You can say a lot about Derek Webb, but once thing you can’t say is that he isn’t on the leading edge of ingenuity in the music biz.
He gave away his record, Mockingbird, for free before Radiohead did the same, and it was a huge success for him, putting his music into the hands of over 80,000 listeners.
With The Ringing Bell, he had a graphic novel put together to be sold alongside the book for a few extra bucks. Another great idea.
Most recently it’s been his new project, NoiseTrade, that has raised the creative bar. It’s a super-slick site where listeners can pay what they want for any record, or download it in exchange for a few email addresses.
Today I caught wind that Derek’s better half, Sandra McCracken, has a new CD available for pre-order. The disc, entitled Red Balloon, is available for purchase for $7.99.
If you’d like a little more than just the disc, you can get the Bonus package for $21.99 which includes the CD, a discrevolt card with acoustic versions of some of the songs as well as a 30-minute interview of Derek and Sandra talking about the songs. You also get a Red Balloon t-shirt.
Want another option? Yeah, some of you do. For the $54.99 DELUXE Package you not only get everything mentioned in the BONUS package (CD, bonus songs, bonus interview, tshirt), you also get a limited edition “moleskine” journal with Sandra’s handwritten lyrics to all of the songs from Red Balloon. Pretty cool, eh? BUT here’s the catch. There’s only 25 of these DELUXE packages available. And since 2 of my friends have already bought them, there’s no more than 23 left at this moment.
Honestly, it’s brilliant. How do you, as a musical artist, keep from getting stuck in the CD dead zone where everyone’s music is priced between $8 and $16 and no one is selling enough CDs? You give people options. In doing so, you make them powerful consumers.
You also give them limited edition items at a higher price point. Your die-hard fans will gladly pay more to identify themselves as belonging to the tribe of true fans, and you, as an artist, will make a few more bucks. Who’s losing in that scenario? (hint: no one)
Kudos to Derek and Sandra for not only being creative in their music, but in their marketing as well. (and for what it’s worth…the new songs that I heard Sandra play last month were amazing)