Selling music in 2011

I wanted to talk a little about my decisions relating to pricing / distribution of music.

First off,  thanks to anyone who has bought my music. I know you don’t have to, and I appreciate it immensely. I am in no way financially well off and every little sale is a big help to me doing this.

At the current time, I know it is easy to get music for free. As an artist you face the dilemma of asking for money you know people don’t have to give you, or just giving it away free in hopes that it will spread more rapidly, and somehow translate into earning by some other means.

I am thinking through different models for the next release, but at the moment, even if only 10% of potential fans are willing to buy the music, it still helps me a lot.  For those who ask, yes, the money from Bandcamp goes direct to me, and the money from iTunes and elsewhere goes as direct as possible.

All in all, the music “industry” is still in disarray, and it is difficult to decide what options are best for different types of artists at different stages of their career. Its a tough call and like many of us, I’m figuring it out as I go.

Please feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below.

Thanks so much

Eric

Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Eric,

    I don’t claim to know how to fix the music industry, but I have always been of the opinion that regardless of how I discover an extraordinary artist, I will support them however I can. I suspect that my preferences are not indicative of consumers in general; I much prefer cohesive albums to singles, and if I am going to purchase a digital download, I want the highest quality file possible. For these reasons, I applaud your choice to use Bandcamp, and I wish more artists would follow your lead.

    Another resource I’ve just decided I love is StageIt, which if you’re not familiar, allows you to offer streaming live performances to your fans at reasonable prices. I’ve never heard your arrangements stripped down to their essentials, but I suspect that they would translate well. If you were to give semi-regular shows, your admittedly worldwide audience would quickly grow via word-of-mouth. I know I’d do my part in that regard.

    Cheers, and keep up the good work!

    Matt

  2. Sean says:

    Hey… Ill buy your album, I bet a bunch more will too… I worked at a cd shop for the longest time until we went outta business for this same reason… But alas, working at starbucks, the only place besides wal/k mart to buy a cd around here… Many people are still are asking, “where is that cd store?” Or “where else can I buy cds”… So although its not the cool thing to do anymore, people still wanna buy music. Not to mention every time I used to play your cds in the record store id have people requesting for me to order the cds for them, and id have to direct them to cd baby or whatever…. So my point is, do it… You will get awesome results… Hope your well

    Cheers

  3. I’m a novice musician and I really have contempt for the idea of getting a record contract. I love how artists such as Emptyself and Cire, Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead have gone independent. Unfortunately, these ‘established’ record companies hold back progress of the music industry. If the profit motive was replaced by a community working together to help each other progress independently (but dependent in the same sense, but free from submission to any other entity) such as the open source communities. This is what I’m attempting. Releasing music non-profit is how the music industry will have to end up heading toward. The fact that the music industry is holding back progress like itunes vs spotify, etc. is something that will no longer work. As most know deep down, all reality changes, even our perceptions of reality. When the world starts to wake up, then they will no longer hold back the progress of the evolution of everything.

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