Coldplay has a 5 album deal with EMI/Parlaphone. Vida La Vida is officially their 4th album to date, so they owe one more album (if that doesn’t count a greatest hits collection).
Their actions in the last year have shown evidence of planning for independence after their contract runs out. You heard about Coldplay building their e-mail list before the launch of Vida La Vida, right? They got millions of people to sign up to hear the Violet Hill single before anyone else. Sure, some people unsubscribed, but a whole lot more- including myself, stayed in the loop.
Their recent artist-fan relationship strengthening live album give away also helped build a list. They probably analyzed who was already on the e-mail list and removed duplicates, but they probably should have just sent the link to people already on the list and let newbies sign up for the free live album.
The band and their management are doing their best to cultivate an intimate direct-to-fan relationship.They know it will be incredibly important if they go sans-label. If they do, they’ll be just fine because they’ll have direct contact with their true fans.
An an independent artist, you of course aren’t going to get millions of people who are going to sign up, just because you post one tweet or note on your website. The lesson is to realize how important the direct connection from an artist to a fan is. If a big act like Coldplay is putting a lot of effort into building a list of fans, shouldn’t you?[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXSovfzyx28&feature=related]
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