Not too long go Kevin Kelly posted his 1,000 True Fans idea t othe internet and set my imagination on fire. I immediately thought about artists like Jonathan Coulton and Brad Sucks. Not long after that, Trent Reznor gave Nine Inch Nails fans the opportunity to buy their album ‘Ghosts’ in many formats, including the ultra-super cool LP’s of the record, individual tracks for remixing and so on and so forth.
A few months ago I was turned on to the band I Fight Dragons by someone on Twitter and became a huge fan. I got an email announcing the band is now selling 100 “Lifetime Memberships” to the band. For $100, you get all the music the band has ever produced on a kick ass USB-card, all the future releases from the band and admission to every show they will ever play.
This is an extremely forward thinking idea from I Fight Dragons, and I think it’s brilliant. If I were to quit life and follow the band around from city to city on their US tour with MC Chris, the band would theoretically lose money on my lifetime membership, but what they gain is an evangelist for the band. Someone who will be playing their music for their friends, talking about the band pretty much non-stop and most likely 100 friends too.
While not everyone can sell a lifetime membership to their art, this makes me think about what other kinds of businesses could do with this kind of idea. Alternatively, how much money is a lifetime membership to your work worth?