Broadcast & Satellite

Sony, Universal Plan “Instant” Singles To Beat Pirates

image from freethumbs.dreamstime.com In a reversal of a decades old marketing strategy, Sony and Universal will begin putting new singles for sale as downloads on the same day that they are released to radio. The new policy, which the labels hope will encourage younger users to pay for a new song rather than grab it free, is being implemented first at the UK branches of the two label groups, but seems likely to spread to other territories.

Previously, labels gave radio up to six weeks before they released the for songs for sale hoping to "set up" the record by building interest that would drive first week sales and chart position.

"Wait is not a word in the vocabulary of the current generation. It's out of date to think that you can build up demand for a song by playing it for several weeks on radio in advance," according to David Joseph, the chief executive of Universal Music UK.

"What we were finding under the old system, was the searches for songs on Google or iTunes were peaking two weeks before they actually became available to buy," added Joseph, "meaning that the public was bored of or had already pirated the new singles."

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6 Comments

  1. I can’t believe it took them this long to understand. We thought of that with brand new artist and no radio promo.. jeez..

  2. Yes, it’s about time that whole “build-up” crap is going to stop. But are there still enough people listening to the radio to even care at this point?

  3. The record labels need to stop focusing on “building up hype” for a song and focus on distributing the music because that’s what the fans really want.
    http://www.disrupt.fm looks to be heading in the right direction. I’d like to see some more coverage on Disrupt.fm, from what I can tell it looks like they launched not too long ago. I really think they might have found a promising way to distribute music in the digital age

  4. I honestly love seeing this, especially running an Indie Label here in the US who focuses on the “anti-machine” and paleolithic ways of an antiquated “Radio” past. It’s nice to know that professional ground standing (aka: arguing) with would be ” HUGE Los Angeles and New York based PR” firms and Radio song pluggers about my points stand valid. This is a NEW generation, not the old model. Bravo, but seriously….we already knew this!
    This is why I launch my artists overseas….the Euro fans and buyers SEEK online sources FOR new music. They understand. Radio? That was a fun payola way to control the sheeple and feed you in a hypnotic trance “YOU LIKE THIS!”
    Out with the “album cycle” and in with the digital single revolution
    How do you think Avery Watts is doing so well without the Machine? He has progressive Music, a manager that gets it and a real fanbase.

  5. Yep – giving disrupt.fm a go.
    I am a recording artist and I own and run a label that has done and does both commercial and free digital releases.
    Personally i like to give my music away for FREE as a gift back to the world. This brings balance, as i have done my fair share of buying music as well as pirating popular albums using torrents, cd burning and exploiting the internet for FREE downloads. I find i will use torrents to get old and new albums from established and popular acts and i love all the netlabels for the free 320mp3s downloads! The netlabels generally release music and artists that are not destined, in a niche genre or not interested in ‘hitting the big time’, there is much great music to found, for those willing to look!.
    CD’s are so 90’s.
    So – im dobbing myself in here in regards to the torrent downloads and piracy – honestly, whom has not done this in some way, whether it be using torrents or getting a friend to burn an album to CD-R, knowing full well that you are stealing and not supporting the artists that made the album that u will likely get much enjoyment from. – i mean shit, the companies that make blank media probably make squillions more than most of the artists getting burnt?!
    On the other hand, would u know all the music and artists you know and love – if it wasn’t for pirates sharing their bounty. As an underground artist, i calculate that more than half the people that have and enjoy my music have obtained it by copying from a friend that introduces them to my music and existence, and some would have got it direct from my website and promotions of free music.
    ‘Go with the flow – keep ya finger on the pulse’ – the best advice is to have your own website as the central hub for all your web activity. Be active across many social media, forums, distributors, web 2.0 as you can, but always direct traffic to your main website.

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