I cancelled my order for the new Moby CD after listening to it online with the streaming version I received from Amazon when I pre-ordered. Initially, it was the pre-release access to the album that moved me from the "thinking about buying" to the "click to pre-order" column. Access to pre-release music is nifty idea and one that I hope starts to become a trend.
That said, I also hope Jeff Bezos isn't using Moby's album sales as a test for the success of this program because, like I said, I stopped the order four weeks before they could legally send it. Jeff, test drive this new initiative with something good like Lord of the Rings!
In Alaska we had a really cool Border's that would open any CD -- no box sets -- in the store and let you listen to it right there. I loved that because there is nothing worse than buying a CD for the one track that I heard on the radio only to take home a future drink coaster because the rest of the album wasn't worth the studio time.
Take Verve for example; their debut single, Bittersweet Symphony was excellent. They might have waited just a little longer before going from radio hit to Nike background music but it still a very cool song. The rest of the album is composed of studio tracks that the band took from the cutting floor from other band sessions. An Ed Woodesque sound, if you will. They had to have because none of their other music sounds like Bittersweet Symphony! Blind Melon, I'm looking at you as well. Bumble-bee song good, rest of the album, bad.
So I pre-order this album and I start listening to it at home, then at work, and then home again. I soon realize that it's not Windows XP making that weird noise, it's Moby.
Kids, if you want to hear what I am talking about, go to your parents Hi-Fi, pop-in the album Play. Now program the CD player to repeat track eight. Listen 16 times. While listening, spin around really fast! Ye haw!
Waiting for an album to come two months after they start playing the feature single on the radio is tough. For this very reason, Amazon needs to increase the use of this pre-release program. They have found the perfect criteria for people to buy music on the Internet vs. Target.
Music promoters, retailers, and trade mags should especially like this program because it's the New Hampshire Primaries of the music retail world.