Indie Labels Try To Challenge Early Leakers

Jun 20th, 2007 // 7 Comments

31484.newpornoscover.jpgToday’s Chicago Tribune takes a look at the efforts being taken by indie labels to maintain sales in this time of early leaks and .zip-happy fans. As an incentive to fans who aren’t really into the whole “paying for music” deal, two of this summer’s (relatively) biggest releases–the New Pornographers’ Challengers and Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga–are being gussied up with extensive add-on tracks and/or packaging, and the New Pornos’ approach is particularly ambitious: Matador is offering an “executive edition” box set that comes with 4,124 additional songs (approximately), and the label has set some high SoundScan expectations for the record:

..,The promotion for the “Challengers” album is the most aggressive the label has offered to date. Matador hopes to sell 250,000 copies of the album, which [Patrick Amory, Matador's general manager] called a “very good” figure for an indie label. The group’s 2005 release, “Twin Cinema,” sold 160,000 copies.

So far, it has been effective. More than 1,000 people have prepaid for the executive package of “Challengers,” Amory said.

A quarter of a million may seem like an awfully lofty goal, but it could happen, especially since the Pornos appeal to just the sort of music nerds who would want to hear as many alternate takes as possible. That said, the group’s name still makes our parents very, very uncomfortable, so that demo may be lost to them forever.

Pumping up promotions [Chicago Tribune]

  1. NickEddy

    A friend brought up an interesting idea: a lot of the music that gets swiped is stuff that people wouldn’t pay for. Not qualitatively, but as in: sure, thinks DL-er, I’ll check out the purportedly hot new “FireFlight of Two Albinos”* record, or snake a couple of tracks, but would never have bought it. With radio sucking so very hard, and non-virtual stores disappearing, the avid listener is out there trying to find new tunes still. How much is “lost” by people taking stuff they never would have heard? Kinda zen, she thought.

    A weird argument to be sure, but sorta made me think. Not defending the logic really. Also not an alibi of/endorsement for people taking every single new release and posting it.

    * mastered lousy, don’t bother. Also does not exist

  2. Bazooka Tooth

    Yeah, I hope one of those bonuses to the new New Pornographers record is good songs. Because I downloaded an advanced copy and it blows– which makes me glad I downloaded it and didn’t pay for it. Plus, it’s already deleted from my computer, so no harm, no foul, as I look at it.

  3. Emerson Dameron

    The entire mashup genre, and a lot of associated novelty stars, exist because of DL-ing. Danger Mouse and (possibly) Girl Talk staked serious careers on it, but it’s not the Next Wave unless there’s money in it, and people will download TONS of shit they’d never pay for. If you’re going to rise out of that mass, you have to be amazing.

    I can’t imagine New Pornographers moving that many units – not with so many more new players on their turf than last time, and with, you know, everything else – but I’m sure a lot of people will “check it.” And I’m sure they’ll cash in on tour.

  4. joshservo

    @aquameni: Look no further for Raftery’s replacement, Idolator. This guy has a way with record criticism that could take your site to the next level. “It blows.” I mean, it’s punchy, it makes it’s point, it moves on.

    Good show, Aquameni. I mean, really, I feel like I don’t even need to hear the record now. I’m going to download it and erase it, just to really stick it to those smug Canuck fanucks. Keep on keepin’ on, and I’ll see you in the pit of the next Rage reunion.

  5. nffcnnr

    “Challengers” is a weak album. Full of flavorless songs that pale in comparison to their previous 3 excellent LP’s. Good try, New Pornos, maybe next time. Good luck moving those quarter million units, though. ppfffth

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