We've written at length about labels and bands chewing on the idea of further marrying physical items and digital purchases. Sub Pop has considered the idea, of Montreal put out a lamp, and record stores aren't sure where they're going to put all the merch that came with download codes.
Last week we caught up with Dave Bakula, senior VP of analytics at Nielsen Entertainment, the folks who count the albums that are sold. He told us the idea is "absolutely genius." Here's why:
Think about the bands that you love. We don't get any revenue at Nielsen. But one of the biggest places where I think there's potential for more revenue is from fans buying more stuff. You see that manifest in the number of deluxe packages that are out there.
If there's a band that I love out there, like the Posies, that says "We're gonna put out the record, it's gonna be $9.99, except if you want the lamp that goes with it, it's $34.99," I guarantee you I'm buying the lamp. And that's because 1) I love that band, and 2) I'm always going to be an album consumer of that band. I want the best package available to me.
It almost goes back to [the way] a lot of distribution companies tried giving ring tones away with albums. While I'm never going to be the ring-tone consumer, that's the same kind of thing. It's personalization. It's being able to have something that tells everybody else what a fan you are of that band.
And that's the greatest form of fandom, of superfandom. And those are the people that I think the record companies, the distribution companies, the record stores, those are the people that you need to super-serve here. If I walk into a store, and I want a package of the new Posies record that's $35, they should have it there for me.
Monetizing anything that you can for that superfan is absolutely the way to go. It's not that you're gouging fans, it's that you're giving them what they want. They just want more of that band.