That’s The Way To Do It!

Even now with 2010 upon us, we still see oldschool record labels  putting only short clips of their new singles online – I guess to prevent illegal copying of the 96kps MySpace version. Presumably the idea is that we’ll all be so astounded by hearing a fraction of this fantastic song that we’ll rush out and buy the download just to hear how the rest of it goes. By the same logic their pluggers ought to only give Radio 1 ninety second clips of their singles in case we illegally tape them off the radio. Surely it makes no sense in a world of ferocious competition to restrict exposure for a key track you’re trying to promote, in the one place where people are likely to hear it?

Bored In Belgium

So  kudos to This Is Fake DIY Records for the way they’re promoting “Bored In Belgium” – the new single from THE VICTORIAN ENGLISH GENTLEMENS CLUB. You can not only hear the single in full on the record company website, but they even provide free code so you can embed it on your own web page as well, like this:

I reckon we should all go out and buy the single, on a point of general principle. If you fancy trying this embedded widget approach for promoting your own next single, the system that they’re using is the excellent Fairtilizer.

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...


  1. Greeble Few

    Ah, but playing devil’s advocate – at what point do we come so close to just giving it away, that we just give it away and find some other way of making it all work financially?

  2. We already need to find some other way of making it all work financially – for one possibility check out

    Just for the record, the label aren’t giving away free downloads of the above single. They’re just letting people hear it for free online… The argument is over whether this will decrease or increase sales.

  3. Not wishing to sound all Bono-like [Dawkins forbid!] If a track can be streamed it can be recorded by Audacity or similar… Now where’s that “Home Taping Is Killing Music” T-Shirt?

  4. Haha – well that’s true Steve, if somebody’s absolutely determined to save themselves 79p at all costs, they can indeed rip the streaming audio from a web page. But it’ll only ever be 96kbps quality from MySpace and 128kbps from most others.

    Whereas if a track’s played on Radio 1 it can be recorded through a decent FM stereo in very-much-better-than-mp3 quality. But you never hear of record companies only letting Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens broadcast 90 second clips of their latest releases.

    There’s no logic to it, that’s all I’m saying.

    Only a tiny minority of artists ever get their work played on national radio in any case. If an artist won’t even stream it on their own web page how else are people ever going to hear it?

  5. David Campbell & The Talk

    I did my thesis on illegal file sharing or ‘sampling’ and it’s effect on legitimate music demand. I managed to get my hands on some great data from the French Government on their Hadopi law. Anyway I was able to find a correlation between illegal downloading, and legitimate demand for music where an equilibrium was reached showing ‘sampling’ or illegal downloading, to increase legitimate demand and music sales!

    To conclude, I agree! Make music more accessible !

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