Published Jul 11, 2008After recently adopting the "tip jar" model for Girl Talk's Feed the Animals, Illegal Art has announced plans to make all its release "pay what you want." By the end of the month, the mash-up virtuoso's label will allow downloaders to name their price for all its albums, both those belonging to Illegal Art's back catalog, as well as future releases.
"With older material, we have nothing to lose," label head Philo T. Farnsworth recently told the Los Angeles Times, adding that the first back catalog release to follow the Feed the Animals and go pay-what-you-want will be What Does It All Mean? by sampling pioneer Steinski. The label's other releases are planned to quickly follow suit soon after.
Farnsworth also went on to discuss the financial realities of adopting such a model, saying that how much revenue a record generates isn't necessarily the sole measure of success. "Even if everyone who downloads it doesn't pay, even if they get it all for free, it creates fan loyalty and exposes the artist to a lot of people who may not have been exposed to him otherwise."
As of yet, neither Farnsworth nor Girl Talk's Gregg Gillis have revealed how many dollars and cents Feed the Animals has raked in, but both told the Los Angeles Times they are satisfied with the album's performance. Farnsworth said most people who paid for the download ponied up ten dollars, with a few offering 20 and one flush individual paying 50. However, he did not say how many paid nothing.
"The big question on my mind is whether this will work in the long run. How many people will still want to pay for this in six months?" Farnsworth said, before adding, "Priority number one is getting the music out there."
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