Remember when all those Daft Punk commercials came out earlier this year and gave a call-to-action to pre-order Random Access Memories on iTunes?
At the time I speculated that you wouldn’t be seeing the album on any of the streaming services. Why would they, both Daft Punk and Apple, go through all that effort with the commercials, the videos on Youtube, all to promote a pre-order and then make it available on Spotify?
But it WAS available on streaming services on release day. So what did we learn? Don’t pre-order music.
In high school I knew of people who stayed went to record stores at midnight to get Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy. Back then it was possible for an album to go out of stock, so if Pearl Jam was that important to you then a midnight trip to a record store was insurance that you wouldn’t have to wait a week for a re-stock.
But then internet and scarcity and you know the rest.
With this Beyonce thing, Beyonce owned the tech and music news for a day. And for a short time, say midnight to 12:07am, you could only find the Beyonce album on iTunes – at least until torrents started popping up.
I’ve seen more and more artists aligning behind certain retailers. Rdio appears to promote exclusives on artists you’ve never heard of. Apple can get Beyonce, because at least they’ll make 70%.
This is probably going to happen a lot more. Well thought marketing campaigns aren’t enough if there are options other than “BUY NOW.”