Via Bob, I learned about this interesting attempt to game the downloadable singles chart, the way that authors often do at Amazon.com. By coordinating a whole lot of purchases through iTunes, the organizers hope to land a podsafe single by a band that has been dumped from two major label contracts onto the charts.
Here’s what I find interesting about the discussion the project’s generating. Unlike authors, who can make an hour-by-hour splash on Amazon’s very transparent book ranking pages, musicians don’t have such easy access to statistics. We might not know what effect this will have for days or weeks. In addition, music buyers are far more skeptical about this project than book buyers, even though the amount of the purchase is only 99 cents (versus $12 or more for a book).
Because the appeal is coming from podcasters who want to make a statement, and not from the band itself, a lot of folks are feeling “meh” about the whole thing. (Some folks don’t want to send money to iTunes. Some folks feel like it’s a hidden RIAA conspiracy. Some folks just don’t like the song.) So, as Bob also wonders, I imagine what would happen if a very organized purchasing campaign grew up through an artist’s street team and had more passion behind it. We already know that 5,000 is a magic number, and 1,325 folks have already dugg this story.
What noise could you make if you got 5,000 people to buy your single?