From the luxurious position of having a major label deal with his main band, Blink 182, singer and guitarist Tom DeLonge can afford to experiment with his other project, Angels And Airwaves. The band are releasing their third album, imaginitively entitled “Love”, without the support of a label. The first two A&A albums were put out through Geffen, and sold in the hundreds of thousands, but “Love” will be offered as a free download, with premium versions comprising extra tracks and bonus material available to buy. The band will also be touring and selling $6.95 a month ‘memberships’ on their website. The hope is that these and other efforts will compensate for the recording and promotion costs of the album. DeLonge told Billboard in an interview that they’re hoping to get 20 million downloads of the album, and that:
“If only 5% of that 20 million came back and interacted with the Modlife platform that powers our Web site, the revenue would far exceed anything we’d make from a major label, in any way, shape or form,”
In this blogger’s opinion a 5% response rate is very optimistic, but it’s great to see bands pioneering different propositions in the modern digital-heavy marketplace. Presumably the album won’t be available on iTunes, or any of the other music stores RouteNote distributes to, which will mean that a lot of music users will not be able to access it through their normal channels, a closing of avenues which may cost a lot to replace in terms of product awareness.