Innovation That Matters

Fans customize & earn from band's latest album

Publishing & Media

Bands have long been leaders when it comes to tapping the crowds for help with funding, promotion and more, but it wasn’t until recently that we saw one give fans quite this much control: UK indie rock band The Kaiser Chiefs recently launched an initiative whereby fans can create their own version of the latest digital album and then earn proceeds when other fans buy their customized mix as well. There are 20 new tracks for fans of The Kaiser Chiefs to choose from in creating their own version of “The Future Is Medieval,” which is the album the band launched earlier this month. All they need do is listen and then add their 10 favorites to their album playlist. Next, fans can create their own custom album artwork by dragging and dropping an assortment of objects and resizing, rotating or rearranging them at will. Once they’re satisfied with their creation, users can register and pay GBP 7.50 for their custom album. At the same time, they’re given a fan page on which others can learn about and purchase the customized version they created; for each copy sold, the creator earns GBP 1. Similar in many ways to Mixaloo and MixTape, the Kaiser Chiefs’ effort is nothing if not a smart way to generate buzz about a new album. Perhaps even more significantly, however, it’s also a testament to the increased clout of the content-creating masses. In not so very long, it may just become unthinkable for a band to create a new album without the involvement of its biggest fans. Spotted by: Henry Mason



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