Bacardi and UK artist Grove Armada have teamed up to develop an online mechanism which harnesses the power of social networking sites to the distribute the bands new music. According to the press release the partnership covers recording, live performances at Bacardi B-Live events on a global basis and overall, the tie-up is a critical part of the drinks brand’s global music strategy.
Core to the partnership is the fact that as well as being launched via traditional digital retailers on March 2, the new release will also be launched by the online sharing service specifically built for the partnership and can be accessed here at www.bliveshare.com
Users who sign up get to download the first track of the release fro free. To access the remaining tracks users will be required to share the track with 20 new people. Users can do this by emailing their friends direct or by using a Facebook app, or widget for other social networks.
The viral aspect is dynamic in that to get the third track users have to have had a viral spread of 200 shares of the first track. When that figure reaches 2000 shares track four of the release becomes unlocked. Subsequently, the more first-generation friend shares grow the quicker the total amount of shares to unlock the full number of tracks being released will be reached.
The service can be accessed globally and will be promoted with localized content in 14 territories. The free sharing option for the release expires on March 1st 2009, a day prior to the full commercial release of the four track EP.
Mat Morrisroe, music director at Bacardi’s branding agency KLP, said the service “encourages and rewards consumers for sharing music in a legitimate fashion,” adding that it was a “new model challenging the traditional music industry model.”
However, TMV understands that users have to prove they are above the legal drinking age in their respective territory to be able to sign up to the promotion. This in our opinion is the key drawback as most P2P file sharers are between the ages of 11 and 18. So the impact on uptake this may have in terms of audience and driving file sharers away from their illegal activity is fairly limited in TMVs view.
The fact that the music is free is a positive, however the level of shares required by each to user needed to unlock all tracks is in our view a severe limiter what TMV believes consumers will be willing to spend time-wise.
Revenue wise, Groove Armada’s money will come from a previously agreed fee tied up in their original a12 month agreement with Bacardi (where TMV commentated when it was announced last year). The press release did not mention key terms within the partnership and as such it is close to impossible to judge success in terms of the deal against the different promo campaigns and activities being undertaken as part of the deal.