Elektra remixes CD marketing strategy

Software bundle allows listeners to mix song

As record companies aim to limit the use of compact discs on computers, Elektra has done an about-face and embraced the digital world to promote the new album from Fabolous.

Elektra will be bundling a demo of the Personal Computer Disc Jockey software with Fabolous’ “More Street Dreams Pt. 2 the Mixtape” to allow listeners to create custom mixes of the song “Now Ride.” Album will be released Nov. 4.

Diskeries have been ramping up marketing efforts to enhance the value of CDs by including DVDs of videos, offering online access to unreleased recordings and even treasure hunts. The Fabolous release is the first to actually encourage the manipulation of a recorded track.

“It’s really for the streets,” said Suzanne Burge, VP of marketing at Elektra. “He comes from that world where the mixtape is (a symbol) of guys on the corner freestyling. It’s something for his core (audience). It will be great if fans of top 40 embrace the mixtape, too.”

Fabolous’ debut, “Ghetto Fabolous,” was considered the hottest rap debut of 2001; follow-up “Street Dreams,” released in March, has sold more than 1.1 million copies. Having toured with 50 Cent, another artist who broke out of the ranks of mixtape creators, Fabolous has inked endorsement deals with Lipton Brisk, Sean John and Reebok.

The new Mixable CD, developed by DJ software maker Visiosonic, lets music fans edit and rearrange the CD’s vocal, rhythm and instrumental tracks to create DJ-style mixes on home PCs and laptops. The PCDJ player will become available later in November.

Elektra is promoting the album and software with a giveaway contest at 300 radio stations across the country. A third wave of the promotion will include a contest for radio programmers to submit a remix for the track. The winner’s work will be included on the next mixtape by DJ Clue, an executive producer of “Street Dreams.”

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