The Black Keys
have posted some impressive first week sales for El Camino
. The LP sold a combined 207,086 units (according to Digital Music News
)-- quite a big leap from their last album Brothers
, which moved 73,000 first week. Many attribute the sales to smart marketing, including a certain viral video
. Others claim it's their move to exclude streaming services like Spotify and Rdio from their initial distribution (at the moment, the album is only available as a CD, digital download, or a vinyl LP). But perhaps the most compelling reason is their commitment to quality content, building a fan base organically, and staying true to their rock n' roll roots and their goofy personas.
Coldplay also adopted a "no streaming" policy with their most recent LP, Mylo Xyloto
. The music industry has never had the discipline to fully adopt a windowing strategy for their releases (like the movies), nor has it been an interesting or desirable approach before the prevalence of streaming services. Now the debate rages-- does the consumer deserve to hear an album in its entirety before buying, or should the fans have faith in their band to produce something of value having only heard a handful of tracks? It's hard to imagine a world where people blindly buy music they haven't heard, given the relative ease of pirating albums. Then again, isn't that the fundamental idea of the record industry?
Check out this interview the guys did in 2008.
Whatever the reason, we're glad to see the Keys selling records. It's easy to root for these guys.