Social: instant global distribution network – just add Twitter

Posted in: Opinion- Jul 05, 2012 Comments Off

Blur

Almost every week now, there’s a new benchmark set in the innovative use of Social Media which keeps stretching your horizon of where the limits of this new technology are.

Another one took place this week. If you’re not a Blur fan you would have missed this but it’s a powerful example of the way these new technologies can be used to connect with your base but also dissintermediate those that traditionally diluted value proposition and ate into margins.

Re-formed Britpop sensation Blur are playing the Olympic closing ceremony festival in London next month and to mark the occasion have released two new songs – the first new material from the band since the Think Tank album in 2003.

But the world has changed a lot since 2003.  Then they were very dependent on their record company’s infrastructure  - even with the new emergence of MP3 – and the record industry still controlled the means of distribution.

However, on Monday 2nd July, Blur were able to go direct to their fans using only the power of Social Media.  Announcing the new material via their 1 million+ *like* Facebook Page - the band were able to alert their fan base to the fact that they would debut the new material live on Twitter via a livestreamed secret performance of the songs on a “rooftop somewhere in London”.

The result was #awesome and immediate  The band were able to talk to their fans directly 1-2-1 on Twitter in between tracks and could get feedback immediately on their new material, without having to go through the prism of the music media.  They could then distribute the music electronically via iTunes.

“From my perspective [I like] the chance of just playing your new music and then for it to be out immediately and for there to be none of that sort of process of reviews and anticipation.” Damon Albarn, lead singer, Blur.

It’s yet another example of the incredible dissintermediating effect that Social Media is having on the way-to-market.  The gig streamed live on Twitter and now lives on You Tube - no TV network required.  You can download the new tracks from iTunes within minutes of their debut.  Reviews from fans – not from music journalists with hidden agendas – pepper the internet and the band were able to directly reach – and engage with – their core fan base at the moment of distribution, at a fraction of the cost of the old industry model.

It’s the Social in action – and its very rock and roll!

[first posted on The Salesforce Down Under Blog]

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