McFly latest to give away new album

McFly's Danny Jones performs during the Live 8 Japan at Makuhari Messe in Makuhari, east of Tokyo, July 2, 2005. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

LONDON (Reuters) - Pop band McFly will give away its new album with a Sunday newspaper in July to promote an upcoming tour, the latest sign that live performance is taking priority over recorded music.

The quartet, who have had seven UK No.1 singles, are following in the footsteps of U.S. singer Prince, who used a similar strategy in last year when he gave away his album “Planet Earth” with the Mail on Sunday.

Although music retailers criticised the move, it was seen as a successful strategy when his tour sold out.

McFly have come to a deal with the same newspaper to distribute nearly three million copies of “Radio:ACTIVE” on July 20, the band told the BBC.

“We get to put it into almost three million homes, which is an incredible opportunity for us,” said singer Tom Fletcher. “Hopefully the three million people will all enjoy the music and they’ll decide to see us when we go on tour.”

Pop stars are increasingly focusing on live performance and merchandising to make money as CD sales continue to slide.

Online piracy and competition from videogames have eroded the music market, creating problems for record companies and encouraging some of the world’s biggest acts to ditch their labels and sign with tour promoters and even coffee chains.

Industry executives fear the trend towards more and more music giveaways will force the labels out of business and make it harder for new talent to be heard.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Matthew Jones)

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