Fortune recently published an interesting article about how expensive it is to be a collector, and to be a fan of music in general. Long story short, it's expensive as hell, especially if you're trying to collect several versions of any release… and there's usually a lot of 'em.
So at what point does it take a turn from giving your fans something to get excited about to being a little bit much? Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows has weighed in with a perfectly reasonable line to draw – stop reissuing albums with slight variations every time you need something or have a new marketing slant. Of course the counterargument is that music is the main thing artists have to market and that's totally fine… but does every record really need tens of iterations all with slight perks?
"Selling multiple versions, repackages and bundles of your album to the same fan so that you can get a chart position that no one cares about and is manipulated should be called out for what it is… Fan abuse," said Shadows.
"I'll expand: Many options are fine. It's when it becomes: Buy the vinyl for ticket discounts… Buy the CD version 1 for an extra track. Buy first week 8-track for an exclusive t-shirt. It's all bullshit to make you buy the same shit to pump numbers. That's fucked!"
Funnily enough, this story got picked up by other outlets with taglines about Shadows' opinions being about the new Taylor Swift record and all its formats… which Shadows never mentions. Given his timing it's easy to see why one might think the tweets are about Swift's marketing of Midnights, but it ain't.
"I was actually trying to figure out how a bunch of little kids started commenting on my post… and now I see all of taylors fans think I’m talking about her because they all bought multiples of the same album. Gotta love the twitter cults! Hope they enjoy the PFP"