Crazy: More disaggregation of marketing

A band called Gnarls Barkley (which looks like the kind of letters one picks up at Scrabble…) has a number one in the UK charts today, with a song called Crazy. Full story here.

It doesn’t matter that I haven’t heard of it. My children have. (And, believe it or not, my wife as well). What matters is the following:

  • 1. It is the first download-only track to make number 1 in the UK
  • 2. Two weeks ago it topped iTunes.
  • 3. It has reversed a recent trend (maybe the last 10 years) where the biggest selling week for a single was week 1, driven by aggressive (and expensive) marketing.
  • 4. Just two years ago, CD singles outstripped downloads by a factor of about 30:1. This year download singles are outstripping CDs by 3:1.

So. Cheaper to produce and deliver and market. More sustainable chart position as well. It is only a matter of time before CDs (and DVDs) are given free with downloads to act as your “back-up” copy, and you have tiered payments for the digital version. Single-use. Multiple copies allowed provided no commercial use. Sampling allowed. Anything allowed.

And guess what? The “anything allowed” version will sell at around today’s “hardcopy” version.

Let me know what you think

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