Prince and the New Giveaway Generation

Prince repeats his album giveaway strategy by offering up new LP 20TEN to readers of The Mirror.

Meanwhile, the purple one has declared the "Internet is over" - and though he wants to continue to find new ways to distribute his music, if he dosen't get an advance, it's not worth it.

Clearly not every artist can make deals with major newspapers to circulate their work. And in a few years when we're all reading the news off portable devices (or getting it via our peers on Twitter) those opportunities may not offer the kind of return that Prince expects for his genius.

The biggest issue with forcing newspaper readers to take your cd home is that the vast majority are not going to listen to it. Are Mirror readers all Prince fans? The potential reach of hundreds of thousands of ears is desirable, but the sad fact is most of those albums will end up in the bin. A waste of time and resources - not to mention a terrible brand alignment with a tacky media company.

Last time round Prince also gave his new album away to those that attended his residency at the O2. That concert was brilliant, but the album sits in a pile in my studio, unlistened.

From the fans' perspective, buying a newspaper they would never normally consider is not supporting the artist they love. The deal is already done - Prince gets his million or so no matter how many copies of the paper are sold. You may as well download a copy from your favourite torrent site or borrow it from your grandmother's bingo buddy (her generation loves the Mirror).

We need to earn our audience's attention. Prince's attitude stems from a bygone era. His search for new ways of distribution is admirable, but in reality he must accept that the game has changed. If his intention is simply to continue to rake in cash, he should be getting the tour bus back on the road.

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