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Peppers hope to fill ‘Stadium’ early

iTunes pre-sale will include bonus material

Buy now, get it later.

That’s the new plan hatched by Warner Bros. Records, Apple and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which are hoping to pull in a substantial amount of money in the month before the new Peppers record hits retail.

The band’s new double album, “Stadium Arcadium,” was made available for sale Tuesday on Apple’s iTunes, five weeks before it becomes available at retail. But even after plunking down the bucks, customers will have to wait until May 9 — the album’s release date in stores and on digital platforms — to get the tracks they purchased.

Tactic could well lead to an impressive opening week sales tally since Warners will be able to count those pre-buys as first-week (May 8-14) album sales. Late last year, Wal-Mart pre-sold a box set of Garth Brooks music and reported that a half million copies went out of the stores in a day.

Those who pre-order “Stadium Arcadium” will receive the first single, “Dani California,” immediately. Upon release of the album, fans participating in the pre-order will also receive iTunes bonus content, including an exclusive audio interview with the band, a video chronicling the making of “Dani California” and a full color digital booklet.

Concurrently, all fans who purchase the album — 28 songs for the relative bargain price of $19.90 — will be given an opportunity to purchase tickets for the band’s North American tour prior to the on-sale date for the general public. Those who pre-order the album on iTunes will also receive an email with a code they can use at Ticketmaster.com starting May 9 to purchase Chili Peppers concert tickets. For RedHotChiliPeppers.com Silver and Gold Fan Club members, tickets will be sold May 7 and 8. Ducats go on sale to the general public on May 13.

Band has announced cities but not dates. San Diego is the only Southern California city on the list, and New York is represented by New Jersey, most likely the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford.

The last Chili Peppers studio album, “By the Way,” debuted at No. 2 on sales of 282,000 in July 2002.

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