The New Stuff

20 Unconventional Ways to Release Your Music


Who says you should just make CDs and digital downloads like the rest of the regular guys? There are so many ways to get creative with releasing, distributing and marketing your music. Here are some of them:

Put some weird ingredient unto your Packaging–like Ke$ha’s blood

flaming lips blood release

Flaming Lips released their new record “The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends” with an album packaging blotched with blood of artists like Ke$ha, Erykah Badu, Chris Martin, Nick Cave and Grammy’s Best New Artist Bon Iver.__________________________________________________

Put your music in something edible like Chocolate Heart or Gummy Skull

flaming lips release chocolate heart

Flaming Lips also released a compilation of love songs, contained on a USB stick, and packaged inside an anatomically correct chocolate human heart. The band also released four songs on a USB drive buried inside a life-sized gummy skull. As in, you have to lick or break the candy before you can listen to their music.

__________________________________________________
Sell your CD with a box of Pizza with your face on it

taylor swift red pizza

Taylor Swift puts her face everywhere, including the pizza box. If you’re not huge enough to tie up with a Pizza company, just get the idea and come up with something else…like team up with a club and put your faces on a glass of beer or something. The point is, package it with something your peeps would love to consume.
__________________________________________________
Honesty Box or “pay whatever amount for our music”

Radiohead In Rainbows Distribution

‘In Rainbows’ was made available online in 2007, with fans able to pay whatever they think the music is worth. One third of the downloaders did not pay a single cent but the ensuing hype and publicity led to ‘In Rainbows’ being the most profitable album of Radiohead’s career.

__________________________________________________
Put a download code on a Soup Can

kosher max tundra

Here’s something similar to Taylor Swift’s pizza. Fans who choose the soup can format also get an exclusive digital compilation of Max Tundra’s friends covering his songs. What a novel idea.

__________________________________________________
Tie Vinyl or USB on Balloons and set them free

Jack White released a limited-edition single by helium balloon from his Third Man Records label headquarters in Nashville. The track is “Freedom at 21”. White and colleagues at Third Man filled 1,000 blue balloons approximately two feet in diameter with helium, attached flexi-discs and released them into the sky.

Belgium-based band GARCIA GOODBYE also released their new single “Horizon” by putting it in USB sticks, tying them to balloons, and setting them free. The Flash Drive has a note to call the band so they can play on the houses of these lucky finders. Read about it here.

Garcia Goodbye balloon

__________________________________________________
Put a download code on a tee

Mos Def’s latest album, The Ecstatic, is in a wearable T-shirt format. The T-shirt has The Ecstatic Killer of Sheep-interpolating cover art printed on the front, song titles on the back, and a download code for the album on the hang tag.

__________________________________________________
Give away Limited Edition newspapers

radiohead publicity newspaper

Radiohead gave away copies of their newspaper, The Universal Sigh, in conjunction with their new album The King of Limb.

__________________________________________________
Digital Album Signing thru Google+ Hangouts

Now autograph signing sessions are entering the digital age thanks to Google+ Hangouts. Ellie Goulding held the world’s first digital album signing as part of a promotion for her second album. Using a Wacom tablet, Photoshop and a custom Google+ Hangout app Ellie Goulding talked face-to-face some of her fans from across the world, signed and dedicated an album cover for each them.

__________________________________________________
Cassettes

cassette tape music marketing

We’ve heard lots of anecdotal evidence that the cassette is making a comeback, and sure enough, SXSW “it” band The Dirty Projectors are selling cassettes that come with download codes. Lucky Dragons‘ website contains the offer “cassettes now available in MP3 form.”

__________________________________________________
Flash Memory

Take a look at this cute little thing. It’s a flash memory drive of the Beatles. After transferring the music onto their computers, fans can use the USB memory stick for whatever they want — or they can leave the files on there, to keep them in “mint” condition.

__________________________________________________
Interactive CD Package with Online Animated Experience

Jive Talk Interactive CD

This interactive CD package was designed for Jive Talk‘s latest album ’123 Jump!’. To enhance fans’ experience with the band, we created an online animated experience using Augmented Reality and Quick Response codes.

Fold the CD case to form the stage and scan the QR code to start the band’s “live” animated performance. Watch the animated Jive Talk members perform their title track, “123 Jump!”

__________________________________________________
Put your Music in a Pill

sunshine enema packaging USB

Sunshine Enema released a USB drive shaped like a pill nestled inside a pill bottle. The bottle was sold inside a prescription bag. The bag is stapled with a “dosing instructions” to aid any listener in how to use their new medicine, along with contraindications, common uses, and warnings to let the prescribed know that “There is no recommended dose. You are on your own.”

Turns out they’re not the first one who did this. German pop rock band Die Heuwels Fantasties also made a bottle of memory sticks in the shape of pill capsules for “Pille Vir Kersfees”…in 2008.

__________________________________________________
Releasing one album in 4 discs that has to be played in 4 players at the same time

Here is an album that required four different CD players to listen to. Once again, the Flaming Lips had the shockingly normal idea to release an album with eight songs. Each song was separated into four tracks on four different discs that had to be played simultaneously to get the whole experience. Whew! Not very advisable if you’re not yet a band with a million fans.

__________________________________________________
Music Box

Scottish guitar band Mogwai gave its fans (the author included) a real treat in the form of a professionally-constructed metal music box that plays their song “Tracy” when you wind a little crank on the side.

__________________________________________________
Sheet Music

beck music release music sheet

Forget vinyl, forget cassettes, forget eight tracks because if you’re really hip, you’d go for the sheet music. Beck  released his album Song Reader in the most old-school format possible — sheet music.

__________________________________________________
NES Cartridge

NES cartridge Alex Mauer Album

Chiptune musician Alex Mauer released the first album to ever be pressed on an actual NES cartridge. The can be inserted into an actual NES. Rocker Jon Black also offers his latest album on original Nintendo cartridges.

NES cartridge album

__________________________________________________
CD Case that actually plays music

Moldover designed a CD holder out of a custom circuit board that has the all the CD information (including track titles) written out in circuitry!

__________________________________________________
Cardboard case that plays a record

The hand-spun record yields a garbled, but scrutable listening. This one in the picture is actually a wedding invitation but a great inspiration for any musician. It requires a bit of tinkering and folding —effectively championing the inner science-nerd kid in the recipient. The whole thing serves as an interactive packaging for the song.
____________________________________________________________________
Unified Manufacturing is an L.A. -based one-stop-shop that offers very affordable CD/DVD/USB replication, custom printing, promotional products, warehousing and fulfillment and many more. If you need an Instant Quote on a project and you want FREE SHIPPING, simply CLICK HERE.

Share

Recently Published

»

CD Packaging of the Week: Chang and Lee

We love the look of this street, grunge, trashy pop CD packaging. ...

»

Reasons Why Millennials Love the Vinyl

[Written by Ben Schultz, is an award-winning journalist and music ...

david bowie ziggy stardust
»

Best of the Best: Our Top Advice Articles for Indie Musicians

Hi folks! What have you been up to? Aside from the usual busyness of ...

»

NEON VINYL RECORDS

We’ve features some of the most creative vinyl records here on ...

vinyl box set: back to the future soundtrack
»

Back To The Future Trilogy Soundtrack Vinyl Box Set

A classic film such as the BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY deserves ...

Kiss band marketing
»

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Band Name and Why You Should Copyright It

Who would have thought that finding the perfect band name could be a ...

»

Meet The Dodds Sisters, Queens of CD Package Design

Shauna and Sarah Dodds, the creatively inclined badass sisters from ...

creative CD packaging design by
»

Album Releases That Took Music Packaging to a Whole New Level

Now that everyone prefers to download their music, creative releases ...

»

Gremlins Soundtrack Vinyl

Everyone knows the rules: Don’t get ’em wet. Don’t ...

Read previous post:
martin atkins quotes
17 Famous Martin Atkins Quotes on Music Career

Martin Atkins is a former drummer of PiL, Pigface, Ministry, Killing Joke, Nine Inch Nails and more. He's also an...

Close