Or, at least this is what Billy Corgan wants you to think with his new promotion strategy for upcoming album he and the others who call themselves the Smashing Pumpkins are releasing in late October. Radiohead were the pioneers of releasing an album for free on the internet last year and many other artists decided to follow their lead. The Smashing Pumpkins have put a new twist to this idea. Here’s the idea; 44 tracks, each track released separately within a few days from the next, all songs under the album entitled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope (which will later be divided into 11 four song EPs), and, best of all, all songs will be free. On the Pumpkins’ official website, Corgan stresses that the songs will be 100% free and that, “free means free, which means you won’t have to sign up for anything, give an email address, or jump through a hoop”. After all 44 tracks are released for free online, the album will then be divided into EPs which will be available for purchase individually or collectively as a mini-box set.
I think that this is a great and exciting approach to getting Pumpkins fans, old and new, pumped for the new release. The idea is new and fun, and will give the consumer a sense of anticipation and involvement. On the other hand, by releasing these 44 tracks for free (and not even giving the consumer an option to name a price like Radiohead), the Smashing Pumpkins could be taking a risk. I don’t know too many die-hard SP fans but I’m assuming many have not been as loyal to the band since the line-up changed quite significantly, this album leaving Corgan as the last remaining original member. Their only profit will be made from these highly limited edition EPs and box sets, which I am assuming will cost a pretty penny. How many die-hard Smashing Pumpkins fans will actually be interested in the new album, let alone purchasing the EPs and box sets? Time will only tell for the success of the new album. So get ready for the first free download of the series of 44 around Halloween time, I’ve already marked my calendar!
article referenced: http://www.smashingpumpkins.com/pages/news/announcement-from-billy-corgan-about-new-smashing-pumpkins-album