London-based independent record label Kids will become the first UK label to offer free MP3 versions of releases bought on vinyl.
Having released three sold-out vinyl-only singles from likes of iLiKETRAiNS, The Whip and Paper Cuts in less than six months since starting at the back end of 2005, their next release, 'Believable' by LA-based Mighty Six Ninety, released 13th March, will be the first release for which free MP3 versions of both tracks will be available to vinyl buyers.
A spokesman for the label said: "People who buy our records love the physical quality of the releases, but they also want to be able to listen to the music wherever they want, particularly on their iPods. Why should someone have to buy it once for the vinyl, then pay to download it again for their MP3 player? We want to show the rest of the industry that digital technology can complement, not threaten, traditional releases."
Kids will put a slip of paper with a randomly selected word into each vinyl. When the buyer e-mails the label with this word, they'll be e-mailed full MP3s of all the tracks on that release. Additionally, the MP3s given away by Kids will be completely unprotected and will work on any digital music device.
While one major label is applying controversial copy protection software to its releases and the BPI is suing suspected file-sharers, Kids is unconcerned about the impact that unprotected MP3s might have on its sales:
"If people pass on the MP3s to their friends, then it shows that the buyer has confidence in the music, and so his or her friend is likely to buy the physical record and become interested in the other Kids releases. It's a win-win situation, and it's a fair deal for the buyers of our records."
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