Jack White Releases Single… By Launching 1,000 Balloons With Flexi Discs Attached

from the ah,-the-amazing,-flying-flexidisc dept

The tacocopter may be necessary if you want to take to the local skies to deliver a product to a specific location, but what if you just want to distribute a product semi-randomly? Famed musician Jack White — who has quite a history of doing cool experiments with new business models that make use of unique scarcities — has released a new single from a forthcoming album by tying 1,000 flexi-discs with the single on them to 1,000 giant blue balloons, and launching them into the sky. Yes, this was done on April 1st, and the whole thing was done somewhat tongue-in-cheek (it was described as “an experiment exploring nontraditional forms of record distribution and a way to get records in the hands of people who don’t visit record shops”), but it’s still pretty cool.

Third Man Records, the label White created, admits that “the typical recovery rate on similar balloon launches… is around 10%”, making these flexi-discs pretty likely to be extremely rare for those who find them. As the Creators’ Freedom Project points out:

It’s super unique, the balloon distributed discs will be a hot item when they’re eventually recovered, and the instructions on how to tell the rest of the world via social media will help to spread the word about the record since the actual release of the album is the next week.

Indeed, the label is already tracking where the balloons are being found and reported.

I know that some of our usual critics will come up with ways to mock this, but it’s yet another example of an artist doing something fun and creative that is a unique way to connect with fans.

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Comments on “Jack White Releases Single… By Launching 1,000 Balloons With Flexi Discs Attached”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

This. It’s a great stunt and if the wind decided to blow north-east a LOT, I’d be going out in search of one right now.

But this isn’t a distribution system that makes any sense, I mean who would spend money to create all this, have a 10% success rate, and hurt the environment with all the failures?

(oh, I guess all the major publishers would do basically that)

Anonymous Coward says:

“I know that some of our usual critics will come up with ways to mock this, but it’s yet another example of an artist doing something fun and creative that is a unique way to connect with fans.”

Fun? yes. Amusing? yes. Connect with fans? Not really unless the fans happen to have a balloon fall on their heads.

It a way mostly to connect with random people who don’t give a crap about your music. Amusing, nice pictures, but does it really do anything beyond that in marketing?

Mr. Smarta** (profile) says:


I wonder how many times he’ll be cited for littering… One for every record/balloon found in the forest/swamp areas? Other ones will fly all the way out to sea where the poor dolphins will find the balloons and inhale the helium to make their squeaks so loud it’ll break glass.

And what of the children walking to school and a balloon falls from the sky and they inhale the rubber and suffocate.

For crying out loud, think of the children…

Anonymous Coward says:

lol Too many people crying you’re hurting the environment. I highly doubt their 1000 balloon project is going to have any noticeable impact. It’s just something new to get seen nothing more nothing less. It’s obvious this would not be a reliable way of mass distribution.

They’re not out to kill the planet with balloon warfare. Then again I could be wrong they might all be packing a few pounds of anthrax.

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