Marketing Genius or New Low: Band Pays Fans to Listen to Track


An unsigned UK pop duo have launched a unique promotional campaign which involves distributing £2,700 to potential fans who visit their site to hear their first single.

The Reclusive Barclay Brothers have released their debut single called We Could Be Lonely Together today via iTunes.

The single release is accompanied by an instructional video that explains exactly how people can get their hands on what the band call “incentives”. In the video, which explains the inspiration for the give away, viewers are urged to visit the aptly named site to submit their e-mail address. Over the subsequent 30 days, the band will randomly pick 100 people to receive their £27 share of the cash.

The instructional video claims that paying people to listen to music is the only logical conclusion to the current trend of giving music away for free. The number 27 is roughly one millionth of what was paid out by major labels after the 2005 / 06 Spitzer payola scandal.

The band have so far remained completely independent, funding the recording of their debut album and production of a video with a bank loan.

They claim that all they want is traffic to their website for the campaign to be worthwhile, citing the £2,700 as a small price to pay. They have no expectations of reclaiming their money back through download sales, of which 3418 would be needed to break even.

The stunt was inspired by the payola scandal, in which record labels were caught bribing radio djs to play certain songs. Singer Pauline Johnston says: “We thought that payola sounded like a smart idea, so we decided to do our own version.”

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One Response

  1. Jon 11 August, 2010

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