Indie Labels Plan Their Big-Box Assault

gimme.jpgAccording to an Entertainment Weekly report, a few independent labels–including Vice, Matador, and Sub Pop–are planning to court the Wal-Mart crowd with compilations designed to reel in people who aren’t refreshing the Hype Machine hourly. Indie has gone the K-Tel route before, but this time, the focus will be on newer songs:

These bands’ records sell really well to a particular audience,” says Adam Shore, the publicist for Vice Records, which aims to release the first volume this July (they’re already the American home to high-profile acts Bloc Party, the Streets, and Charlotte Gainsbourg). ”But even though these artists are getting all this media exposure, they’re not necessarily crossing over to a very casual record buyer.” The plan of action? ”We’re partnering with MTV2, and the focus is going to be Walmarts, big box stores, red states, and TV advertising — to really go beyond…. We don’t really expect indie-rock stores to support this record. It’s for the casual fan.”

So how will these casual fans get inspired to buy these comps? Our strategies after the jump.

Bargain-basement prices: Sure, slashing the cost of music is the nature of the big-box beast, but what if you made these comps really cheap, like $2.99, and stuck ‘em in the checkout aisle?

Front-loading the comp with more popular tracks: Slap your biggest bands’ most brooding moments on the front cover, and voila–you’ve got a 12-track maxi-single for the Postal Service song that people heard while picking up the season-five Law & Order DVDs at Target.

Bundling copes with the latest edition of Now: Just think of the pitch: “If you liked ‘My Love,’ you’ll love that song where that English dude talks about being coked up at 11:15 in the morning.” (Okay, maybe the exact pitch needs some work.)

Telling Kele Okereke to keep quiet about politics: At least until Volume 2 comes out–after all, a prominent place in Wal-Mart means that he’s inching ever-so-closer to the Limbaugh radar.

Now That’s What I Call Awesome []

  • brasstax

    One problem is that Joe Blow record buyer won’t know who sings that song he might’ve liked in the Target commercial or what have you, so a cd like this without any sort of context applied (just a bunch of crazy names he’s never heard of) will be just about as appetizing as boiled spinach. The $2.99 thing was probably a joke, but unless they really do ring up under $5.00 the labels will have missed the point.

  • JudgeFudge

    I, for one, am thrilled that this compilation is coming out. I’ve played the Garden State Soundtrack so many times that its almost completely worn out. Finally, I’ll have more songs by wierd bands to put on mixtapes for girls that I like!

  • Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    @JudgeFudge: Bingo.

  • StevenPatrickMorrissey

    telling kele okereke to keep his mouth shut about politics won’t make the average joe go out and bloc party especially when his political stance is readily apparent in tracks like “helicopter”, “price of gas”, “hunting for witches”, etc…

    besides there’s nothing wrong with musicians speaking out. you can choose to not listen.

  • DJorn

    I honestly can’t tell whether or not SPM (above) is serious.

  • StevenPatrickMorrissey

    why wouldn’t i be serious?

    do you really think his stance isn’t easy to point out in the songs in their songs? or do you feel that musicians shouldn’t be able to voice their own opinions?

  • bambino

    holy crap you’re entertaining SPM (south park mexican? wha?)

  • Sweetstatic

    Anything that promotes good music is a good idea. I bet the price won’t be that bad. Hey if those bad kids groups things can cover Modest Mouse then why can’t the youngins hear the real thing. Really it seems like a no lose situation to me.

  • Billie Vauter

    Can I connection up to this, through my url page? I’m going to get as many causes of information and facts as i am able.