Last week, Sub Pop art director Jeff Kleinsmith told Seattle Weekly that the label was considering including digital downloads for albums if people buy T-shirts, messenger bags and other merch through the label's store. This apparently outraged some people, but according to a follow-up story with label manager Mega Jasper, it might even go a step beyond that. Jasper, partially tongue-in-cheek, says the label has been bouncing around an idea to just sell tchotchkes and give away music for free:
"Although Sub Pop is primarily known for its many fine artists and their really very fine recordings (also grunge), we're not at all opposed to expanding into the fine world of t-shirts, hats, beer cozies, and key chains," Jaspers says. "We used to give many of these tchotchke items away for free in an effort to entice people to pay for the music, but we're considering flipping our strategy so that people pay for the toy and receive the music for free. Just a thought."
Although that's probably just a joke from a frustrated label manager who can't convince people to by her label's music, you have to wonder at what point a label tries this model for real. I imagine within the next two years. [Seattle Weekly]