Thursday, 4 September 2008

You don't make friends with unsolicited emails

Yesterday I received an email from 3D World, a street press in Sydney...
Not so unusual, considering that I subscribe to a bunch of mailing lists from a variety of media and music/film/theatre promoters.

The problem with this one though is that I don't subscribe to the 3D World mailing list.

Their explanation for sending this unsolicited email was:

"Now that the Central Station clan has been married into the 3D World family, we want to include all of you in the benefits of membership, like this weekly dose of dance music goodness... Enjoy, and let us know what you think."

My understanding is that both 3D World and Central Station are owned by Destra.

I am on the mailing list for Central Station - and now that they are part of the same company, 3D World feels as though it is ok to send me their newsletter too.

This 3D World email came to me only a week after I read about their massive security stuff up, where they accidentally exposed the usernames and passwords of over 700 of their members. Doesn't really give you much faith in their systems, does it?

So, 3D World, you wanted to know what I think:
I think that an introduction email would have been better than a 'welcome to our crew' email. Maybe even something that asked for my permission to add me to your mailing list. Please don't assume my preferences. And please don't make me feel as though I am being spammed. I like your street press, but right now I don't have the need for you in my inbox.

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Tuesday, 2 September 2008

A mix of country, and glam electronica

The latest release from Midnight Juggernauts is their remix of Johnny Cash's 'Port of Lonely Hearts'.

It has been put together for the Johnny Cash remix album, which is due for release in mid-October.

The original track was just three verses, sung from the point of view of a marooned sailor.

Listen to the Juggy's version here, thanks to Palms Out Sounds.
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Marketing new tracks via the internet

Did you hear that recently the FBi arrested a blogger in the US for leaking nine previously unreleased tracks from the forthcoming Guns n Roses album Chinese Democracy?

This blogger faces 3 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. He’s the first Californian resident to be charged in a new anti-piracy law which makes it a felony to distribute copywrited work on computer networks before its release.

Slash's response was “I hope he rots in jail.”

This made me wonder why the members of Guns n Roses couldn't see the benefit in what has happened here. The sheer amount of promotion that they received via blogs talking up the new tracks would have to outweigh the purchase value of these tracks. Perhaps it's because they started their music careers in a time when the internet wasn't widely used to distribute and share music, but more and more artists are now seeing the value of offering free mp3s, mixtapes, and visual content. It gets the fans sharing, talking, and ultimately increases their loyalty to your music.

The power of marketing tunes via the internet was also demonstrated this week when Estelle's label, Warner, removed American Boy from iTunes to try to get fans to buy physical copies instead, which earn more money for the company. Rather than earning more money however, the removal of this track saw American Boy (which had been sitting at #11 in the US charts) plummet to #37. They also removed her album 'Shine', which dropped to #159 in the albums chart, after having sat at #38.

Most people wouldn't buy clothing without trying it on, and I think a similar mentality is now entering the purchase of albums. Why buy a 12 track album, without having sampled 2 or 3 of the tracks already. And why would you buy those 2 or 3 tracks as singles, if you're planning on purchasing the entire album at the end anyway? Majority of consumers would download the singles as free mp3s, then once they've had a listen, they'd complete the album purchase.
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