You may recall last summer that Prince made some news by giving away his latest CD
to every subscriber to a UK newspaper. The newspaper paid Prince for the promotion, suggesting interesting new business models that could help two industries at once
: both the newspaper industry and the recording industry should benefit from such deals. The newspaper pays some money to the musician, but does so in order to get the promotional benefit -- making both sides better off. Of course, music retailers were upset, threatening to boycott Prince, but that seems like a fairly minor concern. The success of the promotion appears to have gotten the attention of at least one of the major record labels. EMI, who is under new management and seems to recognize how it needs
to change, is doing a deal with the NY Daily News to give subscribers access to three free downloads
. There will be an access code in the paper, and if you punch it in to the Daily News' website, you'll get to pick from a large list of songs (including at least one unreleased track). Again, this seems like a perfectly reasonable strategy, helping two separate industries in one shot -- though, again, it's likely that music retailers aren't going to be thrilled.