Jueves 3 de Abril de 2008, Ip nº 224

R.E.M. to debut new album on Facebook application
Por Veronica Schmidt

R.E.M. have announced that they will debut their forthcoming album on the iLike internet application used on social networking site Facebook.

The American band will release Accelerate as a stream available for sharing on March 24 - a week before the album hits shop shelves.

They are the first major music act to debut a full album using the iLike application – a widget used widely on Facebook, but also on iTunes and other social networking applications. All 11 tracks will be available to listen to (but not to download), and an online-only video of the band discussing the album will compliment the package.

Frontman Michael Stipe told music website billboard.com that the band made the decision to debut their 14th studio album online because the music industry has changed.

“I think you can either go with it or sit back and watch it happen, and I would rather be out on the field than in the bleachers," he said.

"It was one of those ideas that was presented to us and it seemed like a good one so we ran for it."

R.E.M., one of the most prominent rock groups of the late Eighties and early Nineties, are known for embracing new technology. They recently made band video footage available online and invited fans to edit it together themselves to create their own music video for Accelerate’s first single, Supernatural Superserious.

The band follows the lead of Radiohead and Madonna in acknowledging that music piracy and file-sharing have meant an increasing amount of music is listened to for free on the internet.

In October, Radiohead made headlines around the world when they invited fans to pay what they saw fit to download their album In Rainbows.

Late last year, Madonna left long-time record label Warner and signed a contract with touring company Live Nation. The move was seen as an acknowledgement that concerts, rather than albums, were the future of money-making in the music industry.

But some artist have joined record labels in rallying against the new trend. British singer-songwriter James Blunt argued allowing music to be listened to for free "devalued it".

  11/03/2008. Times Online.