Goodie Mob is back together for their first project in almost a decade (and their first in 14 years with Cee-Lo Green), and they’re taking a relatively unusual—but not totally unheard-of—sales strategy.
With less than a week to go before Age Against The Machine hits the shelves, Cee-Lo and his Goodie cohorts Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo started selling the new album on Groupon for $8.99, or a 40 percent discount off the $14.98 list price. The move comes on the heels of Ciara’s Groupon promotion which ran at the end of last month, where she sold her latest self-titled album, as well as a Greatest Hits collection, for a discounted price after a steep drop in sales.
While it may seem like a way to give the album away for cheap—Groupon specializes in getting great deals on trips and businesses which otherwise would be pretty expensive, after all—it’s not much different from other marketing schemes that have cropped up in the past few years. Madonna packaged her recent album MDNA with concert tickets, which helped it debut at number one on the Billboard 200 but led to the biggest percentage drop in second-week sales for a chart-topping debut, beating out the previous record set by Lada Gaga’s Born This Way, which was helped in its first week by Amazon’s decision to sell it for two days at just 99 cents. Taylor Swift’s deal with Papa John‘s added another 8,000 copies to her first-week sales of Red—the album which kept Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city off the top of the charts—while Jay Z made waves with his Samsung deal earlier this year which was designed to deliver one million copies of Magna Carta…Holy Grail to Samsung users on the Fourth of July.
Of course there are issues with the promotion as well—there’s a $3 shipping fee for all orders under $15, for starters, which brings the price back up over ten bucks, and while it’s marketed as a “pre-sale,” the company says that most orders are delivered within two and a half weeks, which means even if fans bought the album today it wouldn’t arrive until two weeks after it drops on Tuesday. Saving three bucks to get the album two weeks late—that’s an interesting move. But hey, free returns if you get cold feet.
Age Against The Machine comes out August 27 on RIG/The Right Records. The Groupon sale can be found here.