Album Extras Take ‘Freemium’ To Weirdville


Drummer Josh Freese’s musical skills have landed him gigs with major bands, but his marketing genius has generated a huge buzz about his coming solo release.

Freese, who’s recorded on hundred of albums and played with top acts like Nine Inch Nails, Devo and A Perfect Circle, roped in famous friends to offer extravagant, limited-edition packages to hawk alongside his new record, “Since 1972”.

“We were laughing about how many records I sold last week or the week before … “last week you sold one, and the week before you sold two, and the week before you sold none, and the week before one.” And I was like, “OK, I get it…. Maybe I should call those people and personally thank them.” And we started laughing. It was like, “Yeah, maybe you should offer a free drum lesson.” I was like, “Well, maybe I should just take them to lunch.” And we started laughing about that — it really came up that easily. And I was like, “Wow, this could be a great idea.”

For example, you can download a free song or buy the digital download of the whole record for $7. But $20,000 will get you a signed CD/DVD, plus you get to play miniature golf with Freese, singer Maynard James Keenan from Tool and Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo. After the outing, Freese promises to “drop you off on the side of the freeway (all filmed and posted on YouTube).”

At a time when the music biz is struggling to come up with special-edition collectibles to spur sales, Freese has cranked the “freemium” concept to 11 with a wacky and creative tiered pricing system that he maintains is “100 percent” serious.

Photo by Josh Freese.

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