In terms of recorded music
, a bonus track
(also known as a bonus cut
) 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 European
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 sometimes 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... Read More