More Free Album Stories

Radio Five LiveThe band’s manager Steve Tavener’s been all over the radio the last 24 hrs. Not only was he RTE Radio 1 yesterday but he popped in to Radio Five Live too to speak to Anita Anand about the album’s release. You can listen again and skip to 2 hrs 50 minutes in, or just download the MP3 here.

Completing the Crimea’s transition from Rock to Indie to Brit-pop to Pop in the space of a day are the big boys, Reuters, who have a three page article on the album story. It’s a good read, and it also mirrored on The Hollywood Reporter.

US chart site give the story some page space, and it’s mirrored on the Monsters & Critics site.

Another technology site, this time PC Pro, has the story covered. It was accessible earlier, but now they wan registration… Whatever, just hit more to read it or try Google’s cache.

Once a great music site, now just some corporate shite, a small section in their latest news roundup dedicated to The Crimea’s album release. On a totally unrelated note, I found the lead singer of the old featured band Parrado on MySpace the other day. Go figure. It means nothing to you, but I care not.

Music industry blog Coolfer also gave the story a quick mention on monday.

One more MOG user mentions the story in their blog.

And I have absolutely no idea what this site’s about, but definitely has a Crimea related article in it. You don’t need to be a genius to figure what it says.

UK band’s new marketing ploy is to give album away

TheCrimea.NetLONDON – A British indie band is giving away its new album for free online in a bid to create a fanbase that could make it easier to make money in the future.

The Crimea is believed to be one the first established pop acts to offer a whole album for free, the latest example of how the Internet is changing the way pop music is distributed.

It also raises fresh questions for record labels, which are struggling to offset the steady decline in CD sales despite turning increasingly to the Internet for revenue.

“There are unsigned bands who give stuff away, but in terms of a band as big as this, to my knowledge it has never happened before,” said Stephen Taverner, The Crimea’s manager.

“This is in order to reach a wider audience. They are hoping that because it’s free it will open the band to a wider audience and make more money from live income.

“The other thing that’s important is that all of this is irrelevant if the music isn’t any good.”

The quintet, currently on a tour of China at the government’s invitation, announced the offer for “Secrets Of The Witching Hour” on its Website ( It will be downloadable via the site from May 13.

Some of its members have experienced rejection by record labels before, most recently when Warner Music Group dropped them last year.

“We were signed to the American (Warner) company and not the UK company and it was a classic thing of not selling enough records in America,” said Taverner.

But he added that The Crimea’s move to give away their album did not mean they were burning bridges with the industry.


Taverner argued that there needed to be greater equality between artists and labels, and that by creating a sizeable fan base online, bands could improve the terms of record contracts.

The four major record labels — EMI, Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group — have long fought to battle illegal music downloads and make a profit from legal digital sales, but are finding the going tough.

Last year saw global digital music sales almost double to around $2 billion but the overall music market continued to shrink, by an estimated three percent.

Sunday’s British pop chart was a reminder of how powerful the Web can be in promoting acts. The Arctic Monkeys stormed to the top of the album rankings with “Favorite Worst Nightmare”, selling an estimated 250,000 copies in the first week.

Although the Sheffield group is now signed to independent label Domino, it first rose to prominence through fans swapping early demos online and went on to have the fastest-selling British debut album ever in 2006.

More established acts have also turned to new technology to market their music.

Robbie Williams and Madonna both used mobile phones for recent record releases, and U2 tapped the iPod boom to promote its hit album “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.”

Elton John announced last month he would make his entire catalogue available for digital download for the first time.

And the recent settlement of legal disputes involving the Beatles’ Apple Corps have raised expectations that the Fab Four’s music will finally be available to download online.

Article by Mike Collett-White for Reuters, 30/04/07.

The Crimea Breaks Mold With Download Offering

British alternative rock act the Crimea has taken a radical approach to building a following. The group — currently out of contract after splitting last summer with Warner Music — has made its new, self-financed album, “Secrets of the Witching Hour,” available to download for free from its official Web site.

From June 4, a CD version will be offered for sale on a mail-order basis, details of which are posted at the site.

The band members hope the free offering will generate exposure and, in turn, boost revenue streams from live performances and merchandise sales.

“It’s a one-off for us,” manager Stephen Taverner of Out There Management tells “They knew they couldn’t compete in the traditional way, so why not give it away, and try to gain more exposure that way? Its not a two-fingers up to the music industry at all — far from it.”

By mid-afternoon, the album had been downloaded more than 5,000 times since going live late last night. Taverner adds, “We all recognize the fact that we needed a record company involved on a global level. If we can get the fanbase up significantly, maybe someone would be interested in doing a partnership with the band.”

Warner Bros. U.S. signed and released the Crimea’s debut album “Tragedy Rocks” (2004), which has shifted about 35,000 copies worldwide, says Taverner.

The band is preparing for a series of shows in China this month May, before returning to the U.K. for a four-week tour starting May 18.

Article by Lars Brandle for, 01/05/07.

UK indie band to release new album free on the Web

TheCrimea.NetA critically acclaimed UK indie band has announced that its next album will be given away for free on the Internet, a move that if successful could prompt other artists to follow suit.

Secrets of the Witching Hour, The Crimea’s follow-up to 2005′s Tragedy Rocks will be made available on 13 May. The band have financed the recording themselves and hope to recoup their costs – and then make money – by widening their fanbase selling more concert tickets and merchandise. And because they no longer have a record label, there will be no advance to pay back and they will get a greater share from tickets and other sales revenues. Steve Taverner, the band’s manager, said that these are greater then ever in the vibrant UK live scene.

The album will also be available on CD, ‘for traditionalists, for purists for people who need something a little more… well… round’.

Tragedy Rocks spawned a top 40 hit with Lottery Winners on Acid and went on to sell 35,000 copies, but that was not enough to convince the band’s record label, Warner Bros Records, to retain them.

Owen Hopkin, the band’s drummer, explained that they want to get their music to as many people as possible.

‘We want to harness the power of the Internet,’ he said. ‘If it’s on there for free we’ll reach more people than the orthodox route of selling the record.’

Several bands have attempted to exploit the popularity of music on the Web by releasing free singles, among them Ash and the Manic Street Preachers, while the free iTunes single of the week is acknowledged by the industry as a powerful marketing tool. However until now free albums were largely the preserve of emerging acts attempting to make a name for themselves.

Review by Simon Aughton for PC Pro, 30/04/07.

Crimea to give away new album

Crimea's Davey MacmanusBritish indie rock band Crimea is about to give one of the most prevalent theories on the digital music business a test, perhaps with its future success riding on the outcome. Convinced that it can make up for album sales revenue with money from touring, merchandising, and licensing deals, the band is set to give its new album away as a free download. The band’s self-financed second album, Secrets of the Witching Hour, is available as a free download from its Web site.

The move is the centerpiece of the band’s do-it-yourself approach. Despite selling a respectable 35,000 copies of their debut album, Tragedy Rocks, and making the UK top 40 with the single “Lottery Winners on Acid,” the band was last year dropped by their record label, Warner Music.

Article by Jim Welte for, 01/05/07.

Monday Business Links

• After being dropped by Warner Music, The Crimea self-financed its sophomore album and will give it away for free as a digital download and hopes to make up the difference through touring, merchandise sales and licensing revenue. (The band is selling copies of the CD version.) I find it especially interesting that the publicists, marketers and radio promoters who will work the album have waived their fees in return for a share of future revenue. Secrets Of The Witching Hour will be released May 13th. (The Guardian)

Article by Glenn for Coolfer, 30/04/07.

The Crimea give away their new record for free

The Crimea are distributing their new record Secrets of the Witching Hour for free in a .zip file on their website:

To be super quick, we’re pushing the free on-line release to… now!!! ‘Secrets Of The Witching Hour’ is ready to go, and awaiting your MP3 player of choice everywhere as of NOW .
Just head towards and let your mouse do the work. Nice and simple.

Originally the plan had been to release the record free later this month, but when a few media outlets picked up on the story the band decided (smartly) to take advantage of the attention while they had it and pushed the date up.

What’s interesting about this is that Tragedy Rocks, their awesome debut, was released on a major and yielded a single (“Lottery Winners on Acid”) that performed very well in the UK. Not well enough, because they got dropped. But this is a band that has been through the major label meatgrinder and have decided to take distribution into their own hands, to theoretically reap the benefits of increased awareness in live revenue.

Expect to see more and more bands trying this.

Article by Watchedpots on MOG, 01/05/07.

Brittibändi antaa levynsä yleiseen jakoon

Brittiläinen indieorkesteri Crimea aikoo jakaa toista albumiaan ilmaiseksi netin välityksellä.

Onhan tätä tehty vaikkapa Suomessa, jossa Pofony-niminen metalliakti laittoi levynsä vapaasti ladattavaksi nettisivujensa kautta. Erikoiseksi Crimean tapauksen tekee bändin saavuttama menestys Iso-Britannian musiikkimarkkinoilla. Bändin ensimmäistä, vuonna 2006 julkaistua kiekkoa myytiin 35000 kappaletta ja Lottery Winners on Acid-sinkun korkein listasijoitus oli 31.

Warner Music luopui kuitenkin bändistä ja nyt Crimea aikoo laittaa tulevan, omakustanteena valmistuneen albuminsa yleiseen jakoon. Syynä tähän on musiikkiteollisuuden muutokset, laiton musiikkitiedostojen jakaminen ja lataaminen sekä nuorten vähentynyt fyysisten levyjen hankkiminen.

Crimea haluaa valjastaa internetin tavoittaakseen mahdollisimman paljon uusia faneja, saadakseen lisää keikkoja ja mahdollisuuden parempiin sopimuksiin tulevaisuudessa.

Crimean Secrets of the Witching Hour tulee ladattavaksi toukokuun 13. päivä. Seuraa tilannetta bändin kotisivuilta

Article taken from, 30/04/07.

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One Response to “More Free Album Stories”

  1. Denyer says:

    Have a go at submitting the story to Slashdot… here’s what I roughed out yesterday…

    “A couple of years ago, Seattle group Harvey Danger released their album Little By Little online, free, forever. Now press elsewhere are increasingly giving coverage to the idea that music serves better as the advertising for live shows and merchandise, and UK band The Crimea have thrown themselves into the ring with their second album, Secrets of the Witching Hour. What do Slashdot readers think: is there value in recordings themselves any more, or are they mostly something to be shared and attract attention to a band’s other endeavours?”

    You’d probably want to reword that a bit and pick a better title than I used (which was the Guardian one) though; I don’t know how they handle dupe/similar submissions.

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