Bullet For My Valentine spent last week hyping the release of a new “free” track on Tuesday, and upon launch, many fans were disappointed to find the download required fans to promote the song on their Twitter or Facebook pages.
The promotion, through a service called TweetMatic, uses Twitter and Facebook’s APIs to open access to users’ accounts, whereupon it posts this message to followers/friends:
I just downloaded ‘Begging For Mercy’ from Bullet For My Valentine’s (@bfmvofficial) new album ‘Fever’ for FREE! http://mblx.us/bfmv
Some fans are understandably upset, and for a number of reasons:
- While it’s not a bait-and-switch, it can feel like one: “FREE download! Wait, first, do some work for us!”
- Allowing TweetMatic to access users’ Twitter and Facebook accounts gives them access to personal data, which they might not necessarily be interested in collecting, but still makes the user uneasy.
- The user might be opposed to posting the standardized message, as it comes off as impersonal and might even make it appear the user has been hacked. While you can personalize your message, that’s not very clear, and many users won’t care to make the effort to understand the process.
- The user hasn’t even had a chance to stream or sample the music before doing any of this. They might make all these concessions for a song they won’t even like. It’s one thing to do a little bit of work or give up some personal information to get something you really want, but we’re talking about a first-taste of a brand-new song.
While I’m not totally opposed to asking users for something like this in exchange for something (tweeting for a webstore coupon, bonus material, or something premium – Every Time I Die does this in exchange for streaming an entire DVD), this is probably not the most feel-good way to make a first impression and launch a release. It comes across as disingenuous when you build anticipation among fans (and rally with the word “FREE”), only to add even a minor speed bump between the fans and the music. With all of the white noise and hypersaturation of information facing music fans, the last thing you want to do is complicate the process.
For you BFMV fans, though, our buddies at MetalSucks found the song on YouTube: