Flash drives with music: The new trend?

by Tiago

Mars Volta USB Flash DriveThe title of the post can be a bit misleading, so just to clarify: I’m not talking about flash drives with illegal music, on the contrary, I’m referring to bands selling USB flash drives with their own stuff.

When comparing to a normal CD, the fabrication costs are much higher, and so is the final price, but on the other hand, flash drives with music are much easier to sell.

They arrive in packs of 10 thousand units, sometimes more, sometimes less, and in a matter of weeks it is all sold out, that is, if they aren’t put for sale after a concert with all the songs that were performed – in this case, I’m guessing it only takes half an hour or so.

According to the major labels, these special drives aren’t suppose to make any revenue, at least for now. They are doing it for the fans that enjoy rare and unique content of their favorite bands, in other words, the objective is to “build fan loyalty”.

And now for a bit of culture, here are the names of some bands included on the category “releasing an album in a form of USB flash drives instead of CDs”:

  • Mars Volta – The Bedlam in Goliath – Album released on January, a picture of the flash drive can be seen on this post. It costs $30 and comes with a “Ouija board planchette” design, the album in DRM-free, and on the following months there will be extras like wallpapers, and bonus tracks.
  • Erykah Badu – Nu AmErykah – Will be released next week, 26 February, and it also comes with extras that will be released during the year.
  • Barenaked Ladies – Probably the first band releasing an album in a flash drive, besides the songs it had videos, and more. This was in 2005, with USB flash drives that had 128MB of storage capacity.
  • Other bands – Matchbox Twenty, Jennifer Lopez, Ringo Starr.

Source: Reuters

Guest post by Tiago of Gadgetizer

5 reviews or comments

Kay Kastum Says: February 19, 2008 at 12:22 am

I wonder if these drives can be used as a storage drive after that?

Picasso Says: February 19, 2008 at 8:05 am

Very bad bad I mean bad idea if Artists think this will boost sells. Quite the opposite as it will be even easier to make duplicates and download to any computer and pass on to friends and family. Where in CD format you would have to go through some trouble to make a copy and trying to get the songs off the CD was a bit hard since it is designed not to be reproduced but in a usb format, geez, might as well give it away for free.

Swan Says: February 19, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Yes; once you copy the contents of the drive to your computer, the drive can be used as storage.

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