Music sales have evolved substantially in method over the course of the past decade and it seems they continue to do so. This week David Gray exclusively launched his live album ‘Lost and Found – Live in Dublin’ via Groupon. The sale of music via Groupon isn’t without precedent with Rihanna’s hit release ‘Loud’ being a notable use of the service. Loud was available for half price at $5 during last years holiday season, however the key differentiator here is that Gray’s album has been exclusively released digitally via Groupon with a physical copy being released later in the year by Gray’s record label, Downtown Records. The week long promotion for Gray’s album also includes a free download of a track from the CD entitled ‘Lately’ to whet the appetites of would be purchasers.
Having amassed 12 million album sales in his career as well as sold out tours, Gray is certainly a success. His career has spanned through the evolution of music sales having come into fruition during the dawn of digital. However Gray has moved with the times and this is undoubtedly a forward thinking move by the people involved especially at a time when it seems major labels are quite reluctant to let go of legacy distribution methods and models and innovate.
Of course the discounted sale of music is nothing original but it is very much so when put in the context of Groupon. It opens the doors of crowed-sourcing, enabling a new level of engagement between artists and fans. If a minimum sale threshold is implemented ie 100,000 people have to purchase for the deal to go ahead this will very well spurn fans who want to take advantage of the price cut to get their friends, colleagues etc to jump on board and we may very well see word of mouth taking a life of its own.
If successful, this model could prove to be of great value to upcoming artists and bands, even on a smaller scale depending on their outreach. So instead of 100,000 a smaller band might do a deal aiming for 1000 fans to jump on board.
The deals model is also effective in terms of tickets for shows/concerts and more so now that Groupon and Live Nation have partnered up to give us GrouponLive. A potential extra 100 guests can go a long way for smaller acts.
Groupon aren’t the only player in the group discount field with Living Social being the other large contender which can offer an outlet for musicians. Only time will tell whether the group deals model catches on with more artists and bands, but the potential is there for it to be a highly workable medium and big contributer to music sales.