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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 4, 2010

FLOPPING CD SALES CHANGING THE MUSIC BUSINESS

Guardian, UK - Falling CD sales - down 11% in 2007 and another 3% last year according to the BPI - means artists are having to work harder and smarter, said Stuart Dredge, editor of the Music Ally industry bulletin. "As the value of recorded music drops and people want albums for very little or for free, artists are having to make money in other ways. They are realizing that if you give real fans extra stuff that they actually want, they will spend more money."

Some artists have taken the term "added value" to new levels. Drummer Josh Freese of Nine Inch Nails is offering his fans a range of treats in a "highly collectible", limited edition package of his CD Since 1972. A $50 bundle buys a CD/DVD, digital download, T-shirt, and personal thank you call from Freese himself.

One fan recently paid $20,000 for a miniature golf session with the drummer and his friends from the bands Tool and Devo. And for the $75,000 package, still available, Freese is offering to join a fan's band or be their personal assistant for a month, record a five-song EP based on their life story, and give them a flying trapeze lesson and a drum kit. . .

Some bands have taken the desire for intimacy to the extreme. In the limited edition "deluxe" box set of their CD 'Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da', German industrial metal outfit Rammstein recently offered buyers six bright pink dildos, apparently shaped to "correspond with each band member's member size". Other artist offers are less eye-catching, but follow the same theory. West country 90s rockers Reef are offering VIP tour tickets which give fans access to the pre-gig sound check and the chance to meet the band. Rapper Mos Def gave fans the chance to buy his recent album, The Ecstatic, as a T-shirt with a code to download the album on the hang tag, while if Hot Chip fans order the band's new album, out in February, they are given an email with an unreleased track.

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