Friday, July 13, 2007

Arts-Music-Culture: Finding the Gold in Pirating

A few weeks ago I sold band merch for a local Boston band called The Information. They just created a new album, but did not release a CD. Weird? Not really. These days, artists are finding new ways to attract consumers who might normally download music illegally.

The Information produced flash drives for fans to purchase. Then, they could simply upload all the songs into their computers legally. The band extended their gimmick merchandise by putting new labels on old 8-Track discs with a download code. Fans who chose to buy the 8-Track (which could have anything on it from the Dooby Brothers to Anita Ward) could type in the code and upload the songs that way.

A similar case is with the Canadian band Stars (Arts&Crafts). The band just wrapped up recording their new album and it’s official release date is September 25th. From now until the fall, promotional CDs will be sent out to radio stations, PR people, Music magazines, etc. The CD will inevitably be leaked. So, the band has opted to have a “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude. They have released their album on iTunes for fans to purchase before the official release date months later.

It’s a natural occurrence for things to change. The music industry is no exception. While artists are finding it tougher to keep their fans from buying their music, reliance on marketing is becoming even more essential. It’s forcing the industry to be more creative with their approach to make new albums stand out.

1 comment:

Mack Collier said...

Great point, there's just too many selling channels available now for artists to simply issue a CD and that be it. In fact it's quickly getting to the point where CDs are shifting from being the primary distribution channel, to little more than a souvenir.