Amanda Palmer’s merch model

In a news posting last week, we mentioned that Amanda Palmer had released a new EP featuring ukulele-driven covers of Radiohead songs. She also released a bunch of merch, much of it special edition: vinyl, t-shirts, hand-painted ukuleles. She’s since sold $15K w0rth of the merch, with many of the options sold out.

I don’t agree with Boing Boing poster Cory Doctorow’s assertion that every commercially-successful artists is a fluke, especially because the definition of “commercially successful” can be as varied as musical artists themselves. But Palmer’s marketing for this EP is an interesting look at the options available to musicians; specifically, she’s set up her sales via Band Camp, and I think that’s a great resource for artists. I also think it’s an illustration of how people may not be that excited about buying a CD nowadays, but they will buy something that seems special — like a limited-edition vinyl or a uke painted by the artist herself.

(Side note: several Boing Boing commenters say Amanda is paying Radiohead a per-song royalty on sales of the music itself; if anyone’s got a source on that, please post in the comments.)

Photo by M’aidez, via Creative Commons


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