Long gone are the days when a record label would set a launch date, have the video played nonstop on MTV, and enjoy a clear path to record sales. The world changed irrevocably with digital video distribution and the advent of MP3 stores. So let’s see what we can learn about the future of mobile music by looking at the launch of rock star Rick Springfield’s latest record this week.
The music industry has become very creative in combining different live and multimedia innovations to create buzz for their artist. The traditional website has been customized with content targeting three different devices types: tablets, laptops/desktops and smartphones.
They have also come up with savvy ways of enticing customers to purchase the physical CDs. Music retailers will get additional promotional support by selling a special version of Rick’s new record, with four bonus songs not for sale anywhere online. Rick’s new physical album cover is also connected through an interactive application. You just download the app to your phone or tablet, and then point it at the cover to get bonus digital content on your device. The album comes with four different album covers, all with different songs and bonus content.
Last but not least, the week-long record launch in New York was made more exciting with a variety of events. Rick sang his hit “Jessie’s Girl” to New Yorkers during their morning commute on October 10 at Penn Station. The aging rocker was surrounded by commuters holding not just their take away coffees, but also their video-recording smartphones to capture the moment.
My predictions about the future of mobile music in the Networked Society:
• Mobile devices shape how music is consumed
• Comprehensive multimedia approaches with multiple innovations fundamental to creating buzz
• Live element is and will remain key in driving music revenues because live experience is impossible to bring online
• Younger generations might not understand “record” concept, but launching a collection of songs will always be a key moment for music lovers