This was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about how the U.S. music market is increasingly relying on “bundles” to sell CDs–specifically bundling CDs with concert tickets or other merchandise. Of course, in the Korean and Japanese markets, most CDs are sold to people who actually want something else, like a chance to meet the group, and it’s interesting to watch all three markets become more similar as U.S. acts (especially rock acts, which rely heavily on touring for money) figure out ways to cope with the fact that nobody wants to buy CDs any more.
From the article (all emphasis added by me).
It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock ’n’ roll in 2019.
Gone are the days when a rock album could achieve the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart on the strength of record sales alone. Instead, rock acts have turned to their tours to get the boost, adding a CD to every ticket sold to help inflate their ranking.
The bundling strategy is particularly effective in rock ’n’ roll, since many rock albums lack viral hit singles whose millions of streams can carry an album to No. 1, like Drake found with “God’s Plan” last year.
Bands such as Vampire Weekend and the Raconteurs have outperformed established rockers like Bruce Springsteen this year thanks in part to the bundle, which can often mean additional fees for concert tickets for consumers and a physical copy of a CD they may never open. But for rockers, handing out CDs with concert tickets can be what they need for a No. 1 album ranking, a distinction that still carries a high premium in the industry. The bragging rights and marketing opportunities that come with the top spot can make a crucial difference.
“The charts are a form of marketing,” said Merck Mercuriadis, a longtime music executive and founder of music investment company Hipgnosis Songs Fund. “If you’re able to say ‘I’m Jack White, and in 2019 I’m still having No. 1 albums,’ that’s a major statement to the industry.”…
Since 2017, nearly every rock album that reached No. 1 on the charts was offered as part of a ticket bundle….
Not surprisingly, this is a controversial practice, with industry people complaining that it games the charts (shocking!) and artists feeling like it’s beneath them. But it works…..
The Block B fanclub info for global fans is up! And I managed to at least pay for stuff, so…it’s doable. (Just accept the date that is already highlighted–it’s acting like you’re buying a ticket, even though you’re not.)
Shipping more than doubles the cost of everything, unfortunately. And I had to sign up for Yes 24 again, even though I already had (I guess you sign up special for tickets?). And you really have to search down in the “More Cards” section to find Master Card or Visa. And you’re supposed to put in a “member number” to get your card, so I used my “purchase number,” and I have no idea whether or not that was the right thing to do. (ETA: It probably wasn’t.) (EATA: A fan contacted Yes24 (thank you!) and was told you can just leave the member number blank.)
But it appears to have worked? I think?
“One Man Show”–an unreleased song Zico performed at the Fanxy Child concert. Sounds nice!
So, “Y” is out internationally on various streaming services…but not as a digital song that you can actually buy. Which, like, I know streaming is where it’s at nowadays, but why turn down the extra cash? The song may turn up as something you can purchase in a few days, it may be that they have an album planned and you’ll be able to buy it then, it may always be just streaming forever. I don’t know.
I do know when you go looking for “Fanxy Child” on the various music platforms, you get served up some unforgettable titles, like:
Yes, the Poop Emoji has an album out now. The magical world we live in.
But why is Crush drinking from Penomeco’s Coco bottle? Seems like trouble.
The bits at the end amuse me. I mean, what better personality snapshot than this?
Zico is still in Block B.
Speaking of Block B, here’s U-Kwon dancing “Let’s Ride” in all his sparkly-shirted glory!
A fan cammer got what looks to be pretty much Zico’s entire set at the KB Liiv Concert (which I didn’t put on the schedule because you had to enter a drawing to get a ticket). Cool!
I think it’s great these long-form fan videos are becoming more of a regular thing–from a marketing perspective, I like having the single-song videos because they’re a quick way for people to get a sense of a performer, but from a fan perspective it’s a real treat when you have the time to kick back and watch an entire show.