Bloc Party Continue The Digital Revolution


As the traditional methods of music distribution continue to decline, more and more artists are experimenting with the alternatives.

The latest artist to do so is Bloc Party, who announced today that they will be releasing their upcoming third album, Intimacy, online from this Thursday. The album, while not as 'free' as the likes of Radiohead & Saul Williams' offerings, is still pretty damned cheap. The digital download will be available from Thursday at £5 a pop. A CD version will be available for £8, and will be delivered a week later. £10 will get you a bundle with both CD and mp3, if you want the CD but absolutely must hear it on Thursday.

Reasons why I welcome this news:

  • 'Free' was never really going to work, but given the current downloading climate, 'the old fashioned way' was never really going to work either.
  • Having so much pirated material out there may be wrong, but like it or not it still cheapens the product in the consumer's eye. So you have to compromise. I've long thought this whole thing is about hitting a happy medium: appealing to people's good nature and still giving them a bargain. Show us a fair deal and we'll take you up on it.
  • Also, Bloc Party are including more songs on the CD version of the album. Smart incentive, and...
  • ...even paying £8 for the CD is totally reasonable, and more than likely covers the production cost.
So kudos to Bloc Party for shaking things up. To my eyes this seems like the kind of mix that just might work. Also, after single number one (below) I'm quite excited about hearing the rest of the record.

Roll on Thursday...

Bloc Party- Mercury

Intimacy will be available from Bloc Party's home page.

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2 comments:

August 21, 2008 at 7:19 PM Anonymous said...

I totally agree, but I wish they'd take it to the next level and combine their digital sales with vinyl. A lot of artists have already released LP's with coupons/inserts that have a code for the purchaser to later go online and download the tracks for free. The quality of digital music can often be quite poor and the space available on a record to create something special is so much greater. So personally, I'd love more groups to press their new records and combine an offering with a digital compliment, but this is still a step in the right direction.

August 23, 2008 at 2:25 PM Peter N said...

A great appraisal of the current music market. I agree £8 aint bad for the album and a tenner for both formats is great. The thing is the Bloc Party fans will buy the album. The rest of us unsure as to their greatness don't want to shell out money for music that won't be listened to. I love Michael Franti's initiative. 100 quid gets you the new album and a hamper full of goodies. If I were a massive Franti fan I'd buy it!