Sunday, May 17

Subscribe To My.....Mixtape?

In the beginning there were newspaper subscriptions. Afterwards came the magazine subscription. As the internet found its place in society and email became the source of information, people began to subscribe to newsletters. Currently, society subscribes to RSS feeds to receive content from blogs, podcasts and/or videocasts. The ease of distributing information on a global scale is what makes the Information Age defiant. With music and the transition into the Digital Age, the ease of distributing music on a global scale has the same impact and affect. Are music subscriptions the next big trend? Music strategists and industry leaders have been debating for quite some time about music subscriptions and how that could be an alternative and a possible solution to offset P2P file sharing. We see Bittorent sites such as Napster, digital music stores such as Rhapsody and mobile phone service providers such as Nokia, offering a monthly subscription for a limited amount of music downloads. Taking it a step further, what about music labels and artists bundling their music, other media and merchandise in a package and offering it as a subscription to their fans? Imagine that you’re a rapper with a strong following of dedicated fans. You’ve taken the time to build a quality brand and your journey in the music industry is both fascinating and bizarre. Not only are you releasing mixtapes on a bi-monthly basis, but you have rare video footage of studio sessions with some well known producers and artists working on your anticipated debut album release, interviews overseas and you have merchandise that’s in high demand. Building and sustaining that anticipation for your debut album release, you can bundle all of those elements into one package and tell your fans, “For 6 months, if you subscribe to my package, you will receive 3 mixtapes, rare video footage of studio sessions and interviews and merchandise. At the end of the 6 months, you will receive a free copy of my highly anticipated CD. All you would have to pay is “X” amount of dollars to have access.” Being that you have an established brand and a strong and dedicated following, you could possibly reap more benefits from this subscription based model than hoping to sell a million records when the album is released. This is one way to use the current trends to your advantage. Trent Reznor, front man for Nine Inch Nails, is experimenting and using these models to his advantage; why can’t you? In the future, after you’ve built your brand, don’t ask your fans to buy your mixtape, simply tell them, “Subscribe to my mixtape”.

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