Wu Tang Clan is putting out a new album, limited to one copy, sold to the highest bidder who may then do whatever they want with it.
"While we fully embrace the advancements in music technology, we feel it has contributed to the devaluation of music as an art form. By taking this step, we hope to re-enforce the weight that music once carried alongside a painting or a sculpture. The album will be put on listening display in renowned galleries, museums, venues and exhibition spaces around the world for only the most dedicated to experience before it disappears into the private collection of a buyer. The public will know that what they will hear will be a once in a lifetime experience"
"A new approach is introduced, one where the pride and joy of sharing music with the masses is sacrificed for the benefit of reviving music as a valuable art and inspiring debate about its future among musicians, fans and the industry that drives it."
I'm not a huge fan of hip hop, but this is at least an interesting attempt on Wu Tangs part. Also probably the closest any mainstream artist has ever come to elitism and catering to a selective audience, the way early black metal bands did. Of course Wu Tang can afford to do it because their legacy as a pioneering rap act has already been cemented, they have steady income from shows/endorsements/etc and really nothing to lose. Only an artist of substantial reputation could do this, and they'll probably make more money than they would had they just released the thing.
I agree that digital distribution has in some ways cheapened the value of recorded music and fans have come to regard albums as disposable and interchangeable. This is why I still buy CDs - it establishes a closer relationship between me and the music.
Unfortunately, it'll probably be some corporation like Best Buy etc who buys it, to use in some cheap promo arrangement - "buy a new pair of Beats Headphones, get the album" etc