Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trend Spotting: The Free Album

Radiohead made headlines back in 2007 when it offered its newest album for free on the internet. For established artists that have more bargaining power with their labels, free albums appear to be an increasingly popular way to get music to their fans.

The most recent artist to venture into the realm of free will be Angels & Airwaves, fronted by Blink-182's Tom DeLonge.
The group's third studio album, "Love," will arrive February 14 as a free digital download. DeLonge and Angels & Airwaves manager Rick DeVoe agree that self-releasing the 10-song set is a financial risk, especially with DeLonge spending up to $500,000 of his own money to fund the process. But the artist hopes to recoup through corporate sponsorships, touring, merchandise sales, premium exclusive tracks and videos on the band's Web site and by selling a deluxe version of "Love" with 30 minutes of exclusive bonus material.

As more artists go this route and are able to make money from the venture, expect to see more free albums.

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