-album through Scion next year, said he had no qualms about the deal. The band has full artistic control of its product, and with Scion's money it has also been able to make music videos, something that he said his band had rarely had the budget for.
"I am really glad that a company like this is interested in art," Mr. Crover said. "It's a way to continue doing what we do and make money doing it."
The article goes on to say that in the eight years that they have been exploring this marketing strategy, it's unclear that it's helped sell more cars.
Jack Hollis, Scion's senior vice president, said there was no clear way to measure the effectiveness of its music marketing. "We have chosen to be supportive of the arts regardless of whether it comes back directly to us," he said.
You can read Ben Sisario's whole piece here.