John Wesley Harding Music Sales Experiment

A few days ago, a representative from The Rebel Group, who I think represents John Wesley Harding, contacted me about a story posted on Boing Boing. They asked if I would consider reposting…and I have agreed.

First off, it was really cool the rep contacted me.  On occassion I am forwarded requests, most of which fail to capture my attention. This one succeeded. I will be the first to admit, I don’t know much about Harding.  In fact, I really didn’t know his music or anything else about Harding.  I had to do a little research just to become familiar with his music. Not bad.  Not something I would ordinarily go out of my way for, but I wouldn’t flip the station on the radio if it came either. It is a nice listen.

So what the big deal then?  Harding is releasing a new album sometime next month.  What is interesting is how the album will be sold. As posted on Boing Boing:

BASIC: $15.98 (+ $2.50 postage & packing)
DOWNLOAD plus CD with BONUS LIVE DISC!

BASIC PLUS: $29.98 (+ $5.00)
DOWNLOAD plus CD with BONUS LIVE DISC and T-SHIRT!

FANCY: $49.98 (+ $5.00)
DOWNLOAD plus CD with BONUS LIVE DISC, T-SHIRT and limited edition DVD!

SUPERFANCY: $79.98 (+$9.99)
DOWNLOAD plus CD with BONUS LIVE DISC, T-SHIRT, DVD and signed ARTWORK!

CRAZY DELUXE & PERSONAL: $5,000.00
DOWNLOAD, plus CD with BONUS LIVE DISC, T-SHIRT, DVD and signed framed ARTWORK plus READ ON! Includes the entire SUPERFANCY package PLUS, and it’s a BIG PLUS:

John Wesley Harding will come and perform at your house, for you and your friends, on a mutually agreeable date. NO JOKE! If it’s near, he’ll even pay the transport; though if it’s far, you’ll have to pay. The price of this epic package, including your own personal John Wesley Harding concert, is $5,000, and at that price, we’re waiving the postage and packing. This is the only offer of its kind, and quite possibly the only offer of its kind ever.

Now, I find this incredibly fascinating because it is another artist experimenting with how to sell an album. Whether you like Harding or not isn’t really the point. The point is would you pay $5k for a personal concert that includes a whole lot more. It is no secret the music industry is in shambles, and only digging themselves deeper in the hole they created. So to see something like this emerge is fascinating and should be rewarded. (Hence, my agreement to repost.)

Considering the economy, I don’t know what kind of success this will have.  However, I have to give credit for Harding’s representation/label trying something that is incredibly bold and unique. Even if you can’t afford the $5K personal concert, at least there are other options for the die hard Harding fan.

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2 comments on “John Wesley Harding Music Sales Experiment
  1. Pingback: Posts about Boing Boing as of February 16, 2009 » The Daily Parr

  2. With Harding, you might want to track down THE NAME ABOUT THE TITLE – it’s his “breakout” album (so plenty of big 80s/early 90s production), and is like Elvis Costello with a slightly tongue-in-cheek humor.

    (It’s also good you mentioned the album – need to plan my podcast for the next few months…)

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