Placebo storm charts on self-released digital savvy

placebolowres1An interesting snippet likely to be crushed in the wave of weportage anticipated in advance of todays release of the UK government’s ‘Digital Britain’ report – though a snippet which underlines the value of the internet in switched-on music marketing:

Placebo have achieved top ten entry in the UK and number ones across Europe through the exercise of social and internet-based media to introduce their self-released new album, ‘Battle For The Sun’.

The band have been using an innovative fan campaign that involved direct streaming through their fansite www.placeboworld.co.uk, and the results have proved to be overwhelmingly positive. “It’s a great bit of news for the power of digital media, connecting with the fans and, ultimately, selling more records because of it,” a band representative told Distorted Loop.

Now, just one week since release, Placebo’s sixth studio album, ‘Battle For The Sun’, is surpassing expectations around Europe with a band energised, re-vitalised and keen to build over the campaign ahead.

The European campaign saw the album streamed to 150,000 fans in the week prior to release and saw the album go straight to number one in the official Belgian charts after only two days of registered sales. After storming into the top ten in the UK on Sunday night, the album looks set to enter domestic charts at the coveted #1 spot in Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland later this week. The band is also looking to hit the top five for the first time in Holland and Italy and in Sweden the band could have their first ever top 10 album chart entry at no. 9.

‘Battle For The Sun’ has already shipped close to half a million units worldwide and is set to be certified Gold week of release in France, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. Last Wednesday, the album had attained the top-spot on iTunes in France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland Portugal and Luxembourg.

This represents a major coup for the band, who after almost 15 years, continue to sell out stadiums worldwide and are set to play 25 major festivals this summer, most appearances as Headliners or co-Headliners, more than any other UK act.

It’s another refreshing example of how bands with a profile can get richer through strategic dumping of their labels. “After 13 years within a major label system, the new campaign began when Placebo and Riverman Management chose [PIAS] Entertainment Group to be their European partners for structured campaign architecture and marketing for the new record across Europe (managed in the UK by [PIAS] UK’s marketing arm, Integral),” the band’s “people” said, adding, “the nature of the deal has allowed the team to be innovative in their approach and reach out to the fans who have kept Placebo at the top of the tree over the past decade.”

Edwin Schroter, international director of [PIAS] Entertainment Group, said: “Placebo is a band with a very strong and loyal following and ‘Battle For The Sun’ is a record that we always believed would win them a lot of new fans around the world. The long term plan for the release has been developed over a long period of time and was tailor-made territory by territory to cater for both the markets where Placebo are a massive chart topping band already as well as the markets where a lot of new ground had to be covered to build the kind of profile the band has in their biggest markets.

“The first chart results definitely show that this plan is working with some of the best chart entries the band has had so far including what is looking to be their first ever number 1 album in Germany, one of their biggest markets. This definitely is the result of great teamwork by the band, their management and the global and local teams executing a strong, long term strategy.”

With only a small database carried over from their previous label set up the Placebo team put in tireless work to rebuild and nurture fan connections. They offered single announcements, free downloads, videos, up-to-date album news and finally, the exclusive album stream.

Placeboworld.co.uk has been the hub of the campaign’s activity, it was the only place that offered a legally free download of the album’s title track ‘Battle for the Sun’ – available immediately after the track had its World Premiere as ‘hottest record in the world’ on Zane Lowe’s Radio One (UK) radio show.

Continuing the innovative approach, the band’s first full single from the album, ‘For What It’s Worth’ was made available for sale within moments of its first play on the UK’s Radio One in May, allowing fans a legitimate avenue to purchase the music.  “Similarly eschewing a front-loaded short term approach to the singles market has allowed the focus of the campaign to be on driving to the full album release,” the band’s people also explained.

Placebo will embark on a full arena tour in the autumn to support the release.

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