R.E.M. Puts New Album Online Via iLike

from the a-step-in-the-right-direction dept

R.E.M. is the latest big name band to take a step in the right direction, as it's making its new album available via iLike, the popular social networking app, even before it releases the actual album. As R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe said:
"I think you can either go with it or sit back and watch it happen, and I would rather be out on the field than in the bleachers."
This one is interesting, as the band is still on a major label (Warner Music), unlike many of the other, more radical, experiments we've been seeing. The band had also made news a few weeks ago by allowing fans to create videos of the first single off the album. It's not entirely clear why they are doing this through iLike. It never makes sense to me to focus on one app or system. After all, the music can go anywhere, so why not make it available however people want it? Either way, it's certainly a step (if just a small one) in the right direction, especially from a big name artist on a major label.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    hank, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 12:13pm

    5 inch plastic disks

    record companies make money selling 5 inch plastic disks, musicians make money selling music. :)

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    JV, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 12:30pm

    Well, Sort of...

    Record companies make money controlling musicians (buying and selling), and they sell them several many ways, not just the discs.

    That's why they are freaking out...they are losing their mafia-like control. Musicians and fans care only about the music and are only interested in rewarding the musician (a diametrically opposed view point).

    In the end, doesn't matter if you're a musician or what. If you have lots of success everyone wants a piece of you.

    GO REM!

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Jason Still, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 12:44pm

    possible reason for single app/system

    I think one reason that one might do something like this through a single source is because its quick easy. If you only put it up in one spot where anyone can get it before long it will be everywhere else and someone else did all the work. Fans tend to be pretty thorough in promoting the things they like, likely more so than the artists could be without expending relatively significant time/effort/money. And the fans would rather the artists be spending those resources performing, making appearances, etc.

     

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  4.  
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    yo ho ho...., Mar 12th, 2008 @ 12:59pm

    Well....

    ... never forget, this is REM -- at this point in their careers they are looking for any way to get their name back into the mainstream. It's not like they can release platinum albums anymore... these guys are over.

    Real change will happen when the 20-somethings adopt this model!

     

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  5.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 12th, 2008 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Well....

    Real change will happen when the 20-somethings adopt this model!

    Er... I think this model is even *more* popular with the 20-somethings out there...

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Saragon, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 1:09pm

    Agreeing with comment #3

    "Jason Still" has it right. To put it more bluntly, why bother posting it in more than one place? There's no incentive to do otherwise -- mention it in the press release and it'll be seeded everywhere within 24 hours.

    I might suggest that someone involved -- Michael Stipe, for instance -- knows this, and limited the "official" release to a single app as a sop to Warner Music. Warner gets to blame "pirates" for sharing the album through sites like The Pirate Bay, and REM gets their much-needed free distribution. Sure doesn't hurt REM to try to keep the label happy.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    yo ho ho...., Mar 12th, 2008 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: Well....

    I mean the 20-something artists... not the has-beens.

    I agree that the audience is the younger generation -- it is too bad only the geriatrics are willing (or able to) pull off this type of offering.

    $50 says Rod Stewart is next... any takers?

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    syN-acK, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 1:34pm

    A little cynical

    "It's not entirely clear why they are doing this through iLike."
    If I were a little less cynical I'd believe otherwise. The fact that REM is still with a major label would tell me that iLike is paying big bucks to have REM do this. That's why they are only doing it there.

    As for REM needing to get their name out because they are old, check out the top grossing bands of 2007. Only one in the twenty-something set.
    The Police - $212 million (£105 million)
    Genesis - $129 million (£64 million)
    Justin Timberlake - $126.8 million (£62.9 million)
    Kenny Chesney- $71.2 million (£35.3 million
    Rod Stewart - $70 million (£34.7 million)

     

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  9.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 12th, 2008 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Well....

    I mean the 20-something artists... not the has-beens.

    That's what I meant. Check out how many 20-something artists these days are adopting models like this that involve giving away or sharing their music. I'd say it's a lot more than the older artists who are still tied to the old idea of selling the music directly.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    dan, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 2:10pm

    meshuggah and myspace

    It was reported that the Swedish metal band Meshuggah (my favorite) was streaming their new album Obzen on their MySpace page. I checked it out and only two of the nine tracks are being streamed. Nevertheless, it is definitely a step in the right direction.

    d.

     

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

  11.  
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    Wyatt, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 2:24pm

    Re: A little cynical

    Stick it to em :)

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    dijital, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Well....

    I'm 17 and have a copy every REM album released and went to see them live a couple of years back. Maybe they aren't as popular with under 30s as the bangin' gangsta rap on the radio but I wouldn't call them has-beens exactly.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 4:09pm

    Old VS New

    How many of the "new" artists really create their own music compared to older "established" musicians. You really think Timberlake is crunching out his own lyrics and melodies? It makes sense that older bands/musicians get paid for their creations, their art. And, yes, if a record label is responsible for the discovery and the continuance of an artists career, then they deserve a kickback, a percentage. I believe that the longer that the artist manages and maintains their art and career, the less percentage the record label should get.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Celtson, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 4:11pm

    RE: Old VS New

    This is my comment above. Forgot to include it.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Jake, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 4:30pm

    The Nice Thing About The Internet...

    ... is that everything's mainstream somewhere.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Wish I Was A Has Been, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 10:06pm

    I thought Michael Stipe Died From AIDs?

    Oh wait! He just lost some weight and hair...

     

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


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