Band Discovers Leaked Song... And Its Response Is To Release A Better Version For Free

from the connecting-with-fans dept

We've talked in the past about how there are all sorts of ways that bands and musicians can react to the fact that their music has leaked out into the world (and, yes, it will leak out). There's a range of strategies from calling your fans "thieves" and getting angry, all the way to a much more fan-friendly approach. Time and and time again it appears that taking the fan-friendly approach seems work much better. The latest example of a band taking a much more fan friendly approach is Eisley, who had one of their new songs debut on a podcast, and people got so into it that they cut it out of the podcast recording and even started playing it on the radio. Rather than freak out about it, the band was happy about it. Their label then suggested perhaps putting a better version of the song online, and the band immediately agreed:
So, Sunday night Dallas radio station KDGE played "Smarter". The song was apparently ripped from @AdvClub podcast and by yesterday it was everywhere as if we'd made available a new free track for download haHa:@observerdallas http://bit.ly/hpU84h, @ABSOLUTEPUNK http://bit.ly/hpU84h, @altpress http://bit.ly/hnarVS and others including our fan site:http://bit.ly/gvZNA1, who said, "sorry, we were too excited. We had to post it". We laughed.

We never intended that to happen but honestly don't care. It's sorta awesome actually. We appreciate any social site who loves us so... yeah.

Anyway, our label was like, "oh well when you get a lemon, make lemon juice; so should we, at least, stream the quality version on your fb page?". (us: "Yup").
Nice to see more bands recognizing this is a marketing opportunity, rather than "theft." Of course, it would have been a stronger response if they actually offered a download of the song, rather than a highly limited streaming version. But it's better than nothing... Update: Aha. After putting up the streaming version, they also put up a free downloadable version of the MP3 according to folks in the comments. Very nicely done.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    kyle, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 10:23pm

    Since putting up the stream, they actually *did* put up a downloadable version: http://equalvision.com/releases/show/191

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    SteelWolf (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 10:32pm

    Re:

    I was able to download it from the Bit.ly link in the post as well (http://bit.ly/hpU84h).

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Yogi, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 10:33pm

    Amazing

    What's amazing is that in this day and age they debuted the song without having a downloadable version already prepared. It's incredible how many people live in the digital age but still just don't get how it works.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    Jericho (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 12:25am

    but they are not gettiing paid for this....

    They need to sue those sites and fans. And then they need to lock up the song and kill the excitement around it until they are rewarded properly.

    I mean, people consuming your music without paying for it is wrong!!! You must sue them and make sure they never think about stealing your hard work. Sure, they might then never make a connection with your band or go to your concerts or support you in any other way but by God, you will have your money!

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 1:33am

    I discovered that my shitty demo ended up on Russian download sites, it was great! But it was a shitty version, so I directed everyone to my bandcamp where they can stream it, dl FLAC or high quality mp3s and give a small donation. Works for me. :D

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Guy From V, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 1:57am

    Lemon juice?

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 2:33am

    Re: but they are not gettiing paid for this....

    Hello good sir! In light of your humorous sarcasm, I would like to thank you and deliver a message. Darryl will be along shortly to either take your sarcasm seriously, or become outraged by it and begin to justify the very scenario you described as being foolish.

    Either way, he will be along shortly to reply to you and of course Mike, with a very long and a supposedly more correct analysis of what all this hubbub about piracy and using free in a business model is really about.

    Be sure to feed him. He likes being mistaken for someone who actually believes that having their head up their ass is a successful business strategy, but I assure you he's a clever, clever creature only looking to jest like yourself.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation and ensuring our community pet does not starve to death!

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    Griff (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 3:41am

    Worked for me

    Never heard of the band.
    But now I have the Mp3, c/o of this story

    And I kinda like it.

    Might go and buy an album. Assuming it is available to buy is MP3 not some stupid DRM'd format.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    Griff (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 3:50am

    Where's the preview ?

    Jeez, went to the band's site and there's the track list but no "listen to a bit of the song" technology.

    Remember when you went into a record store and could listen on headphones before buying. That's not such a new idea is it ?


    Imagine going into a car dealership and being told you couldn't sit in a car to get the feel of it until you'd actually bought it ?

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Paul Keating, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 4:04am

    but they are not gettiing paid for this..

    Well they are. I had never heard of them and most likely never would have. I ended up downloading Smarter and Ambulance and after listening went and bought all their CDs on ITunes.

    My only frustration was that their new album has an "in store" release date of March 2011 and I could not buy that one online. Why make everyone wait?

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 4:30am

    Re:

    The Russians sem to "get" the internet better than our media companies - take a look at Rumvi.com.

    Everything on the site can be streamed for free or downloaded in an unencumbered mp3 for 1/10 of itunes prices.

    If the record companies has done this 10 years ago (which they certainly could have done) they would not have their current problems.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 4:30am

    It's nice, but they sort of missed the boat on this one. If the studio version was that good, they should have put up streaming AND a link to ituned or similar and encouraged people to buy a copy.

    Instead, what they have done is taught people it's okay to take whatever you want, because we will reward you with more free stuff.

    These guys don't sound like marketing geniuses, rather they appear not to be thinking past the end of their noses.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 4:38am

    The song Lyrics

    are their message to the big labels "I'm smarter than you"

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 5:13am

    Re:

    Yeah, because trying to control media has worked out soooo well. Only releasing a stream means you have approximately five minutes until an mp3 version is up for download via illicit channels. As evidenced by the first stream. So, instead of good will from the fans you get aggravation and you personally induce piracy of your own track.

    Me, I would have said release the track free as a loss leader and link to amazon or some such to preorder the album. Ideally they could link to itunes/amazon to download the album/other tracks right now but the publisher would never allow that because it would knock the legs out from their anachronistic plastic disk sales.

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 5:32am

    Re: Amazing

    Bad advice, I guess. A lot of people, especially those still in the industry, feel they have to have totaly control over a product to get the maximum return - i.e. radio airplay, then CD/download release when it's been marketed, then international markets, etc. They're often so obsessed with controlling things, they miss out on the way music really markets itself (e.g. the time to make a single available to buy is after the first airplay when people want it, not 6 weeks later when you want to sell it and some people are tired of hearing it...)

    According to Wikipedia, the band were signed to Warner until recently, so I'm going to guess they just were following the same faulty thinking they were taught during their major label days.

    What's more interesting to me is that while they've released the song, they've only made it available via SoundCloud, a site that even they complain isn't available to iTunes due to Flash requirements. You would have thought they'd release it to other sites as well, perhaps those that would allow everybody to play it and people to pay for it if desired?

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 5:36am

    Re:

    Howso? If you give people a REASON to buy, and not just "If you don't buy from us, we'll sue!" They will.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re:

    It's not that they "get" it better, it's that they have loopholes in their laws that do away with having to have permission prior to offering music for sale.

    That's why, say Led Zep and AC/DC aren't allowed on a legal service in the US or Europe (even for streaming), while the Russians are able to sell them - the bands are refusing to licence the music for digital use here, but the Russians are allowed to offer it regardless. Similarly for smaller bands - licence negotiations must be entered into individually for unsigned bands and small labels. It's not profitable for most sites, so they wait for the bands to submit their own music, whereas the Russians can offer anything they come across without question.

    "If the record companies has done this 10 years ago (which they certainly could have done) they would not have their current problems."

    Indeed. If their response to Napster had been to recognise the potential of a worldwide digital market and adjust accordingly, most of their current problems would not exist. Instead, they kicked and screamed like little girls, tried suing their problems away and now wonder why their customers are disappearing.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 5:49am

    The most important thing I see on that article is that it was the LABEL, not the band, that thought of putting it up for free. Nice to see a label that doesn't have the same mentality as the big ones. Looking at their Wikipedia page, I see that Eisley is current signed to Equal Vision Records. Now I feel like browsing their other artists and seeing if I like that music. They're a rare label worth supporting.

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 5:54am

    Re: Worked for me

    Careful... you might prove that free works. Think of the CHILDREN!!

    Bravo sir. :)

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Joe Contrary, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 6:24am

    Don't worry

    Don't worry Gabriel, free doesn't really work. Using free as a means to tap into new customers/other revenue streams only works if the band is:

    - unknown
    - popular
    - rich
    - poor
    - certain genres

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 6:47am

    Cool, I like checking out indie bands.

    Equal Vision Records. Now I feel like browsing their other artists and seeing if I like that music. They're a rare label worth supporting.

    ^^^ And that, yep.

    See - most of us that can afford to buy CD's - don't mind at all. I just want a quality CD, not garbage and not one 'good' song on the whole CD. I want to find good BANDS.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re:

    Russians for generations have lived in a country where everyone steals, everyone takes, everyone cheats, and everyone hordes whatever they can get. They are the ultimate black marketeers.

    There are almost no legal ways to make money in the country, everything is done through private deals, payoffs, and the like. They "get" the internet the same way they get everything else, a chance to abuse the system for money.

    Why do you think much of the spam, hacking, toolbar installers, botnets, and the like operate out of Russian webspace?

    Giving the Russians props on understanding the internet is like giving a safe cracker props for understanding banking.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re:

    Exactly. The RtB was created accidentally (the bootleg), but there was no reason to keep piling it on. At some point, there has to be a buy to make RtB function, otherwise it is just Reason to Expect It Free (RtEIF).

    First rule of business: you have to make money somewhere, or there is no business.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow... nice stereotyping. Anything to back up those accusations?

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Re: Don't worry

    WHEW! Dodged that bullet!

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Rich, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 8:47am

    Re: Don't worry

    I love bands of certain genres!

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Joe Contrary, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 9:39am

    Your Band!

    Your band of certain genres are posers, maybe! Possibly they sold out with that one album they released! I don't think I like them, perhaps!

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    Re: Amazing

    What's amazing is that in this day and age they debuted the song without having a downloadable version already prepared.

    There are good reasons to do this. It used to be very, very common in radio or TV: premiere a song that isn't published, so more people will listen/watch the program, the result being a higher interest in the song when it does come out. It's a win/win for the artists and the broadcasters.

    Things have changed quite a bit, but it's still a good marketing technique. Exhibit A: in this case, it worked.

    Now, if the band really wanted to make money, they would have released the high-quality version on iTunes, and politely asked the blogs to point to that (without requiring that they take down the low-quality version, of course).

    On the other hand, that's a strategy that attempts to squeeze every amount of short-term profit from their fans as humanly possible. I think that what the band actually did will be better in the long run. Nothing drives fans away quicker than saying "you are nothing more to me than a walking ATM machine."

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 9:53am

    Re:

    If the studio version was that good, they should have put up streaming AND a link to ituned or similar and encouraged people to buy a copy.

    Ha, I posted basically the same thing above, before I read your comment.

    I also posted why it might not be the best idea in the long run. There's certainly nothing wrong with doing what you suggest, but releasing it as a free download generates good will, which is probably more valuable than iTunes profits.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wow... nice stereotyping. Anything to back up those accusations?

    It may indeed be stereotyping, but there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to back it up.

    An example: A few years ago, one of the noise musicians I know found out that some Russian MP3 site was offering his music for sale. Obviously, they didn't contact him for permission - and in fact, it was an MP3 that he was already offering as a free download.

    Now, I'm certainly no "IPtard" (sorry Mike), but even I don't approve of stuff like that. A foreign company making money from the ignorance of consumers is vastly different than a bunch of fans passing around a "bootleg" MP3.

    The question is what to do about it. My friend decided (wisely) that it wasn't worth the money to sue a foreign company, so he just wrote them a nasty email. So far as I know, his sales didn't suffer (though most noise artists sell 50 copies of their albums at most, so it's hard to tell). I just feel sorry for whatever suckers ponied up the dough for something they could get from the artist for free.

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re: Don't worry

    You forgot:

    - located on planet Earth

    Although 'certain genres' was an excellent catchall ;)

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    Sorry for the addendum, but this sentence has been bugging me:

    what they have done is taught people it's okay to take whatever you want, because we will reward you with more free stuff.

    That's not the message. The message is "if you take an active interest and become a fan, you will be rewarded."

    Part of the point I was trying to make is that sending this message may ultimately be more valuable than short-term iTunes profits. It certainly can't hurt.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Huph, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re:

    Publishers don't have anything to do with CDs or their promotion. They are in charge of lyrics and sheet music; they're out of the picture long before a band is done recording (except for their review of the lyrics sheet, if it's contained in the CD packaging). The CDs are part of mechanicals, that's handled by either the label, musician, or distributor depending upon the specific deal.

    And releases are staggered for promotional purposes, not mechanical reasons (although they can have an effect). Most likely, the label doesn't have the money, manpower, or resources to promote this album while it's promoting it's most current releases. They may even be counting on money made from a current release to roll over into promotion for the Eisley album.

    Another reason for holding a release has to do with the particular market climate of the moment. Blogs have a tendency to only review NEW NEW NEW music. There's a premium in the blog world on being FIRST! always; while just being a week behind is blogger death. So a label has to time releases with the massive market push (email blasts in the 1000s), properly-timed press releases, make sure the promo single's video is filmed and edited, and whatever other gimmicks they can come up with, so that bloggers will find out about the release while the album is just being made available and is still "fresh". And, they need to have the free space and time to post. It would be silly to expect them to talk about your album release the same week a new Kanye West or Radiohead album comes out, or during CMJ/SXSW, so labels are careful to avoid being overshadowed.

    Trust me, NO ONE making or selling music has any interest in keeping the product from you, it's not a conspiracy.

    Now, in this instance, the marketing strategy may seem flawed, because what's happening is a massive PR push for the band, and without the album being available they may be losing some spur of the moment impulse purchases. But there's no way a label can predict this sort of thing. And while I'm not saying that they shouldn't try to capitalize on this, it's most likely too late. Here we are talking about the band, but by this evening most of us won't remember that any of this even happened.

     

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

  34.  
    icon
    DandonTRJ (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Re: EVR

    EVR is one of the most respectable independent labels out there, at least in the genres of music I traffic in. Their offerings have gotten a little "scene" in the last few years [See: We Came As Romans, Pierce The Veil, Chiodos], but those are all bands that at least straddle the upper-crust of trendy post-hardcore music. And they've got some fantastic alum who are still making it big on majors [see: Circa Survive, Coheed and Cambria]. All in all, definitely a label to support if you dig the stuff they trade in.

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re: Amazing

    Now, if the band really wanted to make money, they would have released the high-quality version on iTunes, and politely asked the blogs to point to that (without requiring that they take down the low-quality version, of course).

    Or, take this experience as a "loss-leader" and put the song on a CD with other music and sell it to those who want it (with it being on iTunes and the other sites.) I've never heard of this band until now...and when I see their CD, I'll be buying it (if it is available on iTunes or another, non-ridiculous music service.)

    So, they didn't lose a sale, they potentially gained one. Free advertising, that is how it works in the real, non-MAFIAA world.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jan 13th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    Re: Re: Amazing

    "Exhibit A: in this case, it worked."

    Depends on your definition of "worked", really. They played a song on a podcast, and as ever if the music's good it worked as its own advertising. But the artificial restriction on buying the song before it was played failed, and failed big time. People wanted the song as soon as it was played, and when the official copy wasn't available, they sought out other sources.

    This is why the legacy business model doesn't work. It is largely based on restricting access and then cashing in at the maximum level when the restrictions are lifted. The "pirates" offer unlimited access, so until the labels offer that as well, they will lose out.

    "Nothing drives fans away quicker than saying "you are nothing more to me than a walking ATM machine.""

    I wish this were true, but I can't think of any other reason why The X-Factor, et al, are successful other than a lot of people are OK with that...

     

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

  37.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jan 13th, 2011 @ 12:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "A foreign company making money from the ignorance of consumers is vastly different than a bunch of fans passing around a "bootleg" MP3."

    Normally I agree with you here Karl, but in the case of the Russian sites it's really just a difference in copyright laws. Most countries require prior permission from the artists. Russian law allows people to sell without permission and then pay the artists later.

    It's not so much cashing in on ignorance as it is taking advantage of a different view of copyright. If it was a free download, he didn't "lose" anything, although he might be rightly annoyed if he didn't get a cut of what was sold. Whether your friend appreciates it or not, his music is being enjoyed by anybody who buys it and they might well be located somewhere he cannot make it to play live, etc.

    This is only a bad thing if you a) try to impose American thinking on every copyright system and b) count every download from Russian site as a "lost sale" like the RIAA do with "pirate" downloads. Even if it affects you personally, that's still not the right way of thinking.

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jan 13th, 2011 @ 12:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    By your logic:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12148761

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/16/us /16cnd-shooting.html

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124386263588872149.html

    http://www.nytime s.com/2010/02/19/us/19crash.html

    Americans are violent idiots who use extreme violence when they don't get their own way. I presented the same proof as you did about Russians.

     

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

  39.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 13th, 2011 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Amazing

    I've never heard of this band until now...and when I see their CD, I'll be buying it (if it is available on iTunes or another, non-ridiculous music service.)

    One of the links says the album this song is on comes out March 1st. Looking forward to buying it.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    JR, Jan 19th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Re:

    Well you found one! I saw them live at Coachella in 2005 and have followed them ever since. They are amazing live and I can't wait for them to hit the road with Rooney later this year! Harmonies are beautiful and haunting, love EISLEY!

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This