Queens of the Stone Age’s New Album on Flash Drive Re-Invents Digital Music Marketing

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 7.18.30 PMDeath of the Compact Disc, again!

Remember Compact Discs? I do, but half my staff barely does , which is why QOTSA decided to make a bold move and release their new album “Like Clockwork” on an 8 gig USB flash drive. This special USB flash drive contains contains extra goodies like music videos, original artwork, lyric sheets and hi-rez photos, plus it doubles as a bottle opener – sweet!

It’s no surprise that more artists are finding ways to market their music in the digital sphere, digital music sales continue to reach all time highs while physical sales continue their slow death, according to a year-in-review report from Nielsen Soundscan and Billboard.

The report found that total music purchases (physical albums, digital albums and digital songs) totalled an all-time high of 1.65 billion units in 2012, a rise of 3.1 percent over 2011.

Unsurprisingly, physical music continued its yearly decline, with sales down by 12.8 percent in 2012. Despite this big drop, including a 13 percent drop in CD sales, physical remained the dominant format for music purchases, the study found.

The biggest surprise was the continued resurgence of the vinyl record. Vinyl saw sales growth for the fifth straight year in 2012, with a 17.7 percent surge complementing 4.6 millions records sold.

With this rise in digital sales anyone marketing music today needs to be creative. With a younger, more tech savvy crowd and approximately 75 percent of teens today owning a smart phone QOTSA will not be the first to push the boundaries of digital music.

In an effort to sell this USB flash drive album QOTSA launched a landing page and produced an infomercial featuring fictional pitchman Ricky Chism, awesomely portrayed by Fred Armisen, where he boldly makes statements like “What are we suppose to do if the their cloud doesn’t work? What if the stupid internet goes down again? Who do I call? The freaking weather man?”.

Whether or not this campaign proves to be successful – QOTSA has guts, and other artists will soon follow, the days of the CD may finally be coming to and end and single song downloads iTunes may soon see the same fate!

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