Bonus Track

In terms of recorded music, a bonus track (also known as a bonus cut or bonus) is a piece of music which has been included on specific releases or reissues of an album. This is most often done as a promotional device, either as an incentive to customers to purchase albums they might otherwise not, or to repurchase albums they already own. In contrast to hidden tracks, bonus tracks are included on track listings.

Many international releases — most commonly Japanese releases of foreign artist albums, but not confined to just Japan, or just music going from West to East — contain a few bonus tracks. These are often B-sides from singles. Alternate takes are other tracks often released as bonus tracks. It has also been said that this is the industry's way to get consumers to purchase albums from Japanese distributors, instead of the often less expensive imports from the West.

It's not uncommon to release singles as bonus tracks on re-issues of old albums, where those weren't originally included.

With the advent of online music stores, such as Apple's iTunes Music Store, à la carte song buying has become the norm. Bonus tracks are often included if a customer buys a whole album rather than just one or two hit songs from the artist. The song is not necessarily free nor is it available as a stand alone download, adding also to the incentive to buy the complete album.

The bonus track as a marketing technique: Japan is one of the largest music markets in the world. However, domestic pressings are more expensive there than in the U.S. or Europe, so Japanese labels often arrange for additional content in the locally manufactured products in an attempt to be competitive with imports.

Read more about Bonus TrackIn Popular Culture

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Famous quotes containing the word track:

    I know what you’re thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off—you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
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