So it was interesting to see this today, and then be linked to this afterward.
As much as I am a fan of Feels, and love-- to the disdain of others-- Merriweather Post Pavilion, I wasn't about to drop the 92 bones on this one. But when Catsup Plate put up a test pressing for charity on eBay in March, it sold at $2,425.
As I was sweeping the floor at work this morning, I was thinking about all the great packaging ideas that so many bands are coming up with to incite fans and consumers to spend a bit more for a bit more of exclusivity. For the pre-order for Animal Crack Box to be shut down in only a few hours, due to demand, I swept the floors, putting the pieces together.
Labels, and especially artists, are using supply and demand to their best at this point. While completely lowering the supply of physical releases is absolutely ridiculous, lowering a batch of the supply's exclusivity works just like it has always worked with vinyl pressings-- press a few different colors/packages at different availabilities.
While we're not all going to shell out an upward of $2,000 for packaging-- I stretched on the Alchemy Index vinyl-- I think the Animal Crack Box shows charity can fit in more with sales.
I would encourage labels and artists to keep up the great ideas with packaging, but to possibly meld the idea of limited supply with charity. Could there be a way for artists to use 10% of their limited sales on charity? Would that encourage consumers any more in their purchasing decision?
Shirts For a Cure is one of the best ideas to come along in the last decade. For my 21st birthday, my best friend bought me the "Fuck Cancer" shirt since I survived Leukemia at the age of 10.
I'm not sure if this idea would catch on, but I believe it would be highly smiled upon.
I got my Thursday/Envy split in today. And I know I ditched my weekly blog this week. So consider this it.
This album, it's artwork and total package is why physical mediums will never die. Temporary Residence did such a FUCKING phenomenal job on this record. The sleeve, the layout-- even the way the CD fits in the vinyl fold out-- it is simply magical to hold and see.
I went to the record store again and came across a lot of reissues. Still holding out for the originals.
This release gets me excited about physical mediums again. This is why I will continue to purchase the raw deal. I think Of Montreal and Forgive Durden are on the right path too with their releases this week.
We're moving beyond simplistic show here, and it is exciting and truly eye catching at the same time.
Thank you artist, for giving me my monies worth again.
Fingers crossed that the PTM album will look as magnificent.
I've received my United Nations limited edition CD package. Less than a week past the release date, I received my Portugal. The Man Censored Colors package finally. I didn't receive my LP though.
I'm a bit frustrated.
But good news: Special packaging really has its potential to save the business. You can't hide the fanboy that thrives within. I just don't know about a Benjamin to obtain a hand crafted mask or a huge handcrafted book or even a limited print poster-- but to each their measure of fandom I guess.
Money aside, the packaging deals as of late relate to the pressings of vinyl, something Virgil Dickerson of Suburban Home Records/Vinyl Collective once told me about his growing business. He said it has to do with owning a piece of small quantity or limited pressing. It's more special to own a piece of art that only a certain quantity of others own.
Limited pre-order packaging says something about the artists that take the time out to come up with the ideas of these things, and to do them at the best cost possible for their fans. In the latest issue of Alternative Press, UnderOath axe-man Tim McTague was described as being frustrated with the original pricing of his band's latest album's packaging deals.
Pricing is always an issue with fans. We're young and we're poor, well, I would think at least half of us anyway. So I propose a new idea. What if band's come up with around 5 or 6 items (not as far as Of Montreal went, but a good variety) and let fans make their own "package." Give fans the ability to make their own six pack of beer, that is either at a standard rate, or is gauged on price depending on the items chosen.
Another thing this all shows is the ability of a band to control another portion of what is essentially them as a business. Instead of just getting on and off stage every night, they have the ability to market themselves. They have more control of their image by having their ideas across your t-shirts, turntables and kitchen aprons. Having creative control in and outside the studio builds a better market.
Having good cooks in a kitchen means nothing if the front of the house can't present the art to the guest.
I'm sure there's distribution channels that are still dealt with, and saying that artists can completely abandon the old merchandising business model would be ignorant. They still have yet to completely abandon the distro model for records.
I'm sure when my Censored Colors LP eventually makes its way here, I'll be more than pleased with it. I enjoy the fact that artists are putting their heads into the merchandising side of themselves as a company, and it begins to pull the artist-fan relationship closer...but not too close now, we don't want to pull a Jodie Foster event here.
Happy, pre-3,000 views! Thanks for the reads everyone!