In what is nearly the polar opposite of U.S. record labels trying to goose album sales by not releasing singles for downloads, the U.K. music industry is releasing a cell-phone only single.
That’s right: a cell-phone only single. “Stop Me,” by Planet Funk. Can anybody say “Publicity Stunt”??
While the first cell phone-only single is an historic event, I guess, so was the first picture disc. And in the long term, this will have exactly the same impact: it will be a novelty that will appeal to those to whom it appeals, and mostly ignored by the general public. Seriously, does mobile network operator 3 (gotta love those UK media names) think that a single single will goose sales for their mobiles? It’s one thing to make music available on all possible formats for all possible devices, we’re all over that, but this is just silly.
Look, here’s the deal: you don’t win fans by restricting access to your music. I have a feeling that Planet Funk, regardless of the quality of their music (though since they are an “Anglo-Italian” five piece called “Planet Funk,” I can take a guess that they are this week’s Franz Ferdinand knock-off), are about to discover that the hard way. Oh. And for frack’s sake, if you going to release a song to a single device, at least make sure that the device is one where the playing of music is that device’s primary purpose for existing!!
I mean, do they really think that someone is going to answer their cell phone and go: “I gotta call you back, I’m listening to my cell-phone-only single, ‘Stop Me,’ by Planet Funk, right now!”??
Well, maybe, now that I think about it: depends on who’s calling. I mean, what if Planet Funk was calling me while I was listening to their cell-phone only single on my cell phone?
Uh-oh, I hope I didn’t give anybody any ideas for an ad campaign!! Maybe that’s the twist: everybody who downloads it also gets phone calls from the band!
Perhaps Paris Hilton could use that strategy for her upcoming single . . .