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.

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Companies: ilike, warner music group

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Comments on “R.E.M. Puts New Album Online Via iLike”

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JV says:

Re: 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.


Jason Still (profile) says:

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.

Saragon says:

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.

syN-acK says:

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)

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

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