There’ve been a plethora of high-profile album leaks so far this year (U2, Kelly Clarkson, Bob Dylan), but none have really hurt opening week sales. But now six tracks from Green Day’s highly anticipated 21st Century Breakdown have hit the Web before its May 15 release, and this leak could do some actual damage.
While Green Day has plenty of devoted fans, just like U2 and Bob Dylan, the band’s audience is likely younger and more savvy about file-sharing networks. Plus, we’re sure there are plenty of teenagers who first started listening to the band when its massively successful last album American Idiot was released and are eager to hear what the group’s new music sounds like. That’s the other thing: it’s been so long since American Idiot came out, and that album was such a hit, that there’s a lot of interest in the band’s new material.
If the leak is big, the band’s deal with Rhapsody to promote its upcoming album through Rhapsody partners MTV and RealNetworks — and showcasing the CD on MTV, VH1, Yahoo, Verizon Wireless and TiVo — could have a hard time generating any strong returns.
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