A New Format?: Parlophone releases Tinie lanyard album

By Charlotte Otter  9/21/10 Music Week

Parlophone is looking to boost sales of Tinie Tempah’s debut album Disc-Overy next month by releasing the record as a lanyard alongside the more traditional physical and digital formats.

The new format will feature a unique code allowing fans to download the album and will be sold through high street music retailers, Tinie’s website (tinietempah.com) and at his merchandise stall on tour.

It is the first time that any artist signed to an EMI label has used the new format, which Parlophone is targeting at the 13-24 year-old demographic. Parlophone says the move is intended to expand the album’s reach beyond conventional retailers, with the standard CD format losing its appeal among the youth market.

Parlophone marketing manager Alex Eden-Smith adds, “Tinie’s always pushed the boundaries in what he does and put his fans first; we wanted to reflect this in the way we created the product range. It has proved difficult in this target market to try and get fans to buy a physical format and the lanyard is a response to this – providing something which was interesting and innovative to this group.”

Priced between the cost of a CD and digital download, the lanyard will feature the album front cover, with a number of online extras available to fans on point of download, including a letter of thanks from Tinie, exclusive wallpaper and online ‘badges’ which can be posted to user’s social networking sites.

EMI SVP of marketing Mandy Plumb says that the format was developed earlier this year by Parlophone, which distributed promotional lanyards to fans attending Tinie’s live shows. The initial response was so positive, continues Plumb, that when it came to the album release, the label decided to take the idea one step further.

“We looked at a number of different formats which we thought would appeal to Tinie’s core audience; however we felt that with the lanyard it would make fans feel it was part of a VIP membership,” she notes, adding the company is currently in talks with retail outlets who are not specialist music stores about selling the lanyard.

She explains that if the idea proves to be a success the company will examine the possibility of widening the lanyard format to other EMI label artists but warns, “Although the actual format has been really well received – which is why we have looked to make it part of the launch platform – it too early to say how it will affect retail at EMI in general.”

Tinie says the idea is an “exciting step forward” which will help make his album representative of his generation and beyond. “We live in an age where we are able to obtain music in many different ways and I wanted to create a new, easy, fashionable and exciting way of legally obtaining it,” he adds


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