Sunday, Erin and I went to see Pearl Jam. Today, in a spare moment, I went over to their site to see what they were doing online. Since I started working for my current music industry client, I’ve become more interested in how bands and labels handle marketing and online technologies.
At the PJ site, I found something really cool. They’ve got a “satellite” site at PearlJamBootlegs.com devoted to selling recordings of every show on the current tour. They’ve done this before — remember a couple years ago, there were dozens of brown-wrappered live records in all the record stores — but this time around, it’s different. The “bootlegs” aren’t available in retail outlets at all; it’s just online. And when you buy a given show, you can download the unmastered MP3 of the show immediately. These MP3 files are online and available the day after the show; the CD itself ships 7-10 days after. This isn’t technically challenging, of course, but I’ve never heard of anyone else doing it.