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Getting Past the Industry to Love Music Again
Digital Singles Either Lax or Heighten Anticipation
02/10/09 at 04:04 PM by Adam Pfleider
It's 10 years ago, well not today exactly, but an early 10 year anniversary of Tom Green's smash single "Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)."

Yes, we remember well. The video. The ironic line of, "If I get lucky, I'll get a disease." Who could forget that ridiculous super hero costume he wore.

The song was available in two formats, a free download off of MTV.com and a CD single. And while I'm unsure how many copies were actually pushed, it was probably less than the impact of legal free downloads.

How much money do you think it cost to make the "I'm on a Boat" SNL Digital Short? Under full rap video quality, it seems like it cost a pretty penny.

Sunday, I purchased the track off of iTunes to help out that cost. It sounds like a legitimate rap single, just digital, with what I don't believe to be a physical copy anytime soon.

"I'm on a Boat" brings up questions like: "Is T-Pain like the funny man's Pharrell Williams now?" or "Who are those other two guys in these digital shorts?" But the real question here is the idea of the advancement of the single by digital means as opposed to the old CD standard.

Really? How many singles did you buy when they were on CD's? Did the number increase with iTunes and Amazon? More importantly, with the ability to take a single anywhere, instead of waiting for it to hit the radio waves, does it create a less or greater hype surrounding an anticipated record?

The examples I'll use presently are Thursday's "Resuscitation of a Dead Man" and Manchester Orchestra's "I've Got Friends." Both are highly anticipated records with singles that accurately portray what is to come, but I know, myself, that without the single on my iPod, I would be more hyped in hearing the record once purchased at the store, than having something tide me over until the full length's release.

I'm not saying that the digital single has changed anticipation, but it is something to latch onto with a calmer head of it's parent's release. Is a Lonely Island debut in the works, if so, "I'm on a Boat" will hold me over, and I can't wait to hear the single in the club.
Tags: Distribution, Singles, Lonely Island
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