Fans quickly downloaded one million Mojo Nixon songs on AmazonMP3, all legal, all free.
That was part of a bet that the giveaway would stimulate more awareness, tighten fan relationships, and generate greater sales on non-recorded assets. But what happens when you flood a million, well-encoded MP3s onto the net?
Depends on the artist, but so far, so good for Mojo. According to research shared by BigChampagne, the Nixon initiative produced little content piracy. BigChampagne chief Eric Garland reported “no concurrent increase in piracy of Mojo’s material,” and a relatively hangover-free stunt. “AmazonMP3 downloads now completely dwarf the unauthorized flow of his catalog,” Garland noted.
Meanwhile, Nixon continued to offer an unruly analysis. “A retired lunatic with no Facebook, no Twitter, no MySpace or tour. Not even an e-mail list,” Mojo stated. “The question is – did I lose a million dollars or gain a million fans?”
But results vary when it comes to file-sharing spillover. Radiohead changed the game by spinning a pay-what-you-want model. But BitTorrent volumes quickly surpassed site-generated downloads, largely because of the familiarity of the platform among fans. Perhaps AmazonMP3 offered a similarly-familiar destination for Mojo fans, though unique dynamics related to the artist base also factored into the result.