Let’s face it, selling music by itself is tough these days. Artists are having a hard time convincing people that it is worth putting down their hard-earned money for some tunes. Some have allowed people to pay what they want to download their music (and 99% of the time, the listener choses to pay $0). Others have given albums away for free, in hopes of promoting a very successful tour (like NIN’s “Lights In The Sky” tour last year, which was a huge success after giving away the album for free).
Ayumi Hamasaki, dubbed “The Queen of J-Pop” will be trying something new – releasing her upcoming album NEXT LEVEL on a collectable USB 2GB USB stick.
The stick will include the album in MP3 format (for some astonishing reason they aren’t using a lossless format even with all that space) as well as six music videos, and a lyrics book.
The album will sell for ¥6800 (about $71) in this format. If you like, you can pick up the regular CD for ¥3150 (the price for ‘regular’ albums in Japan), a CD+DVD (which includes the videos) for ¥3990 or a limited 2CD+DVD (adds one live album) for ¥4500. Or of course you can do what everyone else outside Japan is bound to do, and just download it from a torrent site, probably weeks before its release date of March 25.
It’s interesting to see artists try to offer different products bundled with their music. It’s obvious that music no longer stands on its own as a marketable item.
More info: Official Ayumi Website