Indie Music

Arcade Fire Rethinks Album Format, Tells No One

Normally, Topspin CEO Ian Rogers makes good on his Vanna White style of presenting the albums that he works on, buys, and films himself opening like a kid on Christmas. For whatever reason, when he clicked through Arcade Fire’s new album Suburbs, which comes with digital art that’s synchronized to the music, I felt a little underwhelmed. Now, I’m starting to realize that it wasn’t for lack of Rogers dazzling display; it was I that didn’t understand the significance.

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First, the group didn’t tell anyone – including their fans – that Suburbs had this feature. Second, I now get that beyond encouraging fans to buy the record, this method also encourages a huge Easter egg hunt -  that can last for hours on end – yet wasn’t readily apparent in this video. Here’s a video look into how Arcade Fire bundled an interactive digital picture book into their new release:

Arcade Fire The Suburbs Synchronized Artwork Version from ian rogers.

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  1. I don’t believe these files were provided to the big online music stores – my version from emusic doesn’t include this functionality. I would bet that Amazon and iTunes are non-compatible, or some other issue as well, or band ONLY wanted it to be available D2C through their site, and perhaps that was why no big press announcement, which would probably confuse fans.

  2. @Nick C.
    Don’t you understand the significance? To reiterate what Kyle posted, this method encourages an Easter egg hunt of sorts. Meaning that the first time you see this happening as you’re listening to the album, you’re reaction will be similar to an “Holy crap!!! That’s sweeetttt!!!!” and then begins the research on the album, how they pulled this off, etc. Then that leads you to many different fan blogs of the band. Which then leads you to more of their music. Which then… see where this is going?
    The open-ended opportunity alone creates unprecedented value in this. I applaud the effort.

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