Bloc Party To Rush Release Album Digitally

Earlier this year we reported on the aftermath of Radiohead giving away In Rainbows as a pay what you want download. At the time, it was still hard to tell the effects of the band's move. There was no doubt that it caused a few nightmares for record executives, but would it kick start a rebellion of artists against their labels? Now, ten months later, the short answer is no. Although Madonna, U2, and Jay-Z are all bailing regular record labels in favor of Live Nation, Hard Candy is $13.95 no matter how much you beg your iTunes to let you get it for $5.00.

Rather than a full scale mutiny, Radiohead has inspired giving away free music as a new marketing tool. To draw publicity to their new album, Coldplay offered their first single, "Violet Hill" as a free download on their website. The track went on the be downloaded over two million times and it's parent album, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends eventually went #1 in 36 countries. It's impossible to quantify how much of that was influenced by the free song and how much can be attributed to the fact that they are Coldplay. In their wake, both Keane and the Streets gave away free music as album promotion.

Bloc Party, however, is trying a new online marketing scheme. Their third studio album, Intimacy, is slated for release in late October. Of course, it's going to leak sometime before then as albums always do. They have the same idea as Radiohead that if their music is going to leak anyways, why not leak it themselves. Unfortunately, they aren't going to be just giving Intimacy away. This Thursday, three months before its physical release, Bloc Party is digitally releasing the album on their website. Fans who pre-order the physical version of the album from will immediately receive the digital version upon purchase and, to make the deal sweeter, the two versions will feature slightly different track listings. In the coming weeks we'll see just how effective this new marketing strategy is and if it has any effect over combating piracy.

Go download Intimacy this Thursday at


Bronson said...

I wish Bloc Party gave away free music.

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