Miscellaneous Debris

Since 1972It’s Friday. I’ve got a few items that might make a full post, but rather than squeeze blood out of a stone, I’ll resort to a miscellaneous debris post.

It’s not a link post, and it’s not a full post. It’s in between somewhere.

Since 1972
Josh Freese, drummer for DEVO, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails and others, recently released a new album called Since 1972. Not all that exciting.

The album’s pricing structure is, though. Following the models similar to those established by Radiohead and his former band, NIN, Josh is offering his album online in both CD and digital download formats. But wait, there’s more.

The album’s pricing ranges from $7 to $75,000 with various options in between, for his most hardcore fans. From his site:

Wanna go have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory?
How about a drum lesson or his and hers foot massages?
Have Josh give you a tour of Disneyland or go raid his closet and/or take home one of his drum sets!
Hell, you can take home his Volvo, if that’s what you’re in the market for!

Apparently, this is legit. I’ve been hearing about it on the radio for weeks, and there have (allegedly) been takers at some of the higher price points. Some of my personal favorite, ahem, perks:

  • For $50, you get a five-minute thank you call with Josh, which you can use to chat him up about anything you want.
  • For $500, you can meet Josh in Venice (CA) and float in the Sensory Deprivation Tank (filmed and posted to YouTube, natch).
  • For $1,000: “Get drunk and cut each others hair in the parking lot of the Long Beach courthouse (filmed and posted on youtube).”
  • For $2,500, you get a bunch of weird stuff, but the kicker is “Change diapers and make bottles with me for an afternoon (preferably AFTER the lunch buffet at the Strip club).”
  • For $10,000, you can take home Josh’s Volvo after your trip to Disneyland with him, just please drop him off at home first. Not kidding, it says that.
  • For $20,000, again, there’s a lot to choose from in the odd department, but mini-golfing with Maynard and Mark Mothersbaugh would be surreal. Oh, don’t forget, it’ll be YouTubed.

Beyond the fun value here, this is an intriguing look at pricing. The base price of his alubum, as a digital download, is only $7, which seems pretty cheap. Getting an enhanced CD and the digital download for $15 is also pretty decent, not that I’ve bought a cee-dee this millennium; it’s not clear if the download has DRM on it, but still, not a bad deal.

As you move up the price list, there are items of real value to hardcore fans, especially those with money. Plus, the existence of these higher ticket items drives down the cost of the base pricing. This pricing model is has a Long Tail feel to it, i.e. there will be high demand for the low prices, low demand for the high prices. I’m interested to see a revenue curve overlaid on the pricing model after a few months to see how his demand planning worked.

Anyway, I like this idea and wonder if it could be applied to business. Probably not, but Radiohead’s “pay-what-you-want” experiment showed that a surprising number of people are willing to pay for something they value. You never know.

SpiderMac Desktop
Not much to say here, but wow, cool. H/t to Lifehacker for showcasing this comic-inspired Mac desktop, designed by zackshackleton, that mixes system metrics into the speech bubbles in a Spidey comic.

SpiderMac Desktop is sweet!

Not a comic buff, he also has a graffiti-inspired desktop.

The DiggBar
I’m an on/off Digg user, and the new DiggBar, may not have much effect on my usage of Digg.

Even so, it’s a very smart implementation, specifically because of the new digg.com URL shortener. The DiggBar makes it dead simple to create and share short URLs, which means it drives traffic to digg.com, which means higher ad costs.

Digg already has a surprising amount of traffic, enough to get it compared to Facebook. Twitter’s enormous growth has essentially propped up URL shorteners like TinyURL and bit.ly (which just raised $2 million). Digg saw an opportunity to take advantage and to drive traffic to digg.com, and they built an easy way to use it, along with Digg’s other core features. Very smart.

Interestingly, there is a movement toward providing your own shortener, which is easy (according to Rich). If you follow @theappslab on Twitter, you’ll notice blog posts use the FriendFeed shortener, ff.im. I assume they wanted to ensure they were getting 100% of the traffic for posts to their service, as well as take another failure point out of the equation.

Anyway, seems like this battle of the shorteners will heat up soon. Check out the DiggBar.

DiggBar from Kevin Rose on Vimeo.

So, put your thoughts about Josh Freese’s CD pricing, SpiderMac Desktop and the DiggBar in the comments.

And have a good weekend. I think I’m taking #zombiejeep to the mountains to snack on winter sports brains.



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