Beck pre-releases new album in NPR stream

Beck_Morning_PhaseSongwriter and instrumentalist Beck has pre-released his new album, Morning Phase, on NPR. the collection can be streamed in its entirety, with individual song access, in NPR’s “First Listen” website feature and in the NPR Music mobile app. (Listening page here.)

Beck’s tactic is a twist on the industry’s pre-release strategy that, in one form or another, is decades old. Before online music, record labels pre-released singles to radio stations to promote album sales. The digital-era version has gained the most publicity in the iTunes ecosystem, where some high-profile albums have been released for streaming in iTunes Radio before their download availability in the iTunes Music Store.

Beck’s Morning Phase is streaming in iTunes Radio, but without the random access feature in NPR’s presentation, which more closely resembles the Spotify experience than Apple’s linear presentation of the album from start to finish.

Brad Hill