In honor of its 100 millionth download, subscription-based iTunes wannabe eMusic decided to give away a special prize: a song written especially for the lucky legal downloader. The catch? The song would be written by the Barenaked Ladies.
Then, in December, Michael Brennan, a “48-year old visual artist” from Morestown, New Jersey downloaded Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “Diamond Ring,” the nines turned to zeroes, and the Barenaked Ladies went to work. Last week the appropriately named “Michael Brennan” went up on eMusic as a free download. You can listen to it here (via Whit).
So, to recap: the dude who downloaded the 1 billionth song on iTunes (Coldplay??) got $10,000, an iMac and ten iPods. And Mr. Brennan gets a bunch of Canadian nerd-rockers presenting his trivial and meaningless life to the world (or at least the ever-shrinking portion of the world that actually cares about the Barenaked Ladies). Granted, eMusic has neither the hardware nor the PR firepower to do it up like Steve Jobs, but this is closer to a kick to the groin than an iPod. Could this be the worst prize ever? We seem to remember a MasterCard promotion where the winner got to be a roadie for Third Eye Blind or something like that, but even that contest was over in a few weeks. This song, like the Ladies themselves, seems destined to last forever.