Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan will announce a new approach to music distribution at South By Southwest (SXSW) 2012 on Monday, March 12. At this point we are still wondering what Corgan means by a “full online experience”. The upcoming release of Smashing Pumpkins’s Oceania will be the center of attention.

Corgan told the following to Mashable:

“Our aim is to turn the ‘social’ into a new way to experience an album,” he said. “By taking the medium one step further we will create an experience with Oceania online and off-line that transcends the single and the single mentality in all ways.”

Corgan says the band plans to “[bring] back the album experience through fan engagement in a whole new way with Oceania.” He added that the band is, ‘Working closely with Superfans as gatekeepers to help interaction on a fan-to fan level by promoting their Smashing Pumpkins related blogs and enlisting their help in maintaining a few official Smashing Pumpkins social media sites.”

Corgan’s publicist added the following:

“The concept that we’re not releasing this record like normal at all,” “The key is that when we release the record, we’re not going to release single a viral video. You’re going to take the record a have a full online experience with it.”

What exactly all of this means no one knows yet. Many questions have arisen around what the possible strategy could be, and if fans will be able to purchase singles on itunes or will they be forced to buy the whole album. Some fans wonder if this is actually new and exciting or simply gimmick to help sell records.

Corgan and the Pumpkins have tested these waters already by releasing two albums for free online in the past.

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