I have to wonder sometimes whether we really are in ‘the age of the digital download’ or ‘the age of the streaming service’, because it seems to me that the spoils of victory of this era will go to those who dare to think outside of the box. Personally, in terms of physical copies, I’m more likely to shell out for an extravagant vinyl package with ridiculous gimmicks like shower gel, bobble heads or ice cream than just another CD package. I know a lot of people hate them but they seem to be getting more and more prevalent so it must be working in some form or another or, at the very least, it gets people talking.
Which brings me round to the point of this post — Earache Records, as part of their 25th Anniversary celebrations, are offering an 8GB memory stick filled with classic albums from throughout the label’s legacy, at roughly 10% of the total price. According to the product description, the entire collection of 1900 songs is worth roughly £1500 (~$2400 US) but is being sold for only £99 (~$160 US) and contains albums from a huge assortment of bands including Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Decapitated, Evile, Wormrot and At The Gates. Meaning you’d have more than enough quality music to keep you assumed.
Fellow contributor Tentaclesworth (who bought the package, like a lad), compared the deal to a ‘Steam bundle of music’ and I’d have to agree. For those that are somehow on the internet and not familiar with Steam/Valve, they revolutionised the then floundering PC gaming market by offering games at insanely low prices through regular sales and this falls directly in line with Valve’s method of making the prices so low that it seems more enticing than taking the time to pirate the material. However, the main difference lies in the fact that Steam can offer this on such a large scale and offload the product in such mass numbers that it ensures they make money regardless price cut whereas the reach of Earache is extremely limited in comparison. Either way, this is an incredibly ballsy move on Earache’s part and I’ll be extremely interested to see how this pans out.