Balancing for free and monetisation: how No Doubt are giving their music away for free, as long as you pay for it

alongside reports that 2008 box office grosses from the live music industry surpassed total sales of recorded music for the first time in decades, comes news from trendcentral describing how No Doubt are giving away their back catalogue away free with every purchase of a $42.50 full price ticket.

as I observed in a previous post, its a move that would make Trent Reznor proud; understand what – with an eye to the digital world – you need to give away for free and what – with an eye to the bottom line – you can realistically charge for.  the crucial step that No Doubt's effort has made has been to inextricably link these two elements together.

as budgets become tighter, all businesses and brands will have to ask themselves what they have to deliver on each of the above?  what are you giving away for free and what are you monetising?  marketing efforts are essentially given away for free, in exchange for consumer time and attention, which when you think about it is a fairly loose link…

if free elements (marketing) were more directly linked to revenue generating elements (sales of products or services), brands would be considerably more able to justify investment in said marketing efforts…  Walkers are doing this with 'do us a flavour'; help us create a new flavour crisp (for free) by buying our range of flavours (with your hard earned money).  so are Orange; have a cinema ticket on us (for free) by being an Orange customer (you'll need to pay for that).

may be a useful thought-experiment when developing marketing and campaign efforts for your brands.


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