It’s been two weeks since I ‘leaked’ one of the new tracks from Scritti Politti on YouTube.
Scritti have a Best Of on the way later this month, and, thankfully, have recorded two new tracks to sweeten the deal. Prompted by an excited message on fansite Bibbly-o-Tek, I learned that Steve Wright played one of the new tracks, A Day Late And A Dollar Short, on BBC Radio 2. He cut it off 30 seconds before the end and he didn’t say what it was. Apart from that, only a handful of people had heard it.
I had the tools and the ten minutes needed to find the show on iPlayer, use Audio Hijack Pro to record it, editing out DJ banter etc, pop it into iMovie with an image of the artwork from the forthcoming best of, add some helpful text and bung it on YouTube with the label ‘rubbish quality radio rip’ for all the world to hear.
The video quickly shot to over 2,000 views and still climbing. An official version – almost identical to my cobbled together thing apart from higher quality audio (and now trailed with an ad for Lady Gaga – was posted a few days ago, but despite my linking prominently to it from mine, it’s only garnered about 400 views so far.
The stats are telling.
- 82/18% Male/Female split overall with the vast majority of those (80%) in the 35-54 groups. But the gender split is pretty much 50:50 when we look at the admittedly small numbers of 13-17 and 18-24 year-olds.
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US and UK are the biggest Scritti fans but there are healthy smatterings in Italy, Germany and France, Japan and Australia.
- My video got significant injections of viewers from two popular blogs, So Hip It Hurts and Electronically Yours
- It’s been shared on Facebook and Twitter. Interestingly even Rhodri Marsden, a sometimes member of the band, shared the link on Twitter.
- And people watch/listen all the way through, which in itself is interesting.
So, Virgin, have I done you a disservice in impatiently getting the track out there? I notice that YouTube’s algorhythm’s didn’t spot that the track belonged to you (watch this fascinating TED video for more on how YouTube identify copyrighted material and what options are then available).
My rationale for being naughty? It’s a superb track. It’s probably not going to get much airplay. It’s unlikely that there will be a video or much high profile promotion. All those middle-aged blokes have probably all ordered Absolute: Best Of already.
But what about that 10% of 13-24 year olds? These kids didn’t exist when Scritti were a commercial prospect. They get their music from places like YouTube, Spotify or places on the fringes of legality.
Maybe the 200 odd of them that my video has reached will eventually result in a few realisations that here is an act that merits investigation, worth a download of the Best Of or back catalogue, a click on one of those interviews with Green in the right hand column alongside the video.
Virgin, I and others like me are doing your marketing for you. While I’m glad you haven’t shut me down, perhaps you should be doing it yourselves a little faster.
Absolute: A Collection Of Words And Music by Scritti Politti is out Feb 28th, 2011.