December 8th, 2008
The record industry has reeled in the wake of Radiohead’s decision to sell their album at a price determined by the consumer. Likewise, we here at Asthmatic Kitty have also had many internal discussions on pricing and value. How much is our artists’ music worth anyway? Who gets to determine that?
Sure, there’s been a lot of focus on you, the people who buy the music. But while we were reading Pitchfork’s review of Grampall Jookabox’s new album, Ropechain, we started to wonder: who’s thinking about the music critics here? Everyone is looking to the consumer for guidance on pricing in an Internet-driven world, but don’t music reviewers deserve some attention?
Today we are officially experimenting with what we call the Critic-Based Pricing Structure. Instead of selling Ropechain for our standard $10, or letting consumers pick their own price, we have let Pitchfork determine the price. Pitchfork gave Ropechain a 5.4. So, for the next 54 hours, Grampall Jookabox’s Ropechain album is available for just $5.40 (+S&H). That’s right, $5.40. Be part of this experiment by buying it. You can only participate using this link right
here to get the CD. (update: experiment over!)
(Or, if you prefer the traditional pricing model, you can buy the LP for $12 here.)
We’re all pretty excited about this new way of determining value. In fact, the frontman of Grampall Jookabox, "Moose," and Asthmatic Kitty’s A&R, Michael Kaufmann, went into the studio to make a video to commemorate. Moose dances while dressed up as a dollar bill, and Michael headstands. It’s pretty wild and crazy. Watch it here, or by clicking more.
And thanks for inspiring us Pitchfork. We’re just glad we got to this idea before Radiohead released their next album.