Paul McCartney fans, who less than a year ago paid close to £40 for premium membership of his website, have today been emailed and told that changes have been made to paulmccartney.com and that “Premium Membership, will not feature in the new site”.
To thank the people who signed up for premium membership, the PM.com team are putting together a “package of goodies” that will include a free download of Paul’s forthcoming film, Live Kisses.
This is rather bizarre, and seems to bring to an end a premium membership scheme that promised much at the beginning, but actually delivered very little. People who signed up, late last year, originally received a membership card, a lithograph, a T-shirt, some small badges, a plectrum and a free download of an Paul McCartney album that, by definition, virtually every fan wanting premium membership would already have owned.
The card carrying members were then disappointed when the RAM reissue happened in May (amazingly, the one and only archive collection reissue in the 11 months the membership has been active) when nothing exclusive was offered to them. However, if you weren’t a premium member you did get a nice bonus – a free ‘digital’ version of the membership given away with the deluxe ‘book’ version of RAM. You are reading that correctly. Paying members got nothing extra, and non-members got free membership.
Given the depth of Paul’s archive – McCartney’s manager Scott Rodger refers to it in this interview – it seems ridiculous that not one single audio track from the archive was ever offered to paying premium members. Especially when you consider the slow rate of progress with the archive reissues.
Even when it’s time to say goodbye, Paul McCartney’s team are seemingly completely oblivious to what the hardcore fans really want. Rather than promoting the latest project – Live Kisses? no thanks! – why not give us premium members what we were expecting during the last year in the first place – high quality downloads (FLAC) of unreleased outtakes from his classic albums, such as RAM, Band On The Run, or McCartney?
Now that would be something.