Plugging Madonna’s leak
Leaks are a problem for the music business. For one, they hamper the ability to time releases and manage public relations. More importantly, leaks often make unfinished tracks available for the general public well before they are ready.
Madonna is the most recent victim of a leak to the web as her new song “4 Seconds (to save the world),” a duet with Justin Timberlake, was released onto the web by a French DJ. Since it made its appearance, Warner Music and YouTube have been trying to keep it off the net.
I’m no Madonna fan and I think it is kinda funny that the song is out there, but it does underscore the fact that leaks are probably the single biggest problem for the music industry despite their contention that illegal downloads occupy the top spot.
The reality is that the release of a song prematurely online can cost artists and labels a significant chunk of change. Artists as popular as Madonna carefully craft the release of a new disc (in this case, her latest, Hard Candy) and put a lot of thought into when and how to let the public hear it.
An early release can cause them to have to completely toss out plans that may have a significant investment in them – think posters, end cap displays, promo cd’s, press releases.
What may be worse is the release of material that is not ready for public consumption. As an artist, you are judged by your work and if that work isn’t done yet, you may be unfairly scrutinized for something that isn’t ready to release.
Granted, this is Madonna we’re talking about. It’s not like whatever comes out is going to revolutionize music. But, she has a right to time her releases to suit her plans and Madonna is nothing if not meticulous in her approach to marketing herself. I’m sure she’s thrilled.
From Jeff Balke’s Broken Record blog.
Thanks to our Community member phillymonster.
M-Tribe note: 4 Seconds may be too short to save the world, even for Madonna.