Does anyone really care if a new CD leaks in advance of its release date??
When Things Leak… Digital Music News 2/20/09 Paul Resnikoff
Remember when a major album leak was a big deal? A shocking development? Well, in 2009, it is THE deal – almost everything leaks, often well ahead of the formal release date. And the net is non-discriminatory – finished versions, unfinished versions, fake versions… anything and everything gets pushed onto the grand stage, ready or not.
Just take U2. No Line on the Horizon is now saturated across the web, and available at a BitTorrent tracker near you. Lucky for the band, this is a finished version, instead of rough cuts and half-baked business. The spill happened this week, ahead of a formal release schedule that starts February 27th in Ireland before rolling into Europe and North American soon thereafter.
But who really cares about formal release dates anymore? In a post-windowed era, the entire concept of a release date is becoming blurred. Where should you mark your calendar? Is it the online leak date, the format in-store, the MySpace Music, Imeem, iLike streaming sneak peek?
Sure, labels, bands, managers, and publicists still freak out about an album leak. Marketing plans are realigned, emergency meetings are held, people are yelled at, radio programmers are called, lawsuits are filed, and FBI agents get involved. But it turns out that leaks don’t always erase album sales – in fact, they may actually increase sales, depending on the artist, audience, and content involved.
That was part of the learning that emerged last year. 2008 was the year that Lil Wayne sold one million in a week, and Metallica’s Death Magnetic scored half-a-million in its first few days. Both albums were widely available, gratis, well ahead of their formal release dates.
That is all part of a very complicated music marketplace, one in which paid coexists alongside free, and free often stimulates paid purchasing. Turns out that some people are willing to pay for the real thing, others are content with the freebie BitTorrent copy, and a third group wants both.
Make sense? The end of windowing means the beginning of confusion, with more formats, scenarios, purchasing dynamics and demographics than ever before. More data is needed to really understand the impact of the pre-release leak, and U2 promises to offer the latest learning.
In 2004, U2 released How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, an album that sold 9 million. Is that the benchmark? Some of that content slipped prior to the formal release, though a great deal has changed in five years.
And one could easily argue that Atomic is just a stronger album, making the comparison doubly difficult. Have you heard No Line? “Get On Your Boots” offers something catchy, and the rest is familiar U2, albeit without the smashing hooks and irresistible magnetism of earlier releases. Will fans simply tune in, then tune out when purchasing options open up? Stay tuned, because the story on No Line is just beginning…
What it takes to launch a new Bruce Sprinsgsteen Cd in 2009
In the week after Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl, the four songs he performed in the set were downloaded 57,000 times as individual tracks. The leader was the new tune, “Working on a Dream,” with 24,000 downloads, nearly half of its current cume of 54,000. “Glory Days” was No. 2 with 15,000 followed by “Born to Run” (12,000) and “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” (6,000). All the figures were provided by Nielsen Soundscan.
Album sales beyond the Wal-Mart-only “Greatest Hits” were not particularly strong. The two catalog albums on which those songs appear, “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Born to Run,” were up only slightly, to 4,000 and 3,000 respectively.
The new disc took a 55% hit on its second week, selling 102,000 copies.
What is rather cool is thepost Springsteen made on his website regarding his NFL experience.
How does a heritage jazz label survive in 2009?
Uh oh!… Are advertisers the new tastemakers?
From Analog dollars to Digital dimes..how to make $$ in 2009
Rules of the Music Industry 2009
How to fix the Music Industry in 2009
How to fix the music industry
|By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News, in Cannes
Thousands of people from the music world – from struggling singers to superstar managers and record label executives – have been at the annual Midem conference in Cannes, France.
With the music business in upheaval, they have all been talking about how it can adapt and survive. Here, a range of figures pick one thing they wish they could change about the music industry.
DOC MCGEE - Manager of Kiss
If I had to change one thing, I would probably change the corporate structure of record labels. Put them back into the hands of real artists and music people. That’s how we’ll survive.
DONOVAN - Singer and songwriter
What are we going to do about people taking free music on the internet?
If one of those nerd kids could work out something so every time you take a song and you haven’t recognised that a writer wrote it, or somebody really needs a miniscule part of a penny for it, that a banner comes up and says: ‘Just remember, somebody wrote this song and they might not be able to pay their electricity next week.’
RICK REED - Counterpoint Systems, royalty processing, Los Angeles
I would love to see the artists and writers of music get paid quickly and the right way, instead of being paid 12 years after they wrote a song, or not enough, or never. That would be my biggest beef.
SHABS JOBANPUTRA - Head of Relentless Records, home KT Tunstall and Seth Lakeman
I would change the nature of the contracts we sign with the artists. The relationship the record companies have has to change.
We have to look at a new business model and a way of developing creative talent in a different way that isn’t based on an exploitative contract based on a small royalty. It’s based on a partnership and we are helping to build new and exciting talent over a long period of time that we cherish and nurture.
IAIN WATT - Manager of Mika and Alphabeat
I would like people to see much more value in music and change the perception that they think they can get it for free and it’s perfectly acceptable to pay nothing for what ultimately is an incredibly valuable product.
BOHBI FM - Reggae singer, songwriter, producer, promoter
If I could change something in the music industry, it would be to invest in new acts. Put the money in unknown artists. Because for the last 20 years, we are hearing the same acts all the time. We need a change.
BRIAN MESSAGE - Co-manager of Radiohead, Faithless, Kate Nash
One thing I would change in the music business is a mindset. It’s about being optimistic about the opportunities we have in front of us. We have to accept the principle that a product-based model is under severe stress.
There are two primary sets of people in this business that matter – artists and fans – and we should all focus on them. And the internet gives us a real opportunity to develop long term careers between artists and fans, and that’s a huge challenge but a huge opportunity for us all.
HARVEY GOLDSMITH - Concert promoter and manager
For the people working in the industry, it’s about communicating more with each other. And from a public’s point of view, it’s to realise that music isn’t really free, and if you don’t help to pay for the music, then artists can’t create it.
TOM FINDLAY - Groove Armada & Lovebox festival organiser
There’s a stranglehold that very few promoters have got over the major music events in the UK. My great frustration is the inability to ever book the headliners we want [for Lovebox] because they’re always stuck at the same three or four festivals.
There’s a dearth of headliners around this year for different reasons and the two or three bands I’d like to book are sadly cup-tied and out of our financial league. A band like MGMT would be perfect for Lovebox but they’re already miles away, sadly.
PANOS PANAY - Chief executive of gig booking website Sonicbids
I think this is a great time for the industry. It’s just shifting and the way people are making money is changing. And if I were to change one thing, it would be the obsession with hits.
I think too many people are way too depressed about the absence of hits, but they’re missing out on the greater opportunity, which is this fundamental shift away from music for the masses to music for the niches. I think there’s a new class of artist emerging, an artistic middle class.
MARIA BUTTERLY - Irish singer and songwriter
I would like to encourage people to come out to live performances to support live acts more. Make more of an effort. Don’t take it so for granted because it’s on your doorstep. Feel the live music. Let it touch you. Let it bring up your mood for a good day, for some high energy, and make that part of a social network for yourself.
Uh oh.. whats going on @ Sony with Rick Rubin??