Coldplay Giving Away Free CD At Shows And Free Downloads

from the that-evil-free-stuff dept

A bunch of folks have sent in the news that Coldplay is doing a promotion whereby they'll be giving away a free CD at every live show and will also make the tracks available for free download on the band's website. The album itself is live tracks recorded during the current tour. As the band notes:
"Playing live is what we love. This album is a thank you to our fans - the people who give us a reason to do it and make it happen."
It's great to see another well-known band learn that "free" can have quite a bit of value, though this does seem a bit more gimmicky than any well-thought-out strategy. Giving away a physical product is nice, but expensive, and unlikely to be a difference maker for those going to shows. Still, it is nice to see a band not freaking out about free and looking for more ways to actually connect with and reward their fans, rather than trying to punish them like some others.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Gary, May 4th, 2009 @ 11:52pm

    it's not gimmicky

    if fans getting free cds give them away to their friends. Free advertising.

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

  2. identicon
    revsjc, May 4th, 2009 @ 11:57pm

    Re: it's not gimmicky

    but it doesnt make commercial sense because their friends then dont buy the they are advertising for no reason

    i do however advocate free music but i dont think this is necesarrily advertising for a commercial gain

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

  3. identicon
    Ishan, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:01am

    Logistical Nightmare

    The recording and distribution of CDs to all of the concertgoers could become a logistical nightmare. Im assuming the CDs must be pressed and ready to distribute immediatley after the concert, otherwise mobs of fans would get quite annoyed waiting around for the product to be delivered. This may result in negative publicity toward the band.

    What about setting up a few bluetooth stands around the concert arena. Interested fans can rock up and download which ever songs from the concert they wanted. Having enough Bluetooth capabilities to keep up with demand may be less costly than recording, mastering, pressing, printing and distributing physical CDs.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:26am

    Re: Re: it's not gimmicky

    Unless their friends discover they really like the band and then:

    1. Go to gigs
    2. Buy Merchandise
    3. Go and buy other albums
    4. Tell even more friends and repeat steps 1 through 4.

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:50am

    What's an Auto Tune?

    Auto-tuning seems to be a staple in the industry used to make up for lack of natural talent. I may find their concert performance worth going to, provided they played live without said voice synthesis. Granted, these may be lofty asks.

    Until I see them in concert, I believe Death Cab for Cutie will continue to be a better band.

    Only time will tell.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 4:25am

    Re: Logistical Nightmare

    Wait, you actually think they'd give away recordings of the show you attend? Are you high? The recording engineers would have to be fuckin geniuses or Coldplay retarded to think a straight live track with no mixing/mastering will sound good enough for an album. That's on top of the crap you mentioned. No, they recorded something 10 shows ago, went to the studio and re-recorded their eff-ups, mixed/mastered, and stamped about 12 CDs because that consists of their entire fan base. Everyone else attending got drug there by their girlfriend.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 4:32am

    The article says that they are giving away the album LeftRightLeftRightLeft not a recording of the current concert therefore distribution will not really be that much of a hassle. In addition, the Album will be available for free download on their website beginning 5/15 and fans who don't care about high bitrates can decide to go with that option rather than taking home a CD.

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

  8. identicon
    Greg, May 5th, 2009 @ 4:52am

    Re: Re: it's not gimmicky

    Ummmm... It's a FREE cd why would their friends have to buy it?

    *knock knock* Helloooooooo McFly!

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

  9. identicon
    Jeff Self, May 5th, 2009 @ 5:25am

    They better give away a CD for free

    I wanted to see them in concert, but turns out the tickets were over $100 each. For that price, I would hope they would give me a CD.

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

  10. icon
    WarOtter (profile), May 5th, 2009 @ 5:39am


    Too bad 'free' doesn't negate 'suck'.

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

  11. identicon
    Rob R., May 5th, 2009 @ 5:44am

    Re: Re: Re: it's not gimmicky

    Not very bright, Greg? I thought not.

    This is a free CD, but the tracks are live recorded during tours. Not the studio recordings people prefer. Not only that, but this is the kind of thing that makes people loyal to a band and makes the fans want to buy all the music they don't have once they get the free nibble.

    Take a free economics course. Ok, McFly?

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 6:41am

    Re: Logistical Nightmare

    Maybe, maybe not. There are a number of companies who already provide such services. Usually, you purchase the recording of the show before it begins (either onsite or prior to the date of the show). Then when the show ends, you queue up and wait for your disc. I've done this a couple of times in the northeast - was one band...rat dog (a grateful dead offshoot) another, I think...I can't remember, it's been a couple years.

    I'm not sure what the average Coldplay concert size is, but it's not like you're trying to send someone to the moon...that was a logistical nightmare.

    If Coldplay is any good live, then people will wait (and pay even). Having people pay might actually mitigate some of the annoyance of waiting. Hell at the prices they charge, why not just include a recording of the concert in the ticket price. If you want a copy, you wait, if not, just go home.

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

  13. identicon
    Tgeigs, May 5th, 2009 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: it's not gimmicky

    McFly? Awesome B2TF reference! My guesses on the age demographics of this site are clearly way off...

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

  14. identicon
    Andrew Shaffer, Jun 13th, 2009 @ 8:04am

    Helllo McFlllyyyy

    I just attended a Coldplay concert last evening, and the tickets were only $35 for the nosebleed section.

    Before the final two songs of the evening, they announced that they would be giving away the free CD as concertgoers left the building. The ushers handed CDs out in an orderly fashion--I don't think this would have happened with, say, Slipknot fans.

    The average age at the concert was about 35, making much of the audience above the age that's unlikely to download the MP3 album from the band's website. Now, if this was a band that played to younger crowds, a physical CD wouldn't have been an appropriate giveaway...but it seems they know their target demo.

    I don't think that they are "advertising for no reason"--they are providing added value to the concert experience. As others pointed out, a live CD isn't likely to stop someone from purchasing a studio recording of the same songs.

    Andrew Shaffer

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

  15. identicon
    Peter Ehhh!, Jul 25th, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    Free Cold Play Album

    Does no one see a connection to the law suite filed against them by Joe Satriani who's tune they stole (If I could Fly)is note for note identical? If they made any proceeds from album sales they would undoubtedly be given up to Satriani. Recessionary good guys my gravitron.

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

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