Umphrey's McGee's new album, Mantis, debuts at #62 on the Billboard 200 Chart, and #6 on the Indie Chart. Mantis also reached #25 on the Itunes Album Chart and #9 on the Itunes Rock Chart.
With Mantis' week-of-release sales numbers at more than double that of the band's previous album (The Bottom Half 2005), Umphrey's McGee has defied the record industry's downward trend in sales. This is due in part to Mantis' innovative digital strategy, where fans who pre-ordered the album gained access to exclusive bonus material, and as more pre-orders were received, fans participated in "unlocking" new levels of content. Billboard Magazine recognized Umphrey's McGee for their creative marketing savvy, calling the Mantis pre-order campaign "...a likely template for emerging and established acts [looking to] kick-start interest in a new release."
Indeed, Umphrey's McGee has forged a new path in digital music delivery by building a grassroots and viral grassroots marketing plan that super-serves their fan base. The strategy relies on fan support, and is a win- win for both the fans and the band. As Umphrey's McGee guitarist Jake Cinninger explains, "Our fans have always been there for us, and we wanted to return the favor and do something for them. We knew that this was a program that they'd love and that's a good thing, because without them, it wouldn't have worked." Umphrey's McGee manager Vincent Iwinski adds, "This was certainly an experiment in which we didn't know what would happen, but we are pleased that the fans supported the idea, and ran with it."
In addition to a one-of-a kind pre-order campaign where fans can participate in "unlocking" exclusive bonus material, Mantis incorporates PUSH(TM) technology by Digital Insert to deliver new content throughout 2009. PUSH requires no software installation or serial number; by simply putting the Mantis CD in your CD-ROM drive, the disc will act as a "key" to an Umphreys.com micro-site where fans get access to exclusive 2009 content as it becomes available.
Mantis is yet another innovative music experience to be offered by Umphrey's McGee, who have proven adaptive and inventive both in music and business over the last 10 years. Through online community building, creative web-based promotions, and open taping policies allowing live music sharing among fans, Umphrey's McGee has harnessed the internet's momentum to spread their music far and wide. The band's download store UMLive.net is an archive of their ever-diverse live performances, hosting downloads of over 300 shows with 750,000 tracks sold since 2004. Umphreys.com hosts the iTunes friendly UM Podcast which releases two 75-minute episodes of live material each month to its 20,000 subscribers. Since 2001, Umphrey's has released soundboard recordings of each night's concert immediately after the show in both physical and digital formats - and each show typically sells upwards of 300 copies per night. The band's unique approach to online and digital distribution, paired with word of mouth buzz, has helped Umphrey's McGee sell out shows nationwide while keeping their fans a top priority.
Look for Umphrey's McGee on tour now.
January 31 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
February 01 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
February 12 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 13 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 14 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 15 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 19 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
February 20 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
February 21 The Orange Peel Asheville, NC
February 22 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, NC
March 04 Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, AL
March 05 Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, AL
March 07 Langerado Music Festival Miami Beach, FL
March 12 Royal Oak Music Theatre Royal Oak, MI
March 13 Egyptian Room Indianapolis, IN
March 14 Egyptian Room Indianapolis, IN
March 25 Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, OK
March 26 Liberty Hall Lawrence, KS
March 27 The Pageant St. Louis, MO
March 28 Minglewood Hall Memphis, TN
April 01 Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY
April 02 The Grand Opera House Wilmington, DE
April 03 Penn's Peak Jim Thorpe, PA
April 04 Ram's Head Live! Baltimore, MD
April 05 Toad's Place New Haven, CT
April 07 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel Providence, R
April 08 Calvin Theatre Northampton, MA
April 09 House of Blues Boston, MA
April 10 Nokia Theatre Times Square New York, NY
April 11 Nokia Theatre Times Square New York, NY
April 16 Taft Theatre Cincinnati, OH
April 17 Egyptian Theatre Dekalb, IL
April 18 Morris Performing Arts Center South Bend, IN
April 29 Bama Theatre Tuscaloosa, AL
April 30 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
May 01 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
May 02 The Lyric Oxford MS
May 22 Summer Camp Chillicothe, IL
July 22 10,000 Lakes Festival Detroit Lakes, MN