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MerchboxMerchbox is a monthly subscription box of music and related goodies curated with your particular interests in mind. Mike Frankel of FreeIndie wants to use it as a vehicle to introduce subscribers to new music. With a thousand subscribers he's off to a good start and seems likely to benefit, as Brenna Ehrlich puts it, from "focusing on the tangible."

Merchbox is a cool idea that I hope makes it because not all cool ideas survive this harsh jaded world. For $10 a month, plus shipping ($3 US, $10 International), you get a monthly box of "music, gear and goodies" that's "curated just for you, based on your specific interests."

How do they know? When you sign up, they "send over a survey to find out more about you – your favorite music, movies, etc."

Brenna Ehrlich, writing for the O Music Awards Blog, says she filled out a simple survey and soon thereafter received a "wondrous array of goodies." You can check out a variety of such Merchbox deliveries via tagged posts on Tumblr.

Mike Frankel told Ehrlich:

"The whole concept was that when I was a kid I had stuff in my room...I thought kids don’t have stuff anymore because everything is so digital. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to branch that old mindset I was in — where I used to have posters up on my walls and CDs on my desk and DVDs in the cabinet — into a new generation where everything is really digital."

Merchbox has been recruiting subscribers via FreeIndie, a project of Frankel and the secretive Alex Staniloff, which takes a somewhat related digital route:

"Every few days, we'll present three free, legal songs from an independent artist -- download these songs, put them on your iPod, and dance around when no one (or everyone) is looking."

Ehrlich relates it to Drip.fm's indie label subscription service but it strikes me as clearly inspired by the monthly subscription box boom that includes Fancy. In fact, I recently suggested that musicians develop their own box of goodies, kind of like Ashton Kutcher's Fancy box.

And, on the off change that someone wants me to take a closer look at such an offering, my mailing address is easy to discover.

Bonus: Brenna Ehrlich recently wrote about the launch of Brian Lane's Shone via a "massive mystery game."


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/App.net) also blogs at All World Dance: Videos and maintains Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.