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Clip: Free tunes a profitable notion for Wilco

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  • Carl Zimring
    I am failing Carl Wilson s Wilco Challenge to tweak the RIAA. Once again, free downloading appears to benefit Wilco as advertising, not piracy. Carl Z. ***
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2004
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      I am failing Carl Wilson's Wilco Challenge to tweak the RIAA. Once again,
      free downloading appears to benefit Wilco as advertising, not piracy.

      Carl Z.

      ***

      <http://www.suntimes.com/output/derogatis/cst-ftr-wilco01.html>

      Free tunes a profitable notion for Wilco

      July 1, 2004

      BY JIM DEROGATIS Pop Music Critic

      Once again disproving the music industry's argument that downloading is
      hurting album sales, Wilco's strategy of giving its music away for free on
      the Internet has rewarded the band with the highest chart position ever for
      its latest album.

      The Chicago group's fifth release, "A Ghost Is Born," debuted at No. 8 on
      the Billboard pop albums chart with sales of more than 81,000 copies,
      according to SoundScan, the agency that monitors sales of discs at the
      point of purchase.

      In 2001, Wilco became a cause celebre in the war over online music when its
      fourth album, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," was rejected by its label at the
      time, Reprise Records. The group subsequently gave the album away for free
      on the Net for some nine months, allowing listeners to sample its new
      sounds, before the disc's official release in 2002 on a new label,
      Nonesuch, the group's current home.

      When the disc finally became available in stores, it debuted at No. 13,
      selling 55,000 copies in its first week, the band's best numbers to that
      point. The numbers for "A Ghost Is Born" top that accomplishment by 55
      percent, according to the band's manager, Tony Margherita, even though the
      new music was available on www.wilcoworld.net for several months prior to
      the official release.

      Topping the Billboard chart was rapper Jadakiss, whose sophomore solo
      effort, ''Kiss of Death,'' sold 246,000 copies in its debut week.

      Also a member of the Lox, Jadakiss first gained national attention with the
      group's 1997 multiplatinum tribute to the Notorious B.I.G., ''We'll Always
      Love Big Poppa.''

      Usher's ''Confessions'' remains solid at No. 2 for the third week while a
      60 percent decline to 143,000 copies sends last week's chart-topper, the
      Beastie Boys' ''To the 5 Boroughs,'' to the No. 3 slot.
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