Monday, July 6, 2009

(Free) Music+Technology Briefs: Moby, Radiohead's manager

Chris Anderson's much-anticipated book, Free, is finally out and drawing attention from everyone, including our personal heroes Mark Cuban and Malcolm Gladwell. I've yet to read the book but I was quite compelled by Anderson's Wired cover story of the same name, and have drawn inspiration from his book The Long Tail. Needless to say, there is a good deal for us to write about the topic, but in the meantime, let's look at this week's "free" music news...

+ Last month, Moby dropped his latest album, Wait For Me, and he notes an interesting fact about its first single:
[T]he best selling itunes track is ’shot in the back of the head’.
Why is that funny?
Because its the track we’ve been giving away for free for the last 2 months and that we’re still givng away for free.
Actually - this occurrence is more common than you might think. "Such Great Heights" by the Postal Service holds the distinction of being Sub Pop's most downloaded free track and most downloaded iTunes track. I've noticed something similar with N&UR releases as well. When you put a song out there like that, it is almost destined to become you're most discussed track, and subsequently the song purchasers turn to when sampling your album.
[via Hypebot]

The Postal Service - "Such Great Heights" (mp3)

+ Radiohead's manager Brian Message, the dude who suggested they let fans name their own price for In Rainbows, has teamed his company, ATC, up with management groups MAMA and Nettwerk Music to create the digital label, Polyphonic.
Adam Driscoll, the co-chief executive of MAMA Group, told the Telegraph: “We will do whatever is most effective to get an artist noticed. Giving an album away for free may get one million people listening to a new artist.”

With over $20 million to fund its first year, Polyphonic is looking to compete with the major labels, and is offering the best of both worlds. A band gets the financial and managerial support from a label and keeps the copyright, as well as the full benefits of free online distribution.
[via BeatCrave]

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