Umphrey's McGee's Mantis Debuts on the Billboard 200 Chart

Article Contributed by madison | Published on Saturday, January 31, 2009

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 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 is an archive of their ever-diverse live performances, hosting downloads of over 300 shows with 750,000 tracks sold since 2004. 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