Downloads As Promotions
from the look-at-that dept
This is something of an odd interview — and it’s not entirely clear why Business Week has chosen to use it, but it’s with a kid who really likes some new band, and even though the band offers all of their music online for free, he still feels it’s worth it to buy everything they release, just because they release it. The free music acted as a promotion that got him hooked, and caused him to go out and buy the albums as well as making sure he goes and sees them perform live as well. While it’s just one anecdotal example, it does hold a lesson the industry needs to learn. Their first response, of course, would be that this is just one kid and they’re trying to protect against everyone else who wouldn’t be so honest. However, more to the point, there’s a marketing message. The kid makes it clear that he’ll buy a product he sees value in — and it clearly has to do with the packaging and the band behind it. The industry continues to think they’re selling “music.” But, they’re really selling “the band” and everything that entails, including how the music is packaged (nice CD material? extra features?), concerts, fan-wear, fanclubs, access to the musicians and plenty of other things. Once they realize that, they can see that the music is simply a way to promote all of the above. Will some people just take the music and nothing else? Sure. But that’s no different than people watching a commercial and not buying the product. The music itself has promotional value, which the industry seems to deny.