Friday, November 19, 2004

Brilliant Move 

That's why they are U2 and I'm not.
Critics suggest that the theft of How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and its subsequent pre-release to the peer-to-peer sites might have been done for promotional purposes. If this is true, it is one of the first truly brilliant marketing moves to promote a big-release record in years. The RIAA, with the support of the major labels, have been fighting file downloading in all forms while ignoring the media of the internet and PTP networks as a vastly powerful marketing tool. Since the 1960’s, FM radio was a make-it-or-break-it medium for new pop music.

In the last 10 to 15 years radio groups, many of whom own hundreds or in one case over 1000 radio stations in the US, have very much lost their power to reach the young GenY, record buying public. They are better reached via email, on a cell phone or through a peer-to-peer network. Moreover, as much as the RIAA would argue the opposite, some suggest that the idea of an album getting on the Internet for illegal downloads actually boosts its overall sales. The last major artist this phenomenon of an “unauthorized pre-release on the net” happened to was Eminem and his record sold like hotcakes. Expect U2’s How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb to hit store shelves early (but not too early to be the big pop release for the 2004 holiday season) and to sell like wildfire. Most likely the record will sell better than if there was no scandal over the tracks being available on the peer-to-peer networks and the associated free advertising that comes from the story.

I just downloaded the album, and can't wait to dive into it, on my drive up to NJ tonight. I'll let you know how it is!

UPDATE (3:13PM EST): I was excited to write a review of the new U2 album, but after downloading it off Limewire on Friday, I'm embarrassed to admit I was tricked. It said I was downloading U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb", but I really downloaded some wannabe British(?) guy's new album. Brilliant move on his part. I'll try again!


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