My 8:57 with Josh Freese

Spent a bit of time this semester in both my Marketing of Recordings and the Indie Labels History and Operations talking about Scarce Goods and Up-selling and had fun using the Josh Freese situation as an example. First, just finding the humor to break up lectures in his original post and then tracking the success of the release two weeks ago.

I went to his site and listened to the new album “Since 1972” and liked it so I decided to buy it and figured since he gave me so much material for my classes I would go ahead and buy the $50 package where I got the download, CD/DVD, T-Shirt and a thank you phone call. I emailed his assistant this weekend to see if I could jump ahead of the line of calls so he could call during my Indie Label class today and she said he would.

He called promptly in the middle of class and we asked him a few questions and we went past our allotted five minutes.

My question was about how he came up with this idea. He said his friend pulled out Soundscan from his last record to show him his “This Week” and “Last Week” sales which were 1 and 2 respectively. Josh said “I should send a thank you note to each one of them” and thus the idea was born. He riffed off of Trent Reznor’s “Ghosts I-IV” multi-tiered pricing plan and took it to the next level and thought “what would I give someone that would make them even think about paying $10,000 for my CD” and “most of those ideas just came from my being a wise ass.” He also noted that “I did call my friends in Devo, Maynard, etc to see if they would be interested in actually doing any of this stuff”

My next question before I turned it over to my students was “do you feel like you have to top yourself when you release you next album?” Josh answered that “I might just do nothing, but some of my friends like the lead singer of The Offspring who owns and flies his own jet was mad that I didn’t ask him to be a part of one of the packages so I might do some of that.”

My class was interested to see if “anyone bought the $75,000 package,” as they were interested if “he was going to do ‘shrooms with anyone and go to Tijuana.” Josh replied that “I have gotten a few not so serious inquiries, but Fall Out Boy is talking to me about the $75,000 package where I would go on tour with them and record a few songs, so that would be cool.” The students also were fascinated by the potential of him selling his car in the $10,000 package, which he said that “I am finally ready to let go of that Volvo, I was thinking about buying a used one and saying that it was the one, as I am so fond of it, but I am going to keep to my word and it should be gone soon.” He also answered some questions about his craziest phone call and stuff like that, but it was a fun way to spend 10 minutes of class today and let them hear from someone who has connected with his fans, given the a reason to buy (to use the Michael Masnick paradigm) and taken advantage of word of mouth / viral marketing to help promote his music.

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