CNN Money: Why Major Labels Still Are Important
November 5, 2007 at 6:02 AM (PT)
In the music business, promotion is paramount --- and that's why the bracelets are such a great idea, writes CNN MONEY. WARNER MUSIC and AT&T MOBILITY threw a swank, invite-only bash at a SAN FRANCISCO nightspot recently, featuring a concert by MATCHBOX TWENTY. Attendees received a black rubber bracelet that doubles as a USB device. Plug it in your computer and, voila, you get the band's latest album, "Exile on Mainstream," plus a video and other digital goodies.
The bracelet itself, which includes 17 songs, plus video interviews and a digital booklet with album art, is now on sale for about $35 at BEST BUY and other stores. It isn't about to resurrect the ailing music industry. But it does show the efforts that the labels are undertaking to get music out in this entirely disruptive digital age.
It's easy to think that these days musicians can go it alone, and the evidence seems ample. British rockers RADIOHEAD recently eschewed the major labels and released their latest album, "In Rainbows," on its Website, letting fans pay what they want to download it. TRENT REZNOR of NINE INCH NAILS said he would follow suit. And MADONNA just jumped from WARNER MUSIC after snagging a lucrative deal with LIVE NATION.
So who needs the labels? Well, major acts like MATCHBOX TWENTY, for starters; and, for that matter, most any band that aspires to such heights.
Consider how ATLANTIC released the album -- rather, all 11 versions of it, if you include the bracelet. Fans who pre-ordered the entire album on APPLE's iTUNES got the single, "How Far We've Come," at the time of purchase, plus a bonus track. There were bundled offerings on iTUNES that included extra songs if you chose the non a la carte option. WAL-MART shoppers got exclusive video. A deal with VIACOM's VH1.COM gave that channel an exclusive stream of the album a week prior to the in-store release date. And this is just a sampling.
Check out the full article here.