With the Internet and its ability to offer access to a label’s entire back catalog and future releases with a few simple clicks, these behemoths are going to have to do something to stop from hemorrhaging profit. Turns out that preventative measure could very well change the album format as we know it.
According to Billboard.biz, Warner Music Nashville is introducing the Six Pak format. Rather than the usual ten-plus songs on an album, the Six Pak will offer an effort that contains just six songs. The label’s plan is to release rising country act Blake Shelton’s album “Hillbilly Bone” on March 2nd and then release the follow-up, which has yet to be recorded, in August. So far, the industry as a whole has reacted positively. But as far as Warner’s senior VP of Sales and Marketing Peter Strickland is concerned, it’s all about pleasing the fans’ constant demand.
“Fans will get more music than me putting out a new album every two years,” Strickland said. “It’s a quicker way to get new music to them.” Strickland also added that it’s a chance for artists “to deliver music to [fans] on a much more regular basis at a value price package.”
While the price for the Six Pak has yet to be released, it could aid in decreasing the already exorbitant price of a traditional CD. Of course, with single-song downloads increasing and CD sales down significantly, this could be one of the last shots for the album format and both the constraints and creative opportunities it provides. Of course, only time will tell.
As always, we’ll keep you updated if the Six Pak format makes its way beyond the country genre.