Band Lets Fans Create Customized Album... And Help Sell It (Allowing The Fans To Make Money Too)

from the neat-ideas dept

We're always interested in unique ideas by artists and content creators to both connect with fans and give those fans a reason to buy, and Lefsetz has the latest on how the Kaiser Chiefs, a quite successful UK-based band, is releasing its latest album. You can read the details, from the band's lead singer, at Lefsetz' site, but there are two key things that the band is doing with this digital (and it's only digital) release:
  • Let fans create a "custom" album with custom artwork. The band is effectively releasing 20 songs, and users get to pick which 10 they want, and put them in any order they want -- and then they get a custom piece of album artwork, based on the choices. The website is fun to play around with as well.
  • Then, once you've bought the album, you also get a "fan page" for the unique album that you created, and if you drive others to that page and they buy the copy of the album that you created, you get £1 (the full album costs £7.50).
There are some other little features as well, but those are the two big ones. It's definitely an interesting idea, and I'll be curious to see how it goes. I have mixed feelings on the 10 tracks out of 20 idea. In an era where fans are often much more interested in a few tracks, I could see that making sense, but for super fans, who want to be completists, now it feels like they have to buy 2 albums. Maybe that's okay for the super fans, but I could see some getting annoyed.

As for the money idea, it's definitely a cool idea to test out, but it'll be interesting to see if they provide any data down the road on how well it goes. It reminds me a bit of the similar pyramid scheme that some were discussing a few months back as a way of fighting off infringement. I do wonder, honestly, how much use this really gets. First of all, fans are fans because they like the music, and it almost seems to shift the relationship a bit if you tell them they can earn money promoting you. Still, I'm sure some will, and hopefully they'll make plenty of money in their role as a fan curator.

I know that I mentioned a few things about this experiment that sounds negative, but on the whole I'm all for experimentation and seeing what works and doesn't work. Emotionally, I like both parts of the plan as it seems like a fun experiment. I really do hope it does well, and hopefully the band agrees to share some of the results.
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Filed Under: connect with fans, customization, experiments, kaiser chiefs

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  1. identicon
    MixMgmt, 10 Jun 2011 @ 11:33am

    everyone's selling something...

    I love this idea. I'm feel like we should be honored that such a reputable band is willing to risk it for our learning! (and yes I hope they share the info!) As for breaking the social contract...maybe.....but if you think harder...really no. Everyone is selling something and if you can mobilize a fanbase to sell your product, AND you reward that good behavior with sharing your profits with them...what better way to strengthen that relationship! I think it's slightly more greedy to give them credits to spend on more stuff from your band, but I'm not going to critize capitalism in the music industry. It's YOUR fanbase, and you know how you should treat them. If you honestly have talent, honestly work your butt off to made an honestly good product, and honestly enter into a financial arrangement with your fans that rewards their hard work and yours - beautiful.

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