Band Tries USB Gimmick, Misses Really Exciting Part Of Its Own Offer

from the the-media-doesn't-matter dept

The BBC is covering the news that Keane will be releasing its latest single on a 512 MB USB key. The device will include an MP3 version of the song and a video for the song. The article points to a few other bands that have distributed music on USB devices, noting that none have been that successful. That's not too surprising, as there's little advantage to selling music this way. It's nice and gimmicky, but it's expensive for the seller, since the USB devices aren't nearly as cheap on their own as a CD. That means they often have to charge more for it. At the same time, consumers don't get that much additional benefit. Most of the people who would find this interesting probably already have a USB key and get little benefit out of another one. What may be a lot more interesting and is brushed over in the article is the fact that the record label is also trying to get feedback from those who buy the USB device by opening up a content only to those who buy it. I've never understood why bands and record labels haven't done this more often: why not set up a club or a contest or the ability to buy tickets to a private concert or any other kind of special treatment to anyone who actually buys the music, whether on CD or USB key. So, while this is an interesting experiment, the focus may be on the wrong part (the different media) rather than the more exciting part (a specific benefit to buying it this way in the form of a contest).


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    tek'a, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 1:45am

    8/10 for their effort
    2/10 for planning and though
    zero sum for custumers

     

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  2.  
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    Aaron Friel, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 1:53am

    Better Idea:

    How about a concert in which you can bring your own USB key, stick it in a standard machine, and voila, it will download tracks _from the concert_ to your USB key when you're done.

    You get to go to the concert, listen to the music, and then take it home with you for a modest fee. (And many individuals with a USB key would be willing to pay a few bucks to get audio and/or video recordings of a concert they went to.)

     

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  3.  
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    Goatie, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 2:49am

    The Keane concert I was at last night were offering fans a CD recording of the concert available for collection 10 mins after the gig had finished.

    As for the USB format release, I think you're right. It's only advantage is that its gimmicky.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 2:49am

    This has been done

    "I've never understood why bands and record labels haven't done this more often: why not set up a club or a contest or the ability to buy tickets to a private concert or any other kind of special treatment to anyone who actually buys the music, whether on CD or USB key. " They actually do this kind of stuff. I know of a couple of urban acts (Jay-Z, etc) who have run promotions for their new albums including special gifts or the chance to win backstage passes, cars, whatever...

     

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  5.  
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    chris (profile), Oct 20th, 2006 @ 5:00am

    i need a USB key

    mine keep dying horrible deaths: runover in a garage, drowned in a washing machine, melted in a car in the sun...

     

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  6.  
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    dork finder, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 5:17am

    Re: This has been done

    Dear Anonymous Coward,
    You should spend less time commenting and more time reading and comprehending what is written:
    "I've never understood why bands and record labels haven't done this more often: You quoted it "haven't done this more often" The article says it has been done, just not often. Sorry but your stupid, it's been done, I know more than you, bull, really bothers me. Please try to understand what you read, or actually read what you comment on.

     

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  7.  
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    fornowjustcallmeBob, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 5:29am

    Chris, by an Intellistick from PQI! I don;t remember just how many times it has been through the washer AND dryer and ti still works like a charm, plus it is super small. So small in fact that a few times I've misplaced it, but luckily have always found it again.

    For band: I agree that bands could do a much better job at self-promotion. The days of record labels actually offering any kind of real benefit are over. I'd say they will all be out of business in another 4-6 years, unless they come up with a new and radcially different way of doing business and offering more benefit to their musicians as well as the customer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 5:35am

    Daft Punk did something like this on their Discovery album. The CD included a "vip card" that let you register on their website and download (DRM-protected) bonus tracks as well as stream videos.

     

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  9.  
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    nunya_bidness, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 5:36am

    Rip-off

    The usb drive is a 512 with one song and a video, both of which will be free for the taking 10 seconds after the release. This wonderfully high tech goodie will be sold for double the price of an entire CD, you can just buy the complete CD, and a blank usb drive for less money,Watch the boring video on U Tube... once. Also why would you want the much inferior mp3 format of any music you purchase. Record companies and artists selling music as a gimic or just to make money really are not in touch with the true listeners. Blame MTV, purveyors of shit music for decads.

     

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  10.  
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    Greg, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 5:56am

    The Keane concert I was at last night were offering fans a CD recording of the concert available for collection 10 mins after the gig had finished.

    I don't even like Keane, but this is a really awesome thing to do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Stephen, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 6:05am

    If it's a contest or drawing remember in most places in the US,

    No Purchase Necessary to Enter

    is the law.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 6:30am

    Re:

    That's also applicable here in the UK

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 6:44am

    #11

    Youre right. However, they could go the route of exclusive "membership" deals to tickets, videos, etc and avoid the "contest" end of it. Although... a contest is still a good idea but it would just have to be for everyone though...

     

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  14.  
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    Ross, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 7:29am

    We've been testing marketing the Sima Hitch at local gigs, and encouraging fans to bring their iPod or flash drives or other audiop players, and we can share a song or two with those fans, who if they want more, can buy a CD. It's only been tested at 2 events so far, and the response has been pretty good from the bands and fans...

     

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  15.  
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    austindkelly, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 9:53am

    Re: Better Idea:

    I think that would be a cool idea, but you would prob have a lot of security issues software wise and virus issues.

    i guess as long as you dont mind the flash drive being formatted when you insert it, then it could work

     

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  16.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 10:10am

    Re:

    Sounds like a good idea. But like someone said I'd try to set it up so that when a fan's stick is plugged in it would be automatically formatted first.

     

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  17.  
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    Jim, Oct 20th, 2006 @ 11:22am

    Contest

    I agree with the contest idea. I remember that I bought Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American, and it gave you access to a secret site where you could enter contests and get special band info. There was a contest that I entered and won which offered a copy of Bleed American on vinyl that was autographed by the band. Now this was a great marketing tool I believe in getting people to buy the CD so they could access this website to enter band contests.

    Anyways. My 2 cents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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