remember blog about 10,000 downloads equalling no buyers?

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joninc
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remember blog about 10,000 downloads equalling no buyers?

Post by joninc » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:39 pm

i don't know where to post this -

i am trying to find the link to an article i read a year or so ago on an indie artists site. i believe he did electronic stuff (maybe american) and was fairly well known and respected in his scene. had atleast a few albums.

he had blogged about posting a new album of his on a torrent site and watching the stats of something like 10,000 downloads in the first day or something (might have even been way more). in the folder with the songs you download though the torrent, was a note about the artist and where you could donate or buy the album if you liked it etc....

he was sort of testing the theory of tele-marketing or something. ie: "For every 50 people you call, 2 will be interested in the product and you'll get 1 sale". I think he was hoping that even if only 5% of those who downloaded his music bought it, he would still make like $5000 or something.

the reality was that the number of people donating or buying was way less than that even and the conclusion was that it doesn't mean a whole lot to get your album into the hands of mass amounts of people. if it's free - they won't value it and very very few will feel compelled to pay for something that they just got for free.

does anybody remember this?? i am going nuts trying to find the dude's site where his blog was.

if anybody could find that link i'd be really grateful.
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Brett Siler
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Post by Brett Siler » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:31 pm

Never read it, but that sounds about right. The whole "donate what you want for my album" thing is a farce. It worked for Radiohead and thats it. Giving away/donating thing/illegal download music and movies is ultimately against peoples self interest in the long run. It's like voting against universal health care, it's short sided and doesn't make sense.

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Re: remember blog about 10,000 downloads equalling no buyers

Post by @?,*???&? » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:22 pm

joninc wrote:the reality was that the number of people donating or buying was way less than that even and the conclusion was that it doesn't mean a whole lot to get your album into the hands of mass amounts of people. if it's free - they won't value it and very very few will feel compelled to pay for something that they just got for free.
And the X-factor not talked about with this is that Radiohead and Trent Reznor who succeeded doing this, did so because they had already had millions of dollars spent on them by their major labels promoting their respective bands on an international scale and had promoted to the point of familiarity. To hear someone like Thom Yorke talk about this crap is hilariously out-of-context. After 10 years of payola at radio, suddenly you're a success on your own? The further these bands get away from that promotion money, the less successful they'll be.

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Post by kslight » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:40 pm

Okay now who is going to develop the format that inspires people to pay for music again? This is a serious question I'd like to hear any suggestions for...


Personally I'm not big on buying downloads...mp3s sound like shit...and if you're going to make me pay $1 a song I want something physical. I still buy CDs, though I don't buy a ton. I don't buy $20+ CDs...$13 is about where I draw the line of reason on a record I am taking a risk on..

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Post by lancebug » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:54 pm

kslight wrote:Okay now who is going to develop the format that inspires people to pay for music again? This is a serious question I'd like to hear any suggestions for...


Personally I'm not big on buying downloads...mp3s sound like shit...and if you're going to make me pay $1 a song I want something physical. I still buy CDs, though I don't buy a ton. I don't buy $20+ CDs...$13 is about where I draw the line of reason on a record I am taking a risk on..
I pretty much share this exact sentiment. With a few exceptions, I probably don't even take the risk if I haven't heard a good chunk of the cd in the first place.

I feel like the value has slowly evaporated out of music product. CD prices have not really changed that much in the last 25 years, which is a stagnation trend that pre-dates the whole internet piracy/mp3 thing by 10-15 years. When I first began buying records in the 70's I knew I could look forward to spending hours combing the sleeve and accompanying liner notes (12"x12") for hours, scrutinizing every detail of every photograph etc. As time went on, the sleeves and the vinyl both got thinner and eventually it was just plain paper sleeves inside. Funny though, I still have all of those records, even the ones with shitty sleeves and vinyl, but I don't know where half of the cd's are I bought in the last year are, and oddly I sort of don't care. I've ripped most of them to my computer, which is how I listen to them most of the time anyhow. Those little plastic cases and tiny booklets never feel that special to me.

Listening to music used to be what we did for fun. Beer and food were a plus, but music was the main attraction. I don't know anyone that gets together just to listen anymore. Does anyone? The value of the product in our culture has gone down. The paradigm has shifted, and after a certain point you can't even talk about causes, because there are just too many and it doesn't matter what started it anymore. I still love music: making it, recording it, listening to it, but I miss how important it all used to seem. I miss how connected I used to feel to the music as I collected an artist's catalog, and followed their career. Maybe its just something that can only happen when you are young, but I suspect that the experience is much different for today's teens and twenty somethings. Is this all too off-topic?

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Post by jhharvest » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:57 pm

I think the reasons why that particular download album failed to generate revenue using a donation model lie elsewhere than the failings of the donation model itself.

The "Free to download but give us some money if you like" it has been proven to work in the software context. Even with zero marketing. But I think you need to have to things for it to work. First up the product must be top notch. I'm not talking about polish per se but rather originality and energy in a nice enough package.

Second, there needs to be a hook and a bait. The reason why the donation model works in the software world is because you are given for free a program that interesting but not necessarily perfect. The catch is then that if you donate the money is given towards perfecting it.

So if I was an entrepreneurial musician with really good music, I'd give out an EP (three songs or so) for free. Attach a note that says "We'll go back to studio once we've got money to record more songs. Here's our Paypal btw." That's what I'd do.

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Post by trmchenry » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:26 am

I want to know where the hell I can upload my album and have it downloaded 10,000 times. I did a very similar thing when my bands last album was released. I put it up on LOTS of major torrent sites and had it set up to seed from several VERY fast fiber optic connections. Left a lot of helpful comments saying if you like this this and this then you will definitely like this.

The results? Maybe 500 downloads in the 4 weeks I really paid attention and kept it bumped. Out of those 500 I'd say we sold maybe 5 or 6 shirts and 3 albums. I'm not complaining one bit.

It's just that when someone unknown says they put their music up on a torrent site and it gets 10k downloads in a day I'm very suspicious. I bet most high profile major label releases don't even get that many downloads in a day.

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Post by jhharvest » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:47 am

That sounds like a pretty good ratio, trmchenry. Did you try to get the news of the release on reddit or similar sites? Those can generate a lot of hits if you get it right (though not necessarily more revenue due to the nature of the user base).

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Post by Ron's Brother » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:17 am

The 10,000 seems fishy. I wonder if 9,000 of them were bots. I'd like to see how they knew it was 10,000 real people downloading their music.
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Re: "Free" Music

Post by Gregg Juke » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:33 am

>>>>It's like voting against universal health care, it's short sided and doesn't make sense.<<<<

Well, some might say it's like voting _for_ this administration's health care plan, but point taken. :wink:

As to the download thing, in the last few years, we've moved a modest 2,000 or so (almost). That's including "click-per-plays" and such; not all direct single or album downloads. All paying though.

Thank God for the modern Net-based music machine. So far, we've made about $75 US (total).

GJ

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Post by Bro Shark » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:51 am

I've been waiting about 25 for the price of CDs to drop... even now, nothing.

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Post by darjama » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:18 am

The marketplace has changed, that's for certain. I think kids who might have been rabid music fans 20 years ago are more likely to be avid video gamers today. Music is more something you hear while you're doing something else than something you lay back and listen to. And yes, the chunk of the youth market that would pay for something they can get for free is smaller than the general population, and they're historically the largest buyers of music and entertainment.

The last release I played on sold more albums online than we did at shows by a wide margin. We didn't try to propagate it freely across the web, but we didn't crack down when free copies showed up in searches either. I'm not talking about huge money, I think our take from the online sales was just south of $1000, versus the $200 we made selling CDs at shows (only 3-4 shows total, but still). I heard from a lot of people that they just don't buy CDs anymore, they prefer downloads, and if I was to do it again, I'd have on site downloads or download coupons available. I think those of us with attachments to physical product need to realize that's not where most people are these days.

I think the free/donate model only works when the people you're giving it away to already have an attachment to the artist. While that's easier to build these days ("Why are we selling better in Russia than our hometown?"), it's harder and harder to sustain. I like the "shareware" model, free preview up to the release date, with incentives offered to those who pre-order.

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Post by BrontoSoreAss » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:53 am

As a 20 something Kid I'll throw in my two cents. Growing up computer savy in an increasingly digital culture means that pretty much any media that has touched the internet is readily excessible for free. Whether it be google ready public torrent indexes like btjunkie or closed communites like kraytracker, peer-to-peer sharing has made it fairly painless to download whatever you want. As far as I'm concerned cds are making less and less sense - they are a bulky, over priced and are becoming increasingly more obsolete. I find it hard to find value in something I can replicate in 10 minutes with utorrent, nero, and a spool of shiny frisbees from the office supply store. I've bought A TON of cds over the years and I really don't know where most of them are anymore. Digital music lives on my computer - I listen to cds in my car and I wouldn't if I had a deck that I could hook an ipod or whatever into. I hate to say it, but I usually don't pay for downloaded music either, I realize that the substance of music is the music itself but I still find it hard to find value in something that lives in a folder on my computer that I know could be had for free.

However I do purchase as much vinyl and other band merch as I can. I digital file can't replicate the feeling of substance found in a nice hunk of vinyl or cool t-shirt/hoody/poster. Usually I make an effort to buy this stuff after I have already downloaded their album, and If it's possible I will purchase it at a show. I feel like I'm putting money right into the artists hands that way.

My own band's vinyl release on a DIY punk label is on the verge of coming out. We're hosting the digital files for free then obviously charging for vinyl/t-shirts/whatever. The hope is that people like me who love music but want substance from their products will gravitate to this. I'm also hoping people like me who gravitate to noisy/abrasive/weird rock will find my band.

For the most part thats how I feel about digital music formats. I do make exceptions when I find current bands that I'm interested in supporting but don't offer a physical product of substance - but that is not the norm. Most of my 20 something friends share similar positions to this.

Cheers,

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Post by suppositron » Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:25 am

BrontoSoreAss wrote: As far as I'm concerned cds are making less and less sense - they are a bulky, over priced and are becoming increasingly more obsolete.

However I do purchase as much vinyl and other band merch as I can.
I'm not sure how cd's are bulky but vinyl isn't.

Anyway, I still do like to buy cds to listen to in my car. Plus, most downloads I find are under 320kbps. I'd really rather rip my own mp3s and listen to somewhat decent quality audio files.

I do think it would help bringing the cost of cd's down. I read a music business book a while back and found just how little of the cost of a cd goes to the artist and that was always kind of a deterrent for me. I don't know, it could have changed since then. Then again, almost all the bands I listen to now are on indie lables so I'd like to think they are getting a bigger cut. Also, I like to by merch at shows to support.

In the end I think depends on the person and how conscientious they are.
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Post by armanbohn » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:07 pm

I self recorded an album and made three music videos. They have had more than 40,000 views on Youtube/Vimeo and I have sold somewhere around 200 copies online. I don't have a band and don't play live.

Blogs like BoingBoing, Kotaku and the Independent Film Channel have posted my videos, and I see a HUGE spike in views/plays for a couple days and then it dies off. I might sell $50 worth of albums or songs in that time. You can listen to the entire album for free on my Bandcamp page. I have not quit my day job.

The digital age has allowed my the freedom and the tools to make my music and films and I am grateful for that everyday ... but the internet can be an empty place where plenty of art and music whithers and dies unnoticed. I keep moving forward out of a sheer desire to make music. The idea that an unknown artists can be discovered on the internet via "viral videos" and such is just the latest iteration of "I'm moving to Hollywood to be discovered".

The most important thing to figure out is how to truly enjoy what you are doing and not get too caught up in all the feedback of free downloads, record sales and all that.

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