[RL] Prince, the Mail, and his free release

Say what? Prince is releasing free copies of his CD in the Sunday Mail?

Fans love this kind of stuff. People in general love *free* stuff. It’s free *Prince*. Drop “shipping” your CD to thousands of people at no cost to them and they just might give a listen. They might fall in love with the music (and even purchase tickets to a fall tour as a result ;).

The ERA’s co-chairman Paul Quirk made a comment to the press about the paper/CD release:

“The Artist formerly known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores,” he said.

“It is an insult to all those record stores who have supported Prince throughout his career. It is yet another example of the damaging covermount culture which is destroying any perception of value around recorded music,” Quirk told a music conference in London.

I’m with indiemusician.com, whose music is this again? Prince’s music not in record stores? Cold day in hell anyone?

I’ve said it before, the fans are what make the music successful. This inspires confidence that Prince cares about his fans. Inspiring that confidence is gold. If he/they can do that and bypass the machines of the RIAA and the ERA? Brilliant.

Inspiring fans creates publicity, publicity creates curiosity, curiosity creates new fans. If there’s anything that we’ve learned from the iPhone hype it should be that the right publicity can inspire joy in a product. Inspire the kind of joy that makes someone sleep with their newly purchased iPhone in hand….that’s marketing genius. Tap into that publicity for a CD release? Hello success.

Both associations and record labels need to put aside their old way of doing things and embrace new media and fast. Unless they innovate themselves instead of wasting time getting angry, they will soon find themselves obsolete.

P.S. Thank you Prince for standing up and making some noise.

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5 responses to “[RL] Prince, the Mail, and his free release

  1. Brilliant. Sob. Those poor old record labels. How will they survive?

    In breaking news Turkeys across the land have unanimously voted against Christmas 2007.

    Chris @ rawstylus.wordpress.com

  2. Oh the horrors. How will they be able to feed themselves? Instead of picking on the carcasses of musicians like vultures they’ll have to actually go out and hunt.

    *chuckles* Thanks for the laugh, Chris.

  3. Well, sure Prince seemingly cares about his fans. However, this is smary in more ways than caring about fans, in fact he stands to make considerably MORE money by distributing his work this way, like by a staggering amount.

    He gets a lump sum of about 500k USD + a royality percentage on EACH disk sold through the paper. This ammounts to HUGE amounts of money, the paper network is massive, this will far out-reach a record money audience.

    So before we pat him on the back for cutting out the vultures, let’s also pat him on the pat for business acumen.
    :)

  4. Huh? I haven’t seen a record store in about 20 years.

  5. This happened with an Australian artist, Paul Kelly (http://www.paulkelly.com.au/), about eight years ago. A six-song CD was included with the Sunday paper. As I recall, most of the songs were old hits, but I think there was one new one…I can’t remember, but I’m sure I have the rip of it somewhere.

    Although I’d heard a bit of Paul Kelly before that, the free CD was what really hit me. I’ve been a fan ever since.

    It’s a remarkably clever thing to do. It’s sort of like a free download for all the folks who don’t know how to use iTunes (yes, some remain) and have never heard of P2P etc.

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