Monday, May 04, 2009

Dream Theater's Pre-Order Package: Our Take

Roadrunner opened up pre-orders for Dream Theater's new album today, providing - as has become the norm - a variety of extras intended to lure in the more devout into paying more money for options otherwise unavailable. Let's take a look at what they're offering:
  • Producers Edition Box Set: for $132, you get the following:
    • Find a SILVER TICKET and Win a MEET & GREET with the Band!
    • 3-CD Special Edition Set Includes Album, Instrumental Mixes and 6 Newly Recorded Cover Songs
    • Limited Edition Audiophile 180-Gram Double LP Set with Exclusive Artwork from Hugh Syme
    • Try Your Hand at Producer! Black Clouds & Silver Linings Producer's Edition Includes Isolated Audio Tracks of the Entire Album, Bonus Disc only available in this set.
    • Limited Edition, Numbered Lithograph by Legendary Artist Hugh Syme. 100 Lucky Winners will Find a Litho Personally Signed by the Artist!
    • Computer Mouse Pad, Exclusively Available with Box Set
    • Packaged in a Silver Foil Embossed Black Velvet Box.

  • Special Edition: $22, with the following:
    • The album
    • 6 Newly Recorded Cover Songs
    • Instrumental Mixes of the Entire Album
    • Expanded Artwork and Packaging

  • Double LP: $27.50. The album in LP form only. Pressed in Germany, for some reason - maybe they make vinyl better there?
Our take:
  • Meet and greets are cool, but unlike the meet and greets attached to a lot of Dream Theater's ticket packages, this one isn't guaranteed. For the price, you'd think this one would be - and if availability is a concern, just make the option guaranteed but with fewer packages available.
  • All copies of Systematic Chaos came with a signed lithograph if you preordered early enough: it was a great excuse to part with your money. This time, the lithograph is extra, and again, you'll only get the really valuable part (the signature) if you're lucky.
  • Giving the fans the opportunity to make their own mixes is a great way to build community. Putting that opportunity behind a limited chance pay wall misses the point of online community generation completely. I'm also willing to bet that most of the people who are buying the producers edition are looking for the signed lithograph or the silver ticket, not the audio tracks, so the possibility is even further removed from success.
  • Who uses a mouse pad anymore?

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