Prince Gives Away 3 Million CDs

Jul 16th, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Music

PrinceThe UK’s Mail On Sunday has given away about three million copies of Prince’s new album, Planet Earth. The promotion has generated heated debate in the UK, because some consider the giveaway an insult to the music industry.

The giveaway is a high-profile example of an established musician experimenting with new ways of getting their music into new hands. With the giveaway, Prince is working around traditional promoters, record stations and retailers, cutting a deal that gets millions of his CDs on the street in one day. That means the CD’s reach will be many times his previous release, 3121, which sold about 80,000 copies in the UK.

“It’s direct marketing and I don’t have to be in the speculation business of the record industry which is going through a lot of tumultuous times right now,” said the Minneapolis musician when asked why he was giving the CD away.

“Prince has done this because he makes most of his money these days as a performing artist,” said the Mail on Sunday’s editor, Peter Wright. “He’s got a fantastic series of concerts coming up at the O2 Dome and this is a way of telling people what he’s doing.”

Music Industry Threatens Retaliation Over Free Music

The deal has sent shockwaves through the record industry.

The Entertainment Retailers Association has gone so far as suggesting that Prince, and others that, like him, experiment with alternate ways of promoting their music, will be banned from the industry.“The Artist Formerly Known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores,” said Entertainment Retailers Association co-chairman Paul Quirk recently. “And I say that to all the other artists who may be tempted to dally with the Mail on Sunday.”

No Responses to “Prince Gives Away 3 Million CDs”

  1. Murphy says:

    Paul Quirk should get his head out of his ass ‚Äî the days of trade organizations, musical “rights” groups and others telling musicians what they can or can’t do with their music are over.

    Got that, Paul? Over.

    The music industry can do all the banning they like, but it’ll be just another way to shoot themselves in their cloven hooves. Many independent musicians are doing just fine selling their music their way.

    And let’s face it, the traditional record companies are all about money. If they can find a way to survive on a smaller scale with a different business model, they’ll do it. The difference is, the traditional record industry is no longer the house ‚Äî and artists are dealing.

  2. guscave says:

    With all the controversy that he’s created with this, Prince is sure to clean up nicely when this record come out to the rest of the world.

    The record label should be kissing his royal purple ass for such great marketing. Count me in for a copy.

  3. And the major labels wonder why people such as myself, a huge music fan hold them in such contempt…

  4. info says:

    Murphy – tell us how you really feel!

    The music industry is all about money – but I sometimes wonder why we expect them not to be all about money. The software industry is all about money. The art world is all about money.

    The people I feel sorry for are the small record shops. They are getting f’d out of existence by the record labels cutting sweet deals with Wal-Mart and Best Buy, by music fans sharing music, and by musicians like Prince that are going direct to their fans.

    I’m going to miss record shops….

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