Groove Armada's Business Model Experiments; Halfway There

from the it's-something dept

A bunch of folks have been sending in various stories about Groove Armada's experiment for distributing its latest music. The program, which was actually launched at Midem a couple weeks back, is explained (somewhat) in the following video at that event:
There are a few elements here that are interesting and make sense... and a few that seem a bit questionable. First up, the musical group left Sony BMG last year and rather than signing a deal with a new record label, instead partnered with drink brand Bacardi, which has a long history of sponsoring music and live music events. This was interesting and followed on similar experiments by brands like Tag body spray, which launched its own record label recently, as well. It also followed on the massive success some musicians have seen in China by focusing on "sponsored" music.

That happened last year. What was new that was announced at Midem was the ability for people to download and share songs from an upcoming EP. I'll let reader SteveD summarize the good and bad:
The good:
  • DRM-free music promotions though corporate sponsorship
  • Opt-in mailing Bacardi list rather then Opt-out
  • Very polished; quick sign-up, hassle-free download, links for inviting friends and facebook app supplied.
The bad:
  • Treats access to music as a value-adding service in itself
  • Restricts further access to content until you've invited x number of friends
  • 'Rewards' system is really just a way of getting you to abuse you address book for them (access to all 4 tracks requires you spam 2000 friends, according to site Q&A).
To the "bad" list, I'd add the fact that the program is only going on for a month or so, and then the special "sharing widget" goes away. Again, there's plenty to applaud here in experimenting with new models, especially involving sponsored content and giving away music for free. However, the execution involving spamming of friends leaves plenty to be desired. That's not so much about connecting with fans as forcing yourself on people who aren't interested.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2009 @ 1:59pm


    Wow. How many people have 2000 personal friends in their address book that will be willing to sign up? Not many, I would suspect. So are they hoping people will just go out and get some address lists and start spamming for them? Uck!

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

    • identicon
      Phil, 6 Feb 2009 @ 7:35am

      Re: 2000?


      Form what I can see you dont have to share to 2000 people directly, once you share to say 10 friends, and they continue to share, and so on and so on, you are rewarded for the cummulative sharing... so if it gets out top 2000 people you get the track, but you dont have to directly share it to that many...


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

  • identicon
    RD, 4 Feb 2009 @ 3:12pm


    What a colossal waste of time. Even if I wanted to participate, 2000 people just to get 4 songs? I dont even KNOW 2000 people. Who let this brain-fart of an idea into this "business model"? I mean come on, who could possibly qualify for this? And like poster #1 said, whats the alternative, spamming strangers? Oh yeah, because THAT has worked out so well for people so far. Come on, get a clue.

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

  • identicon
    Parker, 4 Feb 2009 @ 4:04pm

    Special Sharing Widgets?

    anything with a "special sharing widget" can't be a good idea.

    That said, I'm all for the idea of corporate-sponsored music: artist gets paid, fans get music. It is a win-win situation.

    Artists that worry about "selling out" just have to make sure they work with a brand that they want to be aligned with.

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

  • identicon
    dkp, 4 Feb 2009 @ 6:19pm

    I see what they are trying to do is make this a viral marketing scheme but 2000 thats a bit much.

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

  • identicon
    amalyn, 4 Feb 2009 @ 6:26pm

    2000 is pretty crazy, if it is only via email invites.

    If it was possible to use a referral link on a blog / facebook / myspace, 2000 might not be entirely unreachable by people who are active socially across multiple communities.

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

  • identicon
    tmj, 4 Feb 2009 @ 8:07pm

    Do They Need 2000 Confirms?

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

    • identicon
      SteveD, 5 Feb 2009 @ 1:36am

      Re: Do They Need 2000 Confirms?

      From the wording of the FAQ section I believe you do. They've also provided some sort of network visualisation that lets you see how the invite system develops.

      Its a curious experiment and I'd love to hear their conclusions, but probably not the best way to promote music.

      Also; the youtube clip is down already.

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

  • identicon
    SteveD, 5 Feb 2009 @ 2:20am

    'Disposable' music

    Ah the clips not down, its just my connection that fails.

    Curiously the artist mentions his fears over 'disposable' music at the end of the video. People often associate free music with music that has no value, but I'm not certain this is what he means.

    Anyone have a better explanation?

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

  • icon
    lrobbo (profile), 30 May 2012 @ 1:29pm

    hmm, why doesn't it feel too good . . .

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

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