Last month we wrote about the British pop band McFly, who had announced that it was ditching its record label
, because the label wasn't interested in experimenting with new ways to get music to fans. So now that the band is independent, it's jumped right on the bandwagon of experimentation. In fact, it's following the footsteps
of Prince, back before he started freaking out
. That is, they've done a deal with a big UK newspaper to distribute copies of their new album for free with the newspaper
(thanks to Nick for sending this in). As we've noted in the past, this is a fantastic strategy
for both newspapers and musicians. It helps both sides quite a bit, which is exactly what the band sees, noting that they just want to get more fans, and are hoping more will come see them on their latest tour.
Yet, of course, it's not making some happy: specifically those who have based their entire business models around the concept of selling plastic discs. Music retailers flipped out when Prince did this, and it's likely that they'll be upset about McFly as well. But, you don't jump into the next generation by appeasing the old generation. Also, the article quotes a former recording industry exec who complains that if bands keep doing this, record labels will lose money and won't be able to find and promote new bands. That's missing the point, of course. It assumes that it's the record labels skilled hand that is necessary in finding and promoting new bands -- which is not true at all. The same guy also suggests (in a video on the site) that record labels also won't want to give tour support. That's also quite ridiculous. If the band is making so much more money from concerts now, the smart label will still give tour support, after making sure that it gets a cut of the touring revenue as well. And, if the record labels decide not to do it, then have no fear that concert promoters will step in
and provide the necessary support in their place.