A band I have been keeping my eyes on for a few weeks — Them Crooked Vultures — is a week away from releasing their debut album. It’s one of those celebrity rocker projects — John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin, Dave Grohl from Nirvana/Foo Fighters, and Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age/Kyuss. In keeping with the trend set by Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, and others, the band has done an interesting job in building demand for the music through a web site, email newsletter, and the release of a sample song …. through YouTube.
This morning the band notified me via email that the entire album was on YouTube. The website is a great example of leveraging social sharing tools to spread the word — a real time Twitter feed — Facebook integration. So very smart interactive marketing happening behind the scenes.
So I went to YouTube — which is not surprising given that I heard the experts at YouTube/Google once confirm that the most viewed type of content on the service is …. music — and indeed, there were all 13 tracks from the furthcoming release.
Now it gets interesting. I’ve been playing with DoubleTwist all summer — a content “synchronizer/player” developed by DVD Jon. This is a very very very intriguing piece of software that has freed me from the locked tyranny of iTunes so I can manage my digital assets across multiple devices — in other words, I can put iTunes music on my BlackBerry Bold thanks to DoubleTwist. The program has a cool function that also allows one to paste in the url of a YouTube video and import into a local playlist. Five minutes and I had the entire Them Crooked Vultures album on my iPod a week early (I will buy it, the quality of the MP3s is obviously low and sub-par).
So what? Well, the so-what is that the artists are sharing stuff for free on free platforms and I can collect and manage that free stuff using free tools. If I were a credit-card challenged 25-year old who was compelled to build a music library I think I would need look no further than YouTube and DoubleTwist. I look forward to the insights of noted Music Economist Uncle Fester on this “freemium” tactic.