So either someone is blowing smoke up Green Day or they’ve been smoking something that says that they can pull this off.....
In a market like music where album releases come along every few years on average, releasing three in effectively one go is unheard of. The day of double and triple albums have long gone as digital albums become the norm and extra bonus tracks get added on to deluxe versions to drive initial sales. But to put this in perspective the last three Green Day studio albums have been 1997, 2000, 2004, 2009…the years were getting longer imbetween each album not shorter.
What Green Day are attempting to do is the equivalent of launching iphone 5, 6 and 7 within a four month timeline. You could probably do it but by the time the third one was released where would the sales be? Saturation point? Music is of course different to iphones, not least in the pricepoint – from free to a few dollars and die hard fans will undoubtedly buy the lot but will anyone else?
In terms of brand positioning Green Day have had a rollercoaster ride from cool student band to past it punk band to political anti-heroes with their greatest album American Idiot and back to overblown rock ballards with their last studio one three years ago.
They have promised that the new three, titled Uno, Dos, Tre, will all be different in sound. Back to basics to wild party rock to love and reflection are the differing product points. Three different marketing themes and sounds with similar creative – a different member of the bank on each album cover – for the marketing teams to get stuck into.
There are three different time periods to cope with too. September, November and January which means minimal singles can be released to promote the 2nd and 3rd albums, especially with xmas in the way where new singles get lost. There have already been three released from the first album which will make or break the whole concept in my view.
January is usually a dead period for album sales and releases so while they may get lots of coverage then, if people aren’t Green Dayed out, sales won’t be great. The biggest challenge will be November release in what is a very competitive market for music at that time with the majority of all music sales being in the months leading up towards xmas.
It will be interesting to see if the very brave sales and marketing challenge they have set their record company comes off or whether they will wish they had picked the best 12 tracks and gone with that instead…..