If you are so inclined you can go and listen to Madonna’s new album, Hard Candy, streaming in its entirety on her MySpace page before the album has been officially released for sale.
This would appear to be a pretty digital-age savvy move but as Mashable points out:
“If it actually helps sales is a difficult thing to measure, but it could also be seen as a rather large gamble to expose an entire work to the public before sales. I must say as each track plays, I am finding myself less enthralled with this particular outing from the Material Girl.”
This is an interesting question – until recently there was really no good way to hear an artist’s album unless you went out and bought it. You might get to hear one or two songs on the radio, if you listen to the radio, but most of the tracks would be a complete surprise. I remember many occasions buying an album after hearing one great track on the radio only to be totally disappointed by the rest of the album.
Now, the question is, do customers deserve the chance to hear an album in its entirety prior to purchase? That would be a pretty huge change to the way things have been for decades.