Last week it was announced that major record labels Sony and Universal, along with a bunch of indies, would permit the instant purchase of a single as soon as it had airplay, a method call On air/On sale.
On air/On sale is the result of piracy, changing consumer habits and a realisation that the industry needs to begin challenging and meeting both in a constructive and innovative manner.
A Sony survey revealed that 41.9% of music purchasers find it ‘quite annoying’ when they try to find a song they’ve heard on the radio, only to realise it isn’t available. *data from Music Week
A recent report called ‘Into The Future’ by the Future Business Research Group has revealed that 11% of the music buying population can be classed as ‘music obsessives’ who switch between licensed and unlicensed distribution services, but make up 31% of the total spend on music. *data from Music Week
It is this group that have been the catalyst for such change to occur.
It means that the artist will now be able to explore different marketing creatives to engage with their fans, fans get the music they want, when they want it and it may even encourage more people to purchase music, rather than downloading it illegally.
The next big challenge will be to finalise a distribution model that works for everybody, a task that could be a lot harder than it initially sounds given the vast array of deals already in existence.
For decades the model of ‘play the song on the radio for a month to build interest, then release it’ has dominated the music industry’s approach, treating fans as eager little mice waiting for their next meal. No longer.