The more I think about it, the more the coincidence between both U2 and Eminem being with the same label (Interscope/Geffen) becomes less amazing.
Let’s allow our imaginations to run wild, and see if there is some sort of a pattern here:
Two monster acts both have big follow up releases. Each of their CDs, scant weeks before their official release date, "mysteriously" end up on the P2P networks. Eminem’s album goes on to sell sells 19 million copies; Now, its U2’s turn; Their album comes out November 23rd.
We can also presume that both U2 and Eminem understand P2P a wee bit better than does their label.
What else do we know? Traditional radio stations as a source of breaking new music is way past the height of its power; Now, its glory is fading. We’ve discussed too many times how consolidation has led to increasingly narrow playlists; An artist that wants to break away from rigid formats might find themselves hamstrung by new radio.
Both U2 and Eminem are well established, multi-platinum selling artists. They are each in their own ways anti-authority, in their music as well as personas.
And as we’ve mentioned yesterday, each of them — get out your tinfoil hats — have Interscope/Geffen as a label. (“Just because you are paranoid doen’t mean they aren’t after you” said Philip K. Dick).
Tragedy Of The Commons
Are these P2P releases being done with Interscope’s tacit permission? Are some younger execs secretly greenlighting these P2P promos, unbeknowst to senior management? I cannot say for sure, but its an intriguing possibility.
Consider the competitive advantage for the first label that breaks ranks with the others. While the big 4 (3?) labels maintain their uniform opposition to P2P in public, behind the scenes, they have adjusted to some new realities. Many use tracking services like Big Champagne to keep abreast of the P2P top movers. They know the old model is dead; They simply haven’t come to grips with a new one.
The first label to embrace P2p as the new radio promotional machine will garner a windfall. The other labels will either let them maintain this enormous advantage — or they will have to join them.
Makes for interesting theorizing.