by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
beastie boys, culture, leak, releases

Beastie Boys Embrace Many Different Platforms In 'Leaking' Own Album

from the having-fun-b-boy-style dept

More and more musicians seem to be recognizing that having a record leak is not a bad thing. Even as some artists decide to send leakers to jail -- others are recognizing that it's yet another opportunity to connect. The latest is the Beastie Boys, with their (long-awaited) latest album. There's been a buildup over the past few weeks, with the band "leaking" stuff as they go. While I have a hard time believing the claims from the band that these leaks were not part of the "plan," it really seems to have built up anticipation for the album. First the band offered up the single after it had already started to be found online:
This wasn't really part of the plan, but since this track is out there we wanted to let you hear it here first, or maybe second. Enjoy
Of course, the band has also been promoting the combination half-hour movie/five minute music video thing they put together with more famous actors than any music video in the history of music videos. If you're in the US (yes, I know regional restrictions suck, but I didn't do it), you can watch the full video here:
The five minute music video is here:
There's also a two minute "trailer" for the longer movie here:
And, finally, earlier this week, the band started streaming the entire album using SoundCloud, claiming that it was in response to the "clean" version of the album being leaked:
Good people, unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, the “clean” version of our new album, The Hot Sauce Committee pt 2 has leaked. So as a hostile and retaliatory measure with great hubris we are making the full explicit aka filthy dirty nasty version available for streaming on our site. We hope this brings much happiness, hugs, and harmony.
Again, whether or not this is all planned out (and I'm still betting it was), it's interesting to see the band embracing so many different ways to promote and share its content. If you look at just the content here, we're talking about video, audio and text... and a ton of different platforms. There's Tumblr, Hulu, MTV, YouTube and Soundcloud. I find this interesting, since many bands seem to pick a single platform and stick with it. I'm not sure why the Beastie Boys are going with a different platform for different pieces, but I'd be curious if the band ever explains some of the thinking behind these choices. And while the different limitations on different platforms (mainly Hulu -- no permission for TV browsers? WTF?) it does seem pretty clear that most people should be able to access at least some of all of this. I particularly like the use of SoundCloud as it really makes the audio more interactive in allowing fans to comment at specific time points in the songs.

Once again, I have no idea if this particular strategy will work, but it's always interesting to see how bands -- new and old -- look for better ways to embrace the internet.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2011 @ 5:16pm

    Do the Beastie Boys really have any fans left? You'd think by now their fans would have grown up.

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

  • icon
    B's Opinion Only (profile), 26 Apr 2011 @ 6:01pm

    A reason to buy

    Besides embracing leaked tracks, they are also using the common Techdirt theme of "giving people a reason to buy".

    The Boys are offering some unique packages to those who preorder at

    Even though I downloaded the entire album last week on the torrents, I have also ordered the Premium Package from their website. Here's what I am getting:
    -CD with 8 Panel Digipak Fold-Out Design
    -9-panel Fold-Out Poster Designed by Mike Mills
    -2 x 180 Gram White Gatefold Vinyl
    -Digital Album Download Card
    -2 Extra Bonus Tracks + Remix (Delivered Digitally)
    -Bonus 7"
    -Beastie Boys T-Shirt (Exclusive To This Pre-Sale)
    -Exclusive Iron-on (1 of 3)
    -HD Download of the extended version of the
    Make Some Noise Video called "Fight For Your
    Right Revisited"

    These smart artists got $74.99 from a guy who just wanted to make sure he could buy a non-iTunes download of the new album.

    Anonymous Coward: Really? The Beastie Boys are still huge and yes their fans have grown up, along with them. Maybe you will one day.

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

  • identicon
    Stereo Cow Horns, 26 Apr 2011 @ 6:58pm

    Oh he grew up alright!

    Music is for the young at heart, and for people with a pulse.

    Anonymous Coward at post 1, has grown up alright.
    Its just that he is an OLD STICK IN THE MUD.

    When it comes to music, what has age got to do with it?
    Anyone would think FUN is only for the young, ....good heavens what drivel.

    Man all I can say, is the Beastie Boys LIVE still kick MAJOR ASS! That my friend, is a completely unbiased assessment.
    I was never a fan till I saw them LIVE, they blew me away, LITERALLY.

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

    • icon
      NotMyRealName (profile), 26 Apr 2011 @ 8:04pm

      Re: Oh he grew up alright!

      blew you away...LITERALLY.

      like shot in the face blown away?
      ahem... blown until you went away?
      the speakers were so huge they lifted you off your feet and blew you out the door?

      I hate the word literally.

      also, lol at good heavens and stick in the mud, like a charlie brown panel.

      just for fun man, I agree with your sentiments, but your delivery is something else :)

      Back on topic, I really hope they make a ton of money on this, indirectly. I'd like to see more artists that give away the infinite to add value to the scarce. Anyone know what their label situation is like? Do they self publish or how does the label feel about them doing this? One last thing, I wasn't aware they did another album... this kind of proves that even a nearly universally recognized band can still suffer from obscurity, and really need to get eyes (and ears) on their stuff.

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

      • identicon
        Stereo Cow Horns, 27 Apr 2011 @ 12:32am

        Re: Re: Oh he grew up alright!

        O.k. , I'll explain my friend.

        The speaker stacks and sound system was HUGE and blew me away.
        The girls I was with had their BOOBS moving the to the SUB SONIC Bass bins "MY GOD!"
        No shit, their boobs bounced to the kick even at 50 hz, dam never seen that before, but to be sure IT WAS A BLAST!

        The girls couldn't stop laughing, my ears rang a little, but lets say I ended the night with a SMILE ON MY FACE. :)

        Next chance I get, I'll be there with COW HORNS.

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

        • icon
          NotMyRealName (profile), 27 Apr 2011 @ 3:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Oh he grew up alright!

          Awesome. Never seen that before, must have been something else. Maybe I'll invest in some bustiers for my group before our next concert outing. With that story you could probably sell them at the door :)

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

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 27 Apr 2011 @ 11:41am

    "yes, I know regional restrictions suck, but I didn't do it"

    That's OK, there's ways around it for people in the know. None that will get the labels ad revenue for watching it of course, but it's not "stealing" if they're refusing the sale in the first place...

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

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