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MGMT’s Congratulations Album

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Let’s rewind: March 9th was the day “Flash Delirium” from Congratulations was released by MGMT. Within 24 hours I spotted “Congratulations” on a blog and saw it was deleted within another 24 hours. Last night the entire album was leaked so MGMT decided to present the songs on their website. A quick google search lead me to the entire album in several zip files. Now twitter is starting to light up with the notes as well. The album is still suppose to be released on April 13th (but the members of MGMT have said they would like to just give the music away for free… which makes sense).

This is a great example of how the current music industry REALLY needs to change shape. We don’t listen to music on vinyl anymore. The songs are going to be harder and harder to track and contain. Comedians manage their intellectual property much better: they create some jokes, quietly practice them at some open mics or in the middle of a larger set, and add them to their repertoire. Then, just before they are about to dump all their old stuff, they do a live recording and write a book. Then they sell that album (they usually only charge $5) and books while using these vehicles to create buzz for their new shows. They sprinkle in the old work through their new work to keep fans happy. In the end: they make their money on the live performances NOT on a few album sales.

The difference between a comedian and a musician is… well… nothing. They both provide new ideas and audio entertainment to carry around in our skulls. There was never a comedy industry because comedians were smart and able to work on their own with very little help.

Musicians have it all wrong. They need to be in more control of their work. Distribution is MUCH easier now. PR is MUCH easier now. Your IP is less about the album sales and more about your live venue sales.

The music industry can do more focus on wrangling in better performers (comedians, musicians, whatever) and promoting shows with bigger audiences and higher ticket prices. Give away free samples but keep charging when the music is used commercially and in arenas.


Written by Michael Donovan

20/03/2010 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Business

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