Del McCoury has always been hip to the younger crowd, and it seems he’s staying that way. While fans download and trade bootlegs of live recordings, many artists see this as detracting from their CD sales. Other industry people see it as stealing from songwriters who deserve a royalty for such recordings. Del has decided this situation isn’t a problem, it’s an opportunity.
McCoury has just announced the launch of the McCoury Music Club. It works like this. Fans pay $100 for a 12 month (if paid in full up front, you get 2 extra months for free) membership to the site. The membership benefits include one live show download each month. This amounts to $7 or $8 per show, depending on how you choose to pay for the membership. This looks like a win all the way around. That’s not a bad price for a recording, the band gets paid, and I’m assuming the songwriters will as well.
The site is promising that most shows will be from recordings made within 60 days of the upload, with the occasional archival show being offered. It also promises to reward members with extra tracks, and even exclusive studio tracks from time to time. McCoury Music Club members will be the first to hear songs from a new box set scheduled for release a few months from now.
Don’t want to pay for a membership? Don’t worry. McCoury is also planning to offer individual shows for sale to non-members. This won’t happen for a few more months, but it’s coming. If more than one show is made available during any month, members will have to pay to download the additional concert. The member price will be discounted from the non-member though.
Another feature of the site that I noticed was a non-working button that reads “Give The Club“. This button is located just under the “Subscribe To The Club” button, and appears as though you will be able to purchase a club membership as a gift at some point in the near future.
This is an exciting new business model for a bluegrass band to adopt. I like the approach, but only time will tell if it works.