Saturday, November 24, 2007

Last FM attempts to fix Christmas

In the seasonal rush for a Christmas number one - Cliff Richard, whatever bag of spuds is spewed up from the X Factor, something supposedly funny - a new paper-hat-from-a-cracker has been hurled into the ring in the shape of Lucky Soul's Lips Are Unhappy. This has been chosen by the CBS-funded Last.FM community to be the target for a campaign designed to show the power of online hitmaking. The idea being that everyone on Last.FM buys a copy, it takes the seasonal number one position and everyone in the music industry quakes in front of the power of the new hitmakers.

There's a couple of problems here. First, as the NME's embarrassing attempts to propel God Save The Queen to number one demonstrated, it's not actually that easy to rig the charts in this way.

The second is what, exactly, is the motivation for Last.FM members meant to be here? Admittedly, they were invited to participate in a vote to chose the record that would be pushed by the campaign - but presumably the people who voted for Lucky Soul would be interested in buying it anyway; those who preferred another track would, surely, rather spend their money on buying a song they liked rather than one they didn't?

And it's the purchase price that is key here: sure, the download is priced at a reasonable 49p, but that's still an actual payment. Why would anyone want to spend half a quid of their own money on what is, in effect, a marketing campaign for a company owned by one of the biggest media organisations in the world? If CBS want to push Last.FM, can't they use some of the Viacom outdoor poster sites rather than shaking down the userbase to chip in to cover the costs?

1 comment:

Simon said...

"Rihanna’s Umbrella was the first to scale the summit with no physical sales at all"? Gnarls Barkley surely weren't that forgettable.

I voted for Lucky Soul, but only in the hope they might get some publicity of their own - I've got their album, I don't need to download anything from it again - rather than becoming's viral marketing playthings. No matter who's releasing it, they've still got to make the record buying populace aware of its existence before making them aware that there's a 49p download in it for them. Away from Web 2.0 Malcolm Middleton, with only his own and his label's support, has been cut 20-1 for Christmas chart topping because Scott Mills and Edith Bowman have launched a campaign backing his single We Are All Going To Die.

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