The new goldrush: box sets & deluxe editions
They are the last refuge of the record label scoundrels, When all else fails, when you can’t sell enough albums or downloads by new acts to pay the bills, stick out a luxury deluxe edition or box set and listen …
They are the last refuge of the record label scoundrels, When all else fails, when you can’t sell enough albums or downloads by new acts to pay the bills, stick out a luxury deluxe edition or box set and listen to those cash registers go “kerching”. Given the number of music fans keen to snap up these lavish productions, it’s no surprise that there’s ample supply to meet demand.
For the fans, the attraction is that they get a closer look at a release by their favourite act. Look at the spectacular job U2 have done for the forthcoming 20th anniversary reissue of “Achtung Baby”.
Five different physical formats will go on release, which will contain (depending on how much you pay) videos, remixes, B-sides and documentary footage. It’s all you need to recreate the band’s Hansa Studio experience. Indeed for $420.49, Amazon.com will currently sell you the “uber deluxe” edition, which contains all of the above plus a pair of Bono’s sunglasses.
For the record labels, it’s a no-brainer. The material is already recorded and they own the rights to it, so employ a decent archivist, throw in everything a dedicated fan would want and get the package onto release schedules before Christmas.
It’s also easier to market because there’s an established audience for the act in question. Why bother investing time and money in finding and developing new talent when you can milk the cash-cow one more time? Music sales may be down in general, but the labels have discovered that a heritage band’s diehard fanbase are the exception to that rule.