Rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures is allowing its fans to stream its new album a week ahead of release, using YouTube as the preferred method of delivery.
The group, which consists of drummer Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters and Nirvana), keyboardist and bass guitarist John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), and vocalist and guitarist Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), has posted all 13 tracks from its upcoming self-titled album on the video site. The songs are also available through an embedded YouTube video player on the band’s official site.
Surprisingly enough, there are no advertisements associated with the YouTube page, other than a pre-order link running across the top banner of the page. A YouTube representative said the company was not involved in the creation of the band’s page.
The fact that the group is posting its songs without associated videos — just static album art — on YouTube marks a bit of a reversal in the way musicians and recording companies approach the omnipresent video site. Many recording companies have used YouTube’s Content ID video-fingerprinting scheme to take down videos or kill the audio tracks of music videos posted without the rights owner’s permission. But that approach has gradually softened, with more content owners using the tool to co-opt and monetize copyrighted music videos posted by YouTube users.
The release also comes as YouTube puts its weight behind Vevo, a joint venture with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment that is designed to create a safe, well-lit place for music videos that the companies hope to monetize.
Them Crooked Vultures did not post the album on its MySpace page, despite the social network being seen as the “go-to-place” for musicians to interact with their fans.