Self confessed Internet addict and rock star David Bowie is to release his latest album on the Internet, two weeks before it goes on sale in the shops.
Fans will be able to download the album, dubbed “hours....” from a number of Web sites, including Tower Records and Virgin, from September 21 for a fee to be deducted from their credit cards. The downloaded album is expected to be slightly cheaper than the CD version.
To avoid the issue of piracy Bowie has had an electronic copyright written into his album. Virgin said it was excited by the project, but a spokesperson said it was, “no way indicative of the way Virgin plans to do business in the future.”
The record industry has been hard at work trying to come up with a secure initiative to help protect itself against bootlegging on the Internet. It has criticised the popular MP3 format, which has rapidly been adopted by music fans, as an open door to piracy.
It will not be Bowie’s first foray onto the Internet. He already has his own Internet service provider, Bowienet, and has previously released a single and concert details online.
Bowie’s decision to go with an Internet launch could jepordise his chances of chart sucess, however. CIN, which compiles the official record charts, only takes into account actual merchandise sales and not Internet sales.
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