Holy crap – social music service Rdio got an exclusive release, and the entire album can be streamed here, even if you aren’t an Rdio subscriber. And it’s legal. What’s next, locusts?

This morning Rdio announced the new Booker T Jones album, The Road To Memphis, produced by Questlove of The Roots is available now only at Rdio.

“For the next week,” it says on the Rdio blog, “Rdio is the exclusive source for this legendary musician’s new album — listen on Rdio.com or through Rdio’s embeddable players.” The Road to Memphis is expected to be widely released on May 10.

Exclusives, free downloads, and fan engagement – that’s the song and dance of the “new” digital music business, but there’s nothing new about it. Music marketing has always incorporated exclusives, freebies and fan engagement. These are simply new catch phrases to describe the same philosophies, which are finally translating to digital methodology.

Thanks to innovative music-tech companies building products friendly to the needs of both music marketing and consumers, music marketing online just got awesome. But it doesn’t work by itself, everyone needs a drug buddy.

How is this exclusive different from all other exclusives?
Music marketing is an art. Creating campaigns that will hopefully, sell music or “get butts in seats” (sell out shows) in 2011 often means offering an easily consumable exclusive release, by itself or in advance of street date. Larger retailers like iTunes and Rhapsody put together programs immediately in the early 2000s to accommodate this kind of marketing, already familiar to the physical music industry.

Rhapsody Originals are exclusive studio sessions for each company’s store placed for sale under the umbrella of a ‘feature.’ These are the equivalent to digital in-stores, like when Amoeba Records invited you to an in-store performance of Dengue Fever yesterday.

Some exclusive releases are pre-releases, licensed to one service for a short period of time prior to the street date release of that album.

The digital exclusive release, however, has only been sold directly to consumers for the purpose of consumption and sale, with limited sharing abilities due to paywalls and licenses.

Today, Rdio changed up the concept of the on-demand subscription exclusive, by catering to all three types of digital music subscribers:

1. Radio Gaga (passive listener)
2. Me First And The Gimme Gimme (on demand listener)
3. My Drug Buddy (music fan who loves to share music)

Wait – Tell me again how this is different?
This is huge: If you are not a subscriber to Rdio you can still listen to the album. Go ahead, scroll up and click. No clips here. You can listen to the whole album right here if you don’t subscribe to Rdio.

That’s because Rdio is hosting the album. Rdio subscribers can access the exclusive Booker T Jones release anytime, and can share the album in it’s entirety with their friends using, as Rdio points out on their blog, through their “embeddable players which you can share on your blog, Twitter or Facebook.”

This kind of exclusive pre release is applicable to the Me First And The Gimme Gimme listener, while promoting it by means of My Drug Buddy, with an “artist radio” option for the Radio Gaga.

So now for the real issue: Now that you’ve listened to it before anyone else, how do you like the new Booker T album?

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