7 Days, 1 Million Downloads, and Alex Day Outcharts Justin Timberlake

A few days ago, Dave Grohl’s SXSW keynote reminded us why we believe in music. Why we’re ridiculously lucky to be alive here and now, at a time when it’s “easier than ever to start our own bands, make our own records, book our own shows, and publish our own zines”. We can grow up to be anything. We might not have maps to guide us. We might not have the same hard-and-fast rules to hold on to. But we don’t have anything holding us back, either.

Which brings us to Alex Day. There’s a rule about how labels = charts. On Tuesday, we were reminded again that, in fact, they don’t. Alex Day’s Epigrams And Interludes collection outcharted Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience in the UK, and debuted at #22 in the US. A kid with a YouTube channel who makes music on his terms is more powerful than the industry machine.

How’s that possible? To get there, Day broke another rule. He worked with us. Day’s objective was to get his songs to people. We partnered with him to distribute ten tracks and stems through BitTorrent to 170 million fans. Within seven days, he had 1 million downloads – a viewcount that would require several weeks to build on YouTube. 38 thousand people checked out the remixes he posted on SoShare. And as a result, Day received 60 thousand additional visits to iTunes. All from BitTorrent users.

By releasing downloads first via BitTorrent, Day was able to reach the critical mass of fans necessary to drive up album sales. The old rules don’t apply, anymore. We congratulate Alex for breaking them. Our million-and-oneth download could be you, if you just click here.

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