Public relations veteran Ronn Torossian has offered a take on Wu-Tang Clan head RZA recently making headlines by announcing plans to release a single copy of their crew’s upcoming album.
The 5WPR CEO inked an oped piece to offer clarity in the Wu’s strategic move.
“So, if everyone can still purchase the music online, what is the big deal? For one, it is now the most valuable collectors item associated with Wu-Tang. And the more rare an item, the more valuable it is. According to Forbes, there are already bids for the CD that are going over $5 million, and the bidding hasn’t even started. This means the single CD could easily reach almost $10 million. That would be the equivalent, value wise, of the album going instant platinum in its first day on sale. So, essentially it would probably make more money by selling a single album than by releasing an unlimited number.” (5WPR)
Torossian also suggested the immediate attention Wu has sparked from this retail plan instantly added value to the mystery LP.
“Lastly, how often do you actually pay attention to a single album hitting the shelves? Unless it is your favorite band, you probably don’t really care. However, when a pulls this kind of publicity stunt, everyone takes notice and now, suddenly, the next Wu-Tang album is even bigger than it ever would have been, if they simply sold an unlimited number. This is what I call a great public relations plan.” (5WPR)
Last month, RZA said his crew’s LP would go on a promotional run before being offered to the highest bidder.
According to RZA and the album’s main producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, a Morocco-based part of Wu-Tang’s extended family, the plan is to first take Once Upon A Time In Shaolin on a “tour” through museums, galleries, festivals and the like. Just like a high-profile exhibit at a major institution, there will be a cost to attend, likely in the $30-$50 range. Visitors will go through heavy security to ensure that recording devices aren’t smuggled in; as an extra precaution, they’ll likely have to listen to the 128-minute album’s 31 songs on headphones provided by the venue. As Cilvaringz puts it: “One leak of this thing nullifies the entire concept.” (Forbes)
Instead of throwing an average price tag or making mass amounts of the project, RZA will only allow one release be made available for purchase.
Once the album completes its excursion, Wu-Tang will make it available for purchase for a price “in the millions.” Suitors could include brands willing to shell out for cool points and free publicity (just as Samsung spent $5 million to buy copies of Jay Z‘s latest album for its users) or major record labels hoping to launch the album through the usual channels (they’re used to paying top acts seven-figure advances). (Forbes)