“Three weeks prior to the April 24 release of his debut album Blunderbuss (Third Man Records/Columbia), Third Man Records has premiered the as yet unreleased Jack White album track “Freedom at 21” exclusively via 1000 flexi-disc records attached to helium balloons launched from the label headquarters in Nashville on April 1st, 2012.
Envisioned as an experiment exploring non-traditional forms of record distribution and a way to get records in the hands of people who don’t visit record shops, the label was sure to use biodegradable latex balloons and all-natural twine in the process….
Statistics for similar balloon launches show a recovery rate of approximately 10% so it’s quite possible that less than 100 of the 1000 records launched will ever be discovered. Whatever the numbers, the “Freedom at 21” flexi-disc will surely be a highly sought-after collectible for years to come.”
What crazy distribution strategy will Jack White think of next? Some ideas:
11. Timed drive-by of a series of cars, each traveling at 30 mph, playing the song in succession
10. Christmastime popcorn-ball lawn-toss
9. Perform single “Music Under New York” gig, sell 7-inches there and only there
8. Hide download codes in jars of artisanal mayonnaise
7. Distribute USB flash drives marked “Stuxnet”; see if anybody risks it
The stunt, explained
6. Skywrite distribution URL on a Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. in four cities around the world, rain or shine
5. “A Google Plus Exclusive!”
4. Hand out unmarked CD-Rs at SXSW (trust me, nobody willl notice)
3. Two words: Piano rolls
2. Recreate the scavenger hunt from the 1980 movie Midnight Madness, including all currently nonexistent buildings/landmarks
1. April 1 release that causes huge swaths of the Internet-wary population to roll eyes at the prospect of being fooled again and not download the song at all—only it turns out that it’s actually real. Oh, wait!