No Doubt Offers Their Entire Back Catalog For Free Download

by Moe Arora on March 4, 2009

No Doubt

While all of us are constantly thinking of new ideas on how to generate revenue in today’s music business, No Doubt has come up with a solution of their own – they’re making their entire catalog available for download – for free.

According to MTV.com, No Doubt will be offering their entire back catalog of music in digital format, for free, for fans who purchase tickets to their upcoming tour. (Technically, it’s not really “free”, as opposed to, “at no additional cost”. But you get the point.)

There are some stipulations – like the deal only applies to tickets priced at $42.50 or more before extra fees, excluding lower price levels and lawn seats. But otherwise fans who sign up online when tickets go on sale on Saturday will get each and every digital song, beginning with the band’s self-titled 1992 debut up through their 2003 The Singles 1992-2003 collection.

That includes The Beacon Street Collection (1995), their 1995 breakthrough Tragic Kingdom, 2000′s Return of Saturn, 2001′s Rock Steady and the 2003 Everything in Time (B-sides, Rarities, Remixes), plus their cover of Adam and the Ants“Stand and Deliver,” the only new recording included in the set.

“Since the band is heading back to the road, we wanted to find a cool way to get people listening to our music and stoke them with a great deal at the same time,” said No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont in a statement announcing the deal for the 80 songs. “With this download, it’s easy for fans to get psyched up to hear our music live once again, and that rocks.”

Although not common, it’s not the first time an act has done something like this. As the article mentions, Prince gave free copies of his CD (yes, a physical copy – not a download code), Musicology, to everybody who attended his 2004 tour.

If the proposed Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger goes through, then we are about to witness the formation of a major power player in the music business, whose main business is not recorded music, but rather live performances. Will this type of concept of giving away free music to boost ticket sales become the norm?

How will this effect the future of the music business?

Will music itself no longer be a product for sale, but only a promotional tool to sell performances and events?

This is not the first incident of offering free music to boost ticket sales, and it certainly won’t be the last; but this is a clear indication of where the major players in the game are leading us as an industry.

Question is, where will it lead us?

{ 5 comments }

TheJennTaFur March 4, 2009 at 10:10 PM

Well at least you have to purchase a ticket to see them perform and then you get the music. LIVE music definitely the future of the music industry. If you can’t perform live, I think your career is either one over or you won’t have one.

I wonder if other artists are going to catch on to this concept.

Michael Jackson is going on tour supposedly this summer. I wonder if he would do this to his music but then he holds a tight reign over the Beatles catalog until his death. Did you see where he wrote in his will that when he dies that the music will be given to Paul McCartney. Question there is who will outlive whom!
http://www.spinner.com/2009/01/06/jackson-leaving-beatles-songs-to-mccartney-in-will/

Great post as always!

youngfreshnew March 4, 2009 at 10:30 PM

Well I got questions. If they are giving the entire catalog for free, do they count that as a sale for Soundscan? Technically it’s not free as you said. It’s an additional once you purchase tickets for the album. I think it’s a cool way to get people to purchase tickets or saying “Thank You” for purchasing a ticket. Then again, how is No Doubt or any artist benefiting from this in the long run? Again, if its something they can put on Soundscan that would be a MAJOR benefit and it wil definitely become a trend. Think about, at the ACC it hold 13,000 people – that’s 13,000 downloads right there. Thats an automatic increase in soundscan sales. If they are playing in 3 venues across Canada and we are estimating 10,000 per venue – that’s 30,000 sales. And thats if they download it. We will have to wait and see on that aspect!

No, slowly labels are merging into digital downloads and it will take years before digital download album surpasses Physical CDs. With this NEW method of selling albums as a promotional bonus with ticket sales, it can defintiely increase the business of the music industry but there has to be some rules and regulations for this. Again, I think it can work but my major question is – will this digital download count as a sale on SoundScan?

Francois Racette March 5, 2009 at 12:08 AM

well several years back prince did that right, get a album wit the ticket. I have always been a huge fan of this method. great “freebee” and awesome way of moving units. As for the SOUNDSCAN comment i’am virtually sure (95%) that you can make it count , cause i did it and have buddies who did it. Where the question is for me is can u do it for tracks on different albums. That one i am not sure. Also i did it with physical Cd’s but should be the same. If you have a unique code for each purchase allowing download during a specific time with maybe some sort of click though agreement saying the content they are about to download is included in the product (said product) they are purchasing and is valid between XX date and XX date. with the name of venue (or list of venues and dates) you should have no problem. It will be like a venue selling sheet.

Oren March 6, 2009 at 10:00 PM

The music biz is screwed. The merger is going to go through and all real artists are going to play back seat to the manufactured boy bands of today and tomorrow. It’s bullshit and it’s happening right now. Fuck Live Nation, Ticketmaster and all major labels. Nas was right about hip-hop being dead, but so is the entire music business. RIP.

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