More bands releasing Special Edition Albums on USB Sticks

Lady Gaga becomes the latest in a growing list of major recording artists to release a special edition of their work on a custom USB memory stick,

Lady Gaga USB Sticks

Not content with issuing a special edition Fame Monster USB drive in 2010 she has now followed this up with a limited edition Born This Way USB Drive. Unfortunately it’s only available in Japan but with her global popularity it’s bound to surface on well-known auction sites around the world over the coming months.

The USB drive is a pretty faithful copy of the artwork from the album with Lady Gaga shown astride her motorcycle. It’s a 2GB drive and so not only do you get all the songs from the album, you also get tons of extras including remixed tracks and music videos Judas, Born this Way, The Edge of Glory, and episodes of Gaga vision.

Although Lady Gaga clearly likes to define trends on this occasion she’s a little bit late to the party because in 2007 Radiohead released "Radiohead: The Parlaphone Years 1993 - 2003" on a customised USB memory stick in the shape of the iconic Radiohead “bear”. Whilst it was also available on CD the limited edition USB version included the whole of the Radiohead back catalogue in WAV files.

Shortly after the release of the Radiohead USB stick Apple Records released the Beatles back catalogue on an apple-shaped USB Stick The 16GB memory stick was packed with 14 stereo albums, 13 mini-documentary films about the albums, album art and copies of rare Beatle artwork and posters. Only 30,000 were made and despite a price tag of

Beatles USB Sticks

around £200 they sold out pretty quickly.

With bands increasingly using websites, iTunes, blogs and Social Networking sites to promote and distribute their music it’s unlikely that we’ll see a headlong rush towards the use of USB memory sticks for music but, for some global artists or those with a large back catalogues and a library of videos and other material its an interesting option.

At the other end of the spectrum if you’re a new band trying to break into the market getting a custom USB memory stick produced and pre-loading it with your music and bio’s about the band members is a way to get noticed – they make far more impact than sending in a CD or DVD. It’s not as expensive as you might think either because the price of custom USB memory sticks has fallen dramatically over the last year making them only a little more expensive than standard USB memory sticks that use “generic” factory designs.

Just like any other industry the music industry has to adapt and use all of the new and emerging marketing channels available to it and this, albeit to a limited degree, includes USB memory sticks.

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