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.