Marillion Takes The Next Step And Gives Music Away For Free

from the excellent dept

Last month, we wrote about the band Marillion, noting that for many years they had adopted one of the business models that we’ve advocated: getting fans to pay upfront for the creation of albums by giving them something worthwhile — and it’s worked wonders for the band. Over the years, they had built up a huge mailing list of fans, and used that list to help generate plenty of revenue to produce new albums. However, we did note that it was a little disappointing that the band didn’t take it to the final level of making the actual music free, to help generate a bigger mailing list of more fans enabling the band to make even more money.

I doubt that we had anything to do with it, but just weeks later, that’s exactly what the band is doing. It’s giving away its latest album for free (I’m not sure, but I’m assuming it was produced in the same manner, meaning that it’s already been “paid” for). And the band is planning to use the free music to try to continue to build up that fan list, that it can continue to promote its scarce goods to. Hopefully it works out for them. They seem to have combined many of the different elements: getting people to pay for scarcities (new music, CDs with extras, concerts, fan club memberships that provide benefits, merchandise, etc.) and cultivating “true fans” and now using the music to build up that list. My only tiny (tiny!) critique is that if I were them, along with the free music, I might offer different “levels” of potential support, a la Jill Sobule, Kristin Hersh and Trent Reznor. Either way, it’s great to see another example of a band embracing where the market is heading.

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