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Viral Monkeys ( No, this is not an Outbreak, it’s about Music)

Give the product away, gain traction, the money will follow….  

This could be the summary of many 1999 Internet business models.. in fact we’re seeing it back in Bubble 2.0  Boom 2.0  Boomble 2.0.   Except in this case it’s not Software, it’s Music.

Monkeys203British indie band Arctic Monkeys handed out demo CD’s at their gigs in 2003, which fans happily uploaded to the Internet.  Now their  second album (the first one sold)  has become the fastest-selling debut album in UK chart history.

A spokesman for music retailer HMV said: “In terms of sheer impact… we haven’t seen anything quite like this since The Beatles.” He added: “In the space of just a few weeks the Arctic Monkeys have gone from being relative newcomers to becoming a household name.”

Viral Marketing at its best.  And a wake-up call to the music industry Establishment.

full story on BBC News  

Update (2/24):  The CD is now available in the US, already #4 on Amazon. (hat tip: Fred Wilson, the only VC who writes about music as much as business  He also has a video on his site. )

Update (3/19): Seth Godin on the power of giving your best stuff away.

Update (3/31): Again from Seth, how much longer it took the Fab4 to become “THE BEATLES”.

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