Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Monkey Business: Arctic Monkeys, a band you’ve almost certainly never heard of, saw their debut album go straight to number one in the U.K. this week. Not only that, but the album—Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not—single-handedly outsold the rest of the top 20.

How did the Monkeys—four lads from unfashionable Sheffield in Yorkshire—generate so much hype that their first opus is expected to shatter the previous record for a debut album in the U.K? By giving their songs away over the Internet, of course.

In the FT, indie rocker Tom Findlay and music journalist Rob Wood point out that “Giving away your product might defy the rules of economics, but in the world of the internet-savvy fan it is a gesture on which dividends will be paid when the album is available to buy…. The huge, cranky major labels have been slow to make sense of how the internet is changing the consumption of music. The profits from the million copies that the Arctic Monkeys album will undoubtedly soon sell will largely be enjoyed by the independent label, Domino Recordings.”

The major record labels are, in fact, still suing their best customers for downloading their songs, on the assumption that downloads damage sales. The reality, as any music fan can tell you, is that downloads drive sales.

(By the way, the album--which won't be released in the U.S. for another three weeks--is really, really good.)


  • At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's interesting because we're starting to see a lot more bands promote themselves online using new social media tools including blogs, Myspace, Flickr, TextAmerica and others. They're also creating wap sites so fans can get up-to-date with news and gossip on their mobile phones.

    It's a new way of bringing fans closer to their idols and giving them an opportunity to interact. One group who has took full advantage of Web2.0 sites is Australian pop duo, The Veronicas. They're using an abundance of various social media tools where they frequently update, either by posting messages or adding photographs.

    They've generated a lot of online hype so it will be interesting to see how the album debuts in the US when it's released early next month.


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