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Childish Gambino Assigns Ticket Buyers Two Unreleased Tracks As Homework
As Childish Gambino heads out on tour starting tomorrow, Sep. 6 in Atlanta, he has prepped ticket-buyers with two unreleased tracks — "Algorhythm" and "All Night" — as "incomplete" versions exclusively for those attending the show. From an artist whose work can be intellectual, the inventive new move almost seems as if he's assigning homework.
"It is important for u to be familiar with them in order to participate, and therefore fully enjoy the experience," Gambino reportedly shared with ticket-buyers. This puts a different spin on it, that these works-in-progress will be performed live, so knowing them ahead of time should bring the concert experience more fully to life. Plus, these songs are currently un-released and exclusive to ticket-holders, so his "gift-with-purchase" is more like a special treat to fans coming to his shows, to give them a taste of what he has in store for them.
In our data-driven music world, tour packaging tie-ins can be welcome and suspect at the same time. In some ways, the Childish Gambino tracks could be scrutinized as a version of the music-bundling that has recently come under fire, even though it is now common practice. The recent race for No. 1 on the Billboard 200 pitted Travis Scott's Astroworld against Nicki Minaj's Queen, emphasizing the impact of merchandise bundles on chart positions.
While streaming-service exclusives have calmed down, for now, it wasn't that long ago album releases were being strategically windowed to attract subscribers, conspicuously. But marketing and packaging always come with some sort of brand associations. Childish Gambino wants his fans to get into his new material before he hits the stage. Fair enough. The basis of a good package is a win-win, and there should be many more attention-getting tie-ins ahead.