Sunday, July 01, 2007

For a Princely Sum

Do artists need traditional channels to market? Do they even need to play by the traditional rules?

We have already written about Stephen King who broke the rules with “Riding the Bullet’ and is now bringing his latest work out in Esquire. There are others such as Paul McCartney whose latest album is available from Starbucks. Now comes the latest artist to do they own thing, Prince.

Prince has been paid a reputed £500K to let the Mail on Sunday to freely distribute his new album ‘Planet Earth’ with every newspaper! Never before has an artist released their new album as a giveaway. Already HMV CEO Simon Fox has referred to it as ‘absolutely nuts’ and fears the move will further devalue its product.

The result is that the UK arm of Sony BMG’s Columbia records has now withdrawn from its global deal to distribute the 10-track album.

The move is brave, but now artists are not longer restricted by yesterday’s rules. The trick is to work with artists, not deride them and ignore them. After, Napster, Kazza, MySpace etc you expect the music industry to have learnt something by now.