James Perrin

Kaiser Chiefs Let Fans Design Their Own Album

3rd Jun 2011 News, Industry News 2 minutes to read

The English indie band are giving their fans the chance to select tracks and design the album cover for their new studio album – The Future is Medieval. Not only that, but fans can have their own webpage to sell their unique versions. For every album a fan sells, they can make £1. So what’s it all about? Let’s take a closer look at the marketing strategy behind it…

Doing things differently

For any artist looking to release new music in the current market, the threat of leaks and copies can ruin any record, something Kaiser Chiefs were all too aware of with their last album.

However this time things are different. Instead of losing control of their music, they have been busy thinking of new ways to engage their fans and have come up with an innovative and incredibly unique way of keeping an interest in their band – they are literally giving their fans the control.

What do fans have to do?

It’s pretty simple. For fans that want to get involved, they first need to visit the band’s website.  From here they can select ‘create album’ and they are then given the choice of 20 tracks to choose from. The next step is to design a cover for the album – this can be absolutely anything you want, the whole point is for fans to be as creative as they want. The final step is to pay the £7.50 fee and simply download your bespoke album.

Now from here it’s all about making your own money. Fans have been given the chance to sell the album from their own webpage that is also available, and for every album you sell, you can get £1 in return.

The need for marketing

One can only assume that the decision to do things differently has been made entirely because of the way the music industry has reached a point of complete saturation. All new pop artists are propelled into the limelight not just through talent, but through great PR and Marketing – just look at the way X-Factor has changed the way music is consumed.

In fact a statement on behalf of the band reads, “It can re-engage the excitement and spontaneity of offering new music immediately to fans, allowing them to hear the record at the same time as media and critics alike and hopefully giving people a fun experience at being the Kaiser Chiefs A&R department.”

For anyone working in marketing and branding, this latest stunt by Kaiser Chiefs is certainly intriguing. From the perspective of digital marketing, this is affiliate marketing with personalised branding. What it does is give users a platform in which to promote and market the bands product, but the twist is the personalisation of the album tracks and cover.

This has a certain level of appeal, especially amongst a new generation of music lovers, but more so in terms of facilitating online marketing to promote the album to existing and more importantly, lots more fans. However the overall aim has strengthened the belief that new music is more about marketing than the actual music.

For Kaiser Chiefs though, they seem to have recognised the need for clever marketing when it comes to the music industry. Whether or not it will work, we will just have to wait and see, but by dabbling with innovative marketing strategies, they’re certainly trying their hardest to maintain the exposure that is so hard to keep for any modern day artist.

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