Skip to comments.Sub Pop's Considering Selling Band Merch and Giving the Music Away For Free
Posted on 08/10/2010 2:22:29 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
Sub Pop art director Jeff Kleinsmith talked to us earlier this week about ideas the label is kicking around about selling physical products (like concert posters and T-shirts) that come with digital downloads of albums as a new way of giving fans a physical item to go along with their digital purchase, beyond the common practice of including a download code along with vinyl sales. Today, Sub Pop's general manager, Megan Jasper, sent us a statement with more on the ideas that are swirling around the label's offices.
"Although Sub Pop is primarily known for its many fine artists and their really very fine recordings (also grunge), we're not at all opposed to expanding into the fine world of t-shirts, hats, beer cozies, and key chains," Jaspers says. "We used to give many of these tchotchke items away for free in an effort to entice people to pay for the music, but we're considering flipping our strategy so that people pay for the toy and receive the music for free. Just a thought."
It's certainly an interesting idea. Like Kleinsmith and I discussed earlier this week, album art has been a source of inspiration and entertainment from day one, and digital downloading is cannibalizing the visual and physical experience of the purchase, if folks purchase the album at all. A companion booklet or poster could help get a few more people in the habit of paying for music, or at least the limited-edition sweatband. And surely retailers like Sonic Boom and Everyday Music would jump at the chance to bring a few of digital music loyalists into their shops to get their fix.
"Would you be more excited about this Jaill T-shirt if it came with a digital download of their new album, That's How We Burn?"
Enormous impact on popular music.
Velocity Girl’s Copacetic and Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary. Yummmm.
Jaill blows. I don’t get how an unknown and unliked Milwaukee band can get signed while brilliant groups like Celebrated Workingman and Decibully toil in obscurity.
Weird also that Sub Pop would sign a second jail (Jale being first) band.
Damn, what a flashback. I used to have the Jale So Wound album.
Agree although I was more partial to Estrus and Sympathy For The Record Industry.
When people look at who Sympathy recorded (Beck, Hole, White Stripes...) it’s kind of surprising they don’t “exist” in the historical record of the 1990s. And those bands I listed weren’t even my “go to” bands for the label.
The art is the same indie-hipster pencil scrawl I've seen going around for a decade now.
There was a time around 1999-2005 when pop stars would sport "hip" iconography like an MC5 concert poster-shirt or Ed Roth's pinstriper "Von Dutch" without even bothering to understand who/what it was they were presenting.
Style over substance. And that's why mainstream music sucks so bad now.
Levis was behind these faux concert shirts (and got sued by the band and even some other artists who made posters, MC5 ended up staging a high profile reunion because of the settlement).