The Strokes stream, Justice dabble with a football team

In the year 2011 it is not necessarily what you release it is more a question of how you release it?  Tantamount to what Radiohead have achieved with their latest release, ‘King of Limbs’, substantiating the demand for fast web release, they are not the only one’s flirting with new channels of distribution.

The Strokes are now streaming their new album ‘Angles’ for free on their website, a week before global release. This could backfire if many listeners decide it’s not up to usual standards!  They clearly have faith in their product, it helps that their record company – Rough Trade – is an independent label. The majors certainly wouldn’t want to dabble with this practice. Elbow’s latest release, ‘Build a Rocket Boys’ – through Universal, didn’t want to risk first week sales by using altruistic methods.

Justice have announced the release of a new single, ‘Civilisation’, to be aired to the public through an Adidas advert, stylishly juxtaposed with Lionel Messi and the Argentinian football team.   Bands showcasing music through advertising is certainly not a new idea although in most cases the artist has already released the material and they’re looking for increased exposure.  Justice haven’t even announced the release date for their latest piece of work, this is a clear ploy to create maximum exposure through a cross-platform brand partnership.  Forget the CD single!                                                                                                                                  Mentor’s Daft Punk are similarly about to release new music through a brand partnership with Coca Cola, with limited edition bottle artwork and an advert deal.

The distribution lines are becoming increasingly blurred leading to multi-media deals and innovative practices.  Cloud based services such as Spotify and Last Fm often have pre-release specials from lesser known bands, although the record labels do recoup some money from these outlets.  It will change the landscape dramatically when iTunes and Google launch their respective streaming services, mooted for this year?       They have much more clout than any of the record labels and the most powerful distribution lines in the world, where will that leave the artists?


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