I just finished listening to my version of the new album by Kaiser Chiefs, The Future is Medieval, and I have to say that I’m pretty happy with it.
You may well ask what makes it my version?
The thing that makes it mine is that I picked the 10 songs to go on it, I picked the order they’d go in, and I made the artwork. And I guess I’m promoting it now too, even though what I’m really interested in is the business model.
Here is how Mike Masnick describes the idea:
…there are two key things that the band is doing with this digital (and it’s only digital) release:
- Let fans create a “custom” album with custom artwork. The band is effectively releasing 20 songs, and users get to pick which 10 they want, and put them in any order they want — and then they get a custom piece of album artwork, based on the choices. The website is fun to play around with as well.
- Then, once you’ve bought the album, you also get a “fan page” for the unique album that you created, and if you drive others to that page and they buy the copy of the album that you created, you get £1 (the full album costs £7.50).
There are some other little features as well, but those are the two big ones. It’s definitely an interesting idea, and I’ll be curious to see how it goes.
I’m pretty curious to see how it will work too. Masnick has some reservations about the choices that they’ve made – but it illustrates an important point. When you face a turbulent environment, as record labels certainly do at the moment, then you have to experiment with new business models to find out what works.
This is an interesting experiment.
Here is what singer Ricky Wilson had to say about it in an email to The Lefsetz Letter:
We’re quite excited about this. Why not make an album yourself? We wanted to reward the fans for being our fans and thought this could be nice.
We just sold all our tickets for our first two gigs exclusively on our facebook page, which worked a treat and we’re going to be getting fans to use Facebook polls to help us pick set-lists and stuff. God knows if it’ll work.
We’ve used a load of our own money to hire some really clever people to build the site and market it so we’re hopeful.
This definitely isn’t some sort of two-fingers-to-the-system thing. In fact our label Fiction have been very supportive.
It’s not supposed to be a massive statement to the world or a fight against anything. It was just fun and we needed that to be honest.
So what’s different from a business model standpoint? A few things.
By getting people involved it changes the value proposition pretty significantly. If you take an hour to put together your own version of the CD, then you’re likely to feel pretty invested in it. In my case, that worked pretty well because even though I love and have bought a couple of Kaiser Chiefs songs, this is the first full CD of theirs that I’ve ever gotten. Marion Gibbon has a good analysis of some of the issues here as well.
The value network is different too, with fans promoting the record (although here is a critique from Dan Catt of that part of the scheme who suggests that this isn’t necessarily the best idea in the whole experiment – something that I agree with).
It’s also interesting to see what hasn’t changed – the value chain that produced the record is pretty standard. The band was supported by their label to go into the studio to make the music, and all the rest of the process right up to distribution is pretty standard. So it’s not a full DIY value chain like Kristin Hersh is using.
I’ve got no idea if this will work or not. But in a sense it doesn’t matter, because once it’s done, we’ll know something about this type of approach. And other bands and labels can try it themselves, or come up with a way to make this business model better.
The one thing that I do know is that if your business model is in trouble, trying out ideas that involve your customers more deeply in the process of creating things is probably smarter than suing them.
That was the end of the regular post, but here is where I’ll tell you a bit more about my version of the album. Carl Wilkinson has a good discussion of the ideas behind the album, whether or not it is a good idea for artists to give up control over track sequences, and the story behind his version of the album in this story at the Financial Times. Strangely, his first three tracks are identical to mine, even though I’m pretty sure we used a different method for picking songs.
In looking at this and a few other posts about the records, I think I messed up the artwork on mine. In any case, if you’d like to see the artwork, or check out my song choices, you can go here:
I’m pretty sure that the overlap between people reading this blog and Kaiser Chief fans is pretty small:
If you’re interested in hearing some of the music from the record, this is the first single Little Shocks:
If all this grabs your interest, you should check out the new record. But whatever you do, don’t buy my version – make your own!
"When you face a turbulent environment, as record labels certainly do at the moment, then you have to experiment with new business models to find out what works", Tim writes above.
I have to add, just to make that shure: If you do think these times are not turbulent, and you are not overwhelmed by that, you are not moving fast enough! Now you have a problem! You do not seem to understand what people's new individuality, independence, and impatience really do imply for brands, businesses, and their success (where I might repeat myself).
The music industry, like car, publishing and energy industries are the best examples for coming late and never beginning to realize that ...)
Tim is a lecturer at The University of Queensland Business School. He researches, writes, teaches and consults on topics relating to effective innovation management, with an emphasis on studying innovation networks. He blogs at The Innovation Leadership Network. Twitter: @timkastelle
A couple of pieces today: this story about the imitation economy (which came my way via Edward) along with this new Chinese Warcraft film via Techcrunch, (which starts off with a very funny rip-off of Terminator and blends themes from the Matrix) reminded me that copying, once regarded as a small step above theft, has been transformed in popular culture and now the copyists (copiers?) are the hipsters.
Of course this isn’t new, it’s been moving steadily in this direction for ages starting with “Jap-Crap” which, over the course of a decade, transformed our view of “copied engineering.” As a result, we’ve lived with this trend for long enough for it to have seeped into the deepest levels of society and long enough to have influenced the values of one or more generations.
However, I think we are starting to value copying above creation. For example, remixes and covers of songs frequently get more play than the original versions. Movies based upon existing franchises or copied story-lines top the box office and blog/news aggregators gain far more traffic than the originating sources. Likewise we often value people who have broad experiences or influences rather than people who have depth in one specific area. This has a reinforcing impact upon the tools we create like RSS, Twitter, etc. We skim rather than dive deep because our culture is increasingly based upon re-appropriating not re-inventing.
Adrian is founding partner of Zeus Jones a branding company believing actions speak louder than words and that modern brands are defined by what they do not what they say. He speaks (and writes) regularly about non-communications based models for marketing & branding. @adrianho
Nachdem nun in den letzten Tagen mein Feed Reader überquoll mit Lady Gaga Links, ist es glaube ich an der Zeit, die Facetten der Lady hier mal ganz kurz zu reflektieren. Ein Streifzug durch meine Feeds der letzten Tage seit der CES:
CES Goes Gaga ... I arrived 45 minutes early for Polaroid’s CES event Thursday, only to find 200 people already crowded into a press pen. The pop star’s music, with lyrics such as “I love your psycho, your vertigo stareschtick,” blared from the speakers (sadly, I know all the words). While ...
13 Reflections from C.E.S. ... Lady GaGa rules. When in doubt, go for the celebrity. Sony turned to Taylor Swift and Monster and Polaroid turned to GaGa. Of course there were plenty more "borrowed interest" celebs designed to draw in delegates (ok, geeks) like a moth to a flame. Don't knock it...it works. I ended up literally right next door to the Diva and got some video foo...
The Rise of Digital Music & The Return of the Record ... Lady GaGa and Susan Boyle came out on top, signaling that pop culture trends (and Internet sensations) really do drive sales. In addition to the burgeoning digital music market, record sales increased this past year as well - 33 percent. That’s 2.5 million records taken home by vinyl enthusiasts. But here’s the cool part: Two out of every thr...
Polaroid announces new OneStep film and instant digital cameras, some branded LCD TVs ... tenacity of Lady Gaga,
we expect that any day now she'll be the president of PLR IP
Holdings within the week. Until that fateful day when Polaroid becomes
the Haus of Gaga, it looks like the
company will be keeping busy by continuing to slap its name on consumer
electronics. Probably the coolest of the lot is the PIC 1000, the
CES 2010: Let The Show Floor Streaming Begin ... Lady Gaga, something about becoming some sort of bigwig at Polaroid. I know! What will she do next? I'm thinking Ponzi scheme. So we're streaming that live right now, and then we're live from the show floor for the rest of the day. Also: if you missed last night's Digital Experience broadcast, check it out here. We saw a ton of pr...
Lady Gaga Named Creative Director at Polaroid ... partnership with Lady Gaga,
naming her their Creative Director of specialty products. The
multi-year union of the iconic brand with one of today's fastest rising
and fashion forward stars seemed like a good move for Polaroid, noting
what a close relationship Gaga has with her ...
Polaroid Goes Gaga for Pop's Leading Lady ... muse to Lady Gaga, naming the music superstar creative director for a specialty line of products.
Nicht über Lady Gaga, aber sehr interessant: Digital Drives UK Music Sales To 10-Year High, But Look Deeper ... 2009 Official Charts Company figures from the BPI show unit sales 15 percent up from 2008 to a decade high of 281.6 million, spurred by digital singles… - Digital resurrected the singles market in 2004. Virtually all of the 152.7 million singles sales were digital last year (98 percent, or 149.7...
Lady GaGa Is Taking Over the World, One Business Venture at a Time ... Lady GaGa already has five #1 singles, two #1 albums, a brand-new comic book deal, and the most talked-about wardrobe (mal)functions this side of the Superbowl XXXVIII halftime show. But what she really wants to do is design.Taking a cue from Nikon's partnership with Ashton Kutcher, Polaroid has named GaGa a "creative director." According to a p...
Lady GaGa Remixed by Latest YouTube Sensations [VIDEO] ... Lady GaGa Medley,” a perfect arrangement of the pop star’s radio hit “Poker Face” that’s already amassed more than 1.2 million views. The YouTube veterans have also covered the Glee version of “Don’t Stop Believing.” That video alone has upwards of 3.5 million views. Then there’s the a cappella rendition of a hodgepodge of Michael Jackson songs,...
Lady Gaga named Polaroid creative director, puts that liberal arts education to good use ... Lady Gaga, the newest creative director of Polaroid Imaging Products (insert your own Paparazzi joke here). Apparently the chanteuse will be working "behind the scenes" to develop "prototypes in the vein of fashion / technology / photography innovation." We just hope the Haus of Gaga has learned a thing or two after that Monster debacle a few mo...
CES: From Lady Gaga to Punky Brewster [Voices] ... Twitterverse is Lady Gaga.
The pop star has her own line of headphones, but she’ll be in Las Vegas
with Polaroid to talk about a new line of imaging products in what is
likely to be a packed press conference.
Reality television will be represented, with “Real Housewives of New
York” star Jill Zarin at fellow photo company Kodak’s (EK) booth.
Das Lady Gaga-Prinzip für Marken ... hielt ich Lady Gaga für eine singende Perücke, die vor allem dazu dient, die Knallpresse und Boulevardformate von “Brisant” bis “Explosiv” zu füllen. Dann aber hörte ich erstmals Bad Romance und stellte erstens fest, dass ich - musikalisch gesehen - alt werde, das Produkt, die Musik also, gar nicht mal schlecht produziert ist und das künstleri...
Lady Gaga Barbie Dolls ... of custom Lady Gaga Barbie dolls and they are awesome.
Nirvana + Lady GaGa = Epic Mashup [VIDEO] ... Lady GaGa has been a little… shall we say, overplayed this year (being Last.fm’s official Fame Monster as well as one of Twitter’s most influential topics of 2009). Still, this vid is worth a serious look. It almost makes “Poker Face” seem semi-fresh. And if you’re so inclined, you can click here for even more masterful mashups from 2009:
Und hier seht Ihr die Lady bevor sie Gaga wurde:
Ist dies nun die Madonna des neuen Jahrtausends? Ist sie die ideale Verkörperung einer optimal-obsessiven lebenslangen Personal Life Cycle Vermarktung? Oder nur ein kurzer Hype?
Wenn man ihre Wandlungsfähigkeit sieht, verbunden mit ihrem Marketing-Talent, stellt sie zumindest schon Paris Hilton in den Schatten. Sie scheint zudem weniger angreifbar, weil sie einfach weniger Angriffsfläche bietet. Und scheint dafür mehr Projektionsfläche zu bieten. Vor allem aber das Potential, sich chamäleon-artig weiterzuentwickeln, neu zu erfinden.
Stehen wir mit dem einen Fuße schon im Age of Gaga? Marken und Unternehmen sollten spätestens jetzt beginnen, darüber nachzudenken.
23:35 Uhr > "National Lady Gaga Day Draws 100,000+ on Facebook", mashable.
Ein Artikel von mir im werbeblogger, der sich mit dem Gedanken des Uncoolen beschäftigt, ein wenig philosophisch-besinnlich, aber es ist ja bald Weihnachten:
Sind wir nicht alle ein bißchen uncool?
"Montag war ich bei der Düsseldorfer AIDS-Hilfe-Gala in Düsseldorf. Während mein Blick zu Anfang über die Gäste schweifte, fiel mir wieder ein, was Brian Eno vor kurzem im Prospect Magazine so zusammenfaßte:
"There’s a whole generation of people able to access almost anything from almost anywhere, and they don’t have the same localised stylistic sense that my generation grew up with. It’s all alive, all “now,” in an ever-expanding present, be it Hildegard of Bingen or a Bollywood soundtrack. The idea that something is uncool because it’s old or foreign has left the collective consciousness." ...
Wieviel hundertmal besser als der gesamte aktuelle, sich Musik schimpfende, Ohrenkrebs erzeugende Kommerz der Fließband-Musik-Industrie ist denn dieser Song von Portishead?
Statt die Kids zu kriminalisieren und zu verfolgen, sollte die Industrie lieber zurückkehren zu den Ursprüngen der Musik, Spaß, Vielfalt, Individualität, Power, Experimenten, Cross Overs, Revolution, Anarchie im besten Sinne, um das Letzte aus den wenigen Tönen rauszuholen, die uns noch geblieben sind.
Die Kunst, das Authentische, das Ehrliche, Rohe wird siegen über den Kommerz, der den Leuten aus den Ohren herauskommt und sie fliehen läßt.
Die Musikindustrie - und mit ihr jede andere Industrie - hat es in der Hand, die Leute entweder zu begeistern oder zu langweilen. Entscheidet Euch!
Be a Spark! Leave a Mark!