Indie Band Responds To $1 Promo Controversy

Yesterday Hypebot profiled indie band Officer Roseland's offer to pay fans $1 to download their new album. The promotion drew strong comments from some readers who thought the scheme devalued the band – and indie music in general. The band's Dan Daidone responded to the controversy:

Officer Roseland
Our initial intention was to see what the general public would do if given the choice of "Give or Take" for their $1.00 stimulus payment for downloading our album.  A sociological experiment of sorts.  Is it gimmicky? Sure.  This being our 4th release, we've learned (often, the hard way) some lessons about music and marketing.  Our main objective is to gain new listeners and to help a worthy cause.  Obviously, the timing of this release could NOT have been better and truthfully, this idea was spawned soon after people were receiving their initial stimulus payments from G.W. Bush, LONG before the Obama stimulus plan was even a thought! 

For the "Take" portion (where the fan actually gets paid) the band will be pay $1.00 through paypal. We are funding that through our own (the bands) money.  However, because no one in the band is independently wealthy, we are most likely putting a cap on the limit of "take" dollars that we pay, and from then on, the album will be FREE For life. 

The "Give" portion is (hopefully) being funded by sponsors who are helping us with this cause. We do have some sponsors already, but not nearly enough to fund the entire program (At this time).

 It made sense, in several ways, to contribute to a music based charity and the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation was interested in what we were doing. – Dan

Read comments of band member Brian Jones and join the discussion here.

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  1. A no name band is attempting to get some notice, that is fine. If it were Radiohead or U2 it would work, but unless this bands music is just that amazing they will just be a footnote. The bottom line is there is no magic bullet boys and girls. It takes a building proccess of recording, touring and touring some more as you build a fan base. Even the power of American Idol with millions of viewers has eluded fame for the vast majority of them, even the winners. The real winners in the direct to fan base are the bands like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead who had a major do the hard leg work early in thier career, building the band through promotion, advertising, records, PR and touring support and then the band piggybacked off of that to harness the big lables help for the move to superstar indie. If some band thinks that bribing fans will make them respected or well known that is a small chance. The fact is they will more than likely end up as a punchline no matter how good thier intentions are.

  2. Look, you can have a magic bullet and he fact is they have got a LOT of press out of this, which was ultimately the aim.
    Koopa , who were the first unsigned artists to hit the UK top 40 singles chart signed a deal with a massive US label, even though people criticised their music.
    Its the hype that will set you apat from other groups, and Koopa WERE technically unsigned. They used http://www.dittomusic.com to do ther back office and distribute it, making them techinically still unsigned

  3. So if an already successful (financially) band did this you would be impressed? What impresses me is that they are literally putting THEIR money where their mouth is. These guys have big ones no matter how you spin it. Sounds like good PR to me.

  4. If this was such good PR, then why have you yet to say anything about the band’s music yet? Obviously it didn’t resonate deep enough.

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