Record Label Subscription Packages

Hello! The label we’re on just launched a subscription package where you pay for all their upcoming releases in 2020 for an annual fee. I’ve seen a few other smaller labels doing this and wondered what the general consensus is? Are there many labels you’d do this for? What would you pay, and for how much?

(More info on the one we’re on here https://t.co/OItJDQut64?amp=1 )

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The one your on seems very reasonable. A very fair price for the CD and digital options.

I’ve seen ChorusGirl and LIINES a few times live. Great bands.

You’ll have to excuse my ignorance but I didn’t realise that record subscription packages were a thing. A great way to support bands and labels. I’ll subscribe to the one you’re on later.

(You’re an excellent salesman @Scott_Chegg)

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Ha! It wasn’t an intentional JAG, I promise! I just think it’s a very good way to support the funding of future releases on a label you like, as well as generally quite a good saving if you were gonna buy a bunch of that label’s releases anyway?

But in contrast to that, it could get really expensive really fast if there’s a bunch of labels doing that? I am interested in gauging how many labels people would be likely to support with that model?

It’s certainly an excellent way of raising profiles of bands on the same label.

In the digital age I have little idea who’s on which label nowadays. In the 90s I’d follow labels; Sub Pop, Matador, Kill Rock Stars etc. I’d check out bands purely as they were with the same label as another band that I liked on it.

The subscription model certainly seems a good idea.

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Have noticed on Bandcamp sometimes artists and even labels will give you the option of buying the entire (digital) catalogue at a discount - sometimes pretty sizeable. I guess this is taking it one step further.

Personally I can’t imagine doing this but that’s just reflection of my interests, and age probably tbh. I can see how lots of fans may become interested in a particular genre or label output and that this is a way of engaging in a scene. Just generally think musicians can and should look at different funding models - engagement seems to be a major factor.

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ha yeah exactly. Haven’t done that for a long time but at one point Domino et al.

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You lurker types like polls right?

  • I would subscribe to this sort of thing for a label I like
  • I would not
  • I am not sure
  • I don’t really follow ‘labels’ as such

0 voters

If you would subscribe

  • Digital releases
  • Vinyl releases
  • Cd releases

0 voters

Would you subscribe to multiple labels?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

0 voters

They are a great - and underused - idea. Only one I think I’ve ever subscribed to is Moshi Moshi, but would gladly do more if they were offered at a reasonable price and I liked the label. I also approve of labels offering their full back catalogue at a healthy discount on Bandcamp and have done this a few times in the last couple of months.

Basically I think I like buying music, and I also like a bargain.

Similar idea is Rough Trade’s album club where they send you their chosen album of the month on vinyl/CD. Rarely been disappointed in what I’ve received (only returned one I think). Not a bargain, but you get stuff you may not otherwise pick up.

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I would do this for Double Double Whammy if the opportunity came along and I had the disposable income to do so. Bloody love that label

Seems like a good idea, I know some individual bands do it which I’d be up for doing but he one band I have done it with hasn’t been great value so far unfortunately :man_shrugging:.

It was Yr Poetry and I know they’re a tiny band who do it all themselves so I’m happy to still support them but the thing was sub for £20 for a year and get 3 EPs digitally plus extra exclusive tracks and then a CD comp of all three at the end.

Kinda pricey for £20 for one CD but I like to support bands so whatever. That was April 2017 and so far only two of the EPs (and some bonus tracks) have been released and I keep paying £20 a year and I don’t want to cancel in case that means I miss out on the CD. So if it renews in April that’ll have been £80 for a cd :grimacing:

Have I misunderstood this or did they say when you subscribed you get 3 EPs and digital for £20 and only delivered 2? Are there regular updates?

Sacred Bones do it for about half a dozen records at a time, with some exclusive mixtapes and special vinyl editions thrown in, have signed up for that one before. It’s a fairly hefty up front cost, but works out pretty reasonable over the course of it.

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This is the current version (seems to have went up in price a bit from when I did it a while back):

Well they were working on releasing all three through out the year so two EPs came out at stages in 2017 along with some bonus tracks, then a couple more bonus tracks in 2018 and the last update was April this year saying the third EP and an album (cool) was nearly done but nothing since…

and these EPs are digital then a CD comp of all three was supposed to be coming once all were out.

Have only done it once, for The Flenser’s first membership series.

I think it’s been fantastic, though pricey. Some stuff was announced at the very start of the year, other items have been surprises. All vinyl is a membership only colour variant, and at least 1 release is only available for subscribers. Although they’ve done some represses this year they explicitly said that those wouldn’t be included in this and it would all be new stuff.

On top of that, they send everything early. So in cases like the new Have A Nice Life album (one of my most anticipated for the year) I’ve been able to listen to it for the past couple of weeks even though the official release date is tomorrow. Plus nearly all releases come with either a download code in the vinyl and/or an email. Meaning I’ve been able to listen to releases while the actual package has been in transit.

Delivery has been super easy (don’t think I got hit with customs?) and when I moved home they were quick to say they’d logged it. There’s been 6 12inches and a couple of 7inches, divided into 4 packages throughout the year. Considering I was going to by nearly all of these anyway, being able to just pay a lump sum and not have to think about it has been great, especially as the international shipping rate was very fair/reduced considering the packages had multiple releases.

I think this is a gold standard of what I would like a subscription service to be. That said, this must have been very difficult to organise and some aspects (unique colour vinyl) will probably make it not feasible for small labels. Will definitely subscribe to year 2.

Edit: Oh and also you get a discount code for anything on their shop that isn’t covered by the membership series e.g. shirts. Which is also good

I only see the value in vinyl subs but that’d get real fucking expensive real fucking quick

Really like the idea of it but it’s very tricky to get right in practice.

Had a vinyl subscription to MIE records for about a year and a half a couple of years ago which I really loved to start with as MIE released records by bands I loved to bits like Trouble Books and Talons’ (see classifieds board - yes really - for more info).

Can’t remember the exact details but you got about a record a month, at a discounted rate with a couple of freebies t-shirts etc but you got all of the records released so you didn’t pick and choose. To start with this was fantastic and lead to me ending up with records I never would have heard of let alone bought like Aine O Dwyer’s ‘Music for Church Cleaners’.

However it doesn’t take many records you don’t like before you start to question the whole thing and I had one or two where I was a bit ‘yeah… this isn’t really doing much for me’ and that feels like a waste of money (and shelf space).

There’s a bit of a tricky path to follow because you don’t want everything to sound identical cos that’s boring but if you subscribe to a label with a wide range of styles and sounds you’ll probably end up forking out for something you’re not keen on.

Also I loved the early days of MIE where records came with handwritten notes, extra bits and pieces, photos and lyric booklets. Stuff like that makes a real difference to how it feels to receive your subscription.

Last Night From Glasgow are a really good label, so probably a good shout.

I’d maybe do something like this for Brownswood if the price was right. It means you won’t miss anything. It’s good for the label, I guess, as they’ve guaranteed sales, even if slightly discounted.

Just remembered some of the soundtrack specialists do this I think - deathwaltz, waxwork etc.

Nice if you are focussed on collecting I guess but I find it hard to imagine you are likely to really like all the releases you are paying hefty money for.

Maybe a digital subscription that gives you a ‘nice price’ on upgrading to vinyl for specific releases would be a good model?