Heard of “ticket bundling” yet? You will.
This is a practice where an artist announces a tour and simultaneously offers a free copy of a new album with every ticket sold.
Admittedly, this isn’t all that new. Prince pioneered the practice at least a decade ago and Arcade Fire did something along these lines earlier this year. But the idea is catching on with more acts of all levels.
This week, when U2 announced the first round of dates for their Songs of Experience tour, they made it clear that everyone who buys a ticket through U2.com will get a copy of the record after it comes out December 1. (I’m assuming this will be a physical copy or a downloadable digital version rather than something that just shows up in your iTunes library. They won’t do that again.)
This shows just how much the music industry has been flipped upside down. In the Olden Days, there were sometimes offers of a free concert ticket (or something similar) with the purchase of a new album. Live performance is where the money is these days and not in selling pieces of plastic.
Nice idea, but there are some industry implications that come with ticket bundling. Remember that record charts are how the record industry keeps score. Does giving away an album with the sale of the concert ticket carry the same weight as the sale of a record in a music store? Should a ticket-bundled record count towards sales numbers?
These are things that are going to need to be worked out. Meanwhile, though, fans are probably gonna love this. I think. Thoughts?