Smashing Pumpkins Latest To Embrace Free Music... With A Reason To Buy

from the really-free dept

It looks like another "big name" band is recognizing the power of free. The Smashing Pumpkins have announced that its latest album will be released entirely free:
Each song will be made available absolutely for free, to anyone anywhere. There will be no strings attached. Free will mean free, which means you won't have to sign up for anything, give an email address, or jump through a hoop. You will be able to go and take the song or songs as you wish, as many times as you wish.
And quite an album it will be: the band is working on releasing 44 songs. The idea is to release a song at a time starting around Halloween (the band is just starting to record them now) until all 44 songs are released. But, the band is also offering up a "reason to buy" as well:
We will however sell highly limited edition EP's (of 4 songs each times 11), and details of how those EP's will be made available are still being worked out. Because the songs themselves will be free, the EP's will be more like collectors items for the discerning fan who will want the art itself, along with the highest possible audio quality available. The EP's will be more like mini-box sets rather than your normal cd single. We may also offer other variations for sale, say for example a digital single with a demo version of a song. The commitment that is most important is the one I'm making to you: that the music of 'Teargarden by Kaleidyscope' will be available for free to everyone. All 44 songs: free for ALL.

When the entire album is finished, it will be compiled into a deluxe box set which will also be made available for sale. Those who have bought the EP's need not worry, as the box set will not be a recompilation of the limited edition pieces.
Sounds cool to me. Give away the music for free, connect with those fans, and then give them a reason to actually purchase something physical and scarce that's much cooler than just the music. Great to see another "big name" figuring all this out as well. And, before people say that the band can afford to do this because it's already huge and well known, most of the artists we discuss doing this sort of thing are small artists, who do it to establish themselves to get attention. Claiming that this only works for one type of artist is an increasingly naive statement. Smart musicians of all sizes are recognizing all of the opportunities that using the music as a free promotion presents.
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Filed Under: free, music, reason to buy, smashing pumpkins

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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 17 Sep 2009 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Ooh, ooh, me first!

    Ok, my turn:

    "If this works, it will only be because [THE SMASHING PUMPKINS] are [NAMED AFTER SOMETHING JUVENILE DELINQUENTS DO ON HALLOWEEN]. A band that was instead [NAMED "STEALING EASTER EGGS"] could not replicate [THE SMASHING PUMPKINS]'s success. If, on the other hand, the results turn out discouraging, then obviously that acts as a general proof for all bands that the model doesn't work."

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