UK rock group Coldplay made its new single, Violet Hill, available for free for a week from yesterday at coldplay.com – and is already finding the move is paying off. Last.fm told us it tracked 33,000 plays – or, one every two seconds – in the first day of availability. Nothing new anymore in free online releases and Coldplay’s move – like most free online releases lately – is predictably being compared with Radiohead’s temporary pay-what-you-like album experiment. The song is free when users cough up their email address.
Most interesting, however – Coldplay may be raising the bar for the practice. Last.fm said the 15 Step track from Radiohead’s In Rainbows album got just 22,000 plays in its first 12 hours of free availability. Said a spokesman: “I believe Coldplay are just taking the edge over Radiohead right now. Violet Hill could be the most popular song ever tracked on Last.fm in terms of amount of listens in a specific period of time.” Having lost Radiohead to such innovative release channels, EMI may consider this a confidence booster. Coldplay’s fourth album, Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends, is due June 12 – no sign yet of making that free as well, however.
Photo: DaigoOlivia (some rights reserved)