Bowers & Wilkins Launches Music Club
Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) today announced the launch of the B&W Music Club, in partnership with Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios.
B&W Music Club is an online community for audiophiles and music fans that will offer exclusive monthly albums to its members, specially recorded at Real World Studios and downloadable in a ‘lossless’ file format to provide CD-quality sound.
For a small annual or six-month subscription fee, Music Club will offer one specially commissioned album each month, recorded in dedicated live sessions at Real World Studios in Bath. Albums will be available to download for one month only and are provided without Digital Rights Management (DRM) to enable use across a variety of playback media.
Alongside Music Club, B&W’s Society of Sound website offers a diverse community site, created for people with a passion for sound. As well as blogs and feature articles, Society of Sound will host regular podcasts from Martin Ware (Heaven 17, Human League) and video interviews with its Fellows including; Real World’s Peter Gabriel, composer James Newton Howard, jazz singer Cassandra Wilson, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and the seminal British designer Kenneth Grange, amongst others.
Dan Haikin, Brand Director, B&W said: “B&W’s business is built on being passionate about music and sound quality. In Society of Sound we have created a meeting place for people who share our passions. The Music Club takes this a step further by providing exclusive opportunities for people hear an eclectic mix of new music from a diverse range of artists at super-high fidelity.”
“For many people today, music has become a background noise or commodity. The MP3 revolution has placed convenience over quality. Music Club will address this by creating exclusive live albums from a hand-picked selection of leading musicians as high quality downloads.”
Live sessions offered on Music Club will span many different genres and styles from new and established artists from all across the world. Two months after the live sessions are first offered to Music Club members, B&W returns the rights for the albums to the artists.
By providing free studio time, mixing sessions and eventually returning the rights to artists, it is hoped that Music Club will provide a great opportunity for new bands to professionally record new material, as well as offering more well-known artists a chance to experiment or collaborate on interesting side projects.
Peter Gabriel said: “This collaboration with B&W is unique as far as I know and it’s going to allow a lot of interesting projects to happen. For artists, Music Club is a dream proposition because they get some great time in the studio, access to really good recording facilities and can experiment without being committed to anything or anyone beyond a month with B&W.”
Music Club launches at Real World Studios with live performances from some of its first featured artists, including blues guitarist Skip McDonald’s Little Axe collective, singer-songwriter Gwyneth Herbert and Grindhouse (mondo cane) – a new collaboration from Dominic Greensmith (Reef) and Gareth Hale. A further live session is also being recorded by Dub Colossus in A Town Called Addis – a project created by Nick Page (Transglobal Underground) which will bring some of Ethiopia’s best musicians to the UK for the first time ever.
Membership of Music Club costs $39.95 for six months or $59.95 for a year. Based on a yearly membership, this means that Music Club members receive 12 albums for less than $5.00 per album. B&W will also offer free trial memberships via its website. Each download will be supplied DRM-free in lossless format, at around half the file size of a CD recording and will include printable color sleeve artwork to enable members to create CD albums from the downloaded files.