Marketing music in the digital age

I’m assuming they are to get attention and not much else.

Kanye West released his new album today and the packaging looks cheap. A standard completely see-through jewel case, a CD with no label on it [both sides looks like the underside of the disk except for maybe some small text] and a sticker on the cellophane in the back. I don’t think there even was a sticker to say who’s CD it was. No booklet. No inlay.

I’m assuming it is an advertising gimmick [typical of the rappers and hip-hop artists mostly] and not a way to sell the disc cheap. IT wasn’t that cheap.

Over time, I have seen similar discs release like this.

Unsure if it was to reduce costs or to be more environmentally correct, but I’ve seen a regular full album CD released in a cardboard sleeve [not the “gate fold” type – just a sleeve]. No booklet. Just an album cover and title on the front and the track listing and copyright notice on the back.

One of the oddest albums was from Nine Inch Nails [I’m not a fan but someone I knew was and mentioned the album] where there were something 99 tracks on the album [I believe the maximum that can be on a CD]. About 8 actual tracks with a song were scattered throughout the 99 tracks. Because of the CD format, each non-music track lasted a minimum of 10 seconds. Even then, I don’t think the album was longer than 45 minutes. [Could be wrong on the lengths and number of tracks but you get the idea.]

A more recent album by a punk rock [got it right?] band had an album that totaled something like 25 minutes and contain something like 20 tracks for just over a minute per track. [Once again, could be wrong on the lengths and number of tracks but you get the idea.]

And of course some will release oddly shaped CD cases or throw in something with the album like a beer bottle opener or something.

Some will release “special” packaging where you get the same music but instead of being released in a standard jewel case, it’s released in a slightly different package such as a steel case. Big woopie.

Question is whether these will actually entice people to buy them more than if they were just in a boring jewel case or digipack.

This is the marketing of the music industry now. Yes, CD sales have dwindled over the years as digital downloads but whether or not these gimmicks [or in some cases not a gimmick but done on purpose] help is anyone’s guess.

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About ebraiter
computer guy

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