Another Reason To Buy: A Unique CD For Fans That No One Else Will Get

from the neat dept

One of the cool things we've seen in collecting various examples of cool "reasons to buy," that musicians and other content creators use, is the creative diversity we find. I find it somewhat frustrating when critics in the comments try to reduce the whole "CwF+RtB" concept to ridicule by picking a single example from a single content creator (Josh Freese's mini-golf is a popular one) and assume that we're saying the future business models is that everyone should just do that. Of course that's not what we're saying. In fact, part of the point is that we are assuming that these creative content creators will be creative in developing "reasons to buy" as part of their business model that is unique and special to them -- which will resonate quite well with their own fans and community. In fact, we've referred to this process as improvisational business modeling. Just as musicians learn to improvise and try out new things within their music, these days it makes sense to improvise within your business model as well -- and quite frequently we find out about cool, unique ideas that no sideline commentators would ever think of -- but the musicians who are in the thick of it can come up with directly on their own.

The latest such example is from musician Brian Hazard, who recently recorded his 8th full-length album. He claims this is his last physical release (in the future, it'll all be digital), he decided to still press the CD after he won a songwriting contest for free CD manufacturing. With that process underway, he decided to "improvise" a bit on the business model side, and see if any of his fans would be interested in an Individual Edition CD. This isn't a "special edition," but a totally uniquely individual edition, that no one else would get:
As a souvenir of your support, I will create a personalized custom CD featuring unique mixdowns of each of the 12 songs I recorded for the album. The outtakes "Touch" and "Release the Hounds" are not on the standard Limited Edition CD and will not appear on any future physical release. The disc will open with a token of my appreciation -- a spoken "thank you" mentioning you by name.
He figured out that it would take about 3 hours to create each special mixdown -- which is not an insubstantial amount of time, but he figured if anyone was willing to pay $99 for it -- with a limit to only 20 such individual editions being offered, he'd be willing to do it. Anyone who bought the offering also got the regular Limited Edition version as well. If no one bought it, no big deal. In the end, 13 of his biggest fans felt it was worth it -- representing $1,300, more than 50% of the $2,500 he made since releasing the album earlier this month. It's not earth-shattering money, of course, but it is yet another example of a unique "reason to buy," that clearly worked for this artist.

Not only that, but Hazard isn't stopping there. Based on that experience, he's suggesting variations (improvisations) that others might try as well:
  1. Deleted scenes. Remember that guitar solo you cut because it seemed too "self-indulgent"? That redundant 3rd verse? That 45 second fade-out? Your fans might enjoy hearing them in an extended arrangement, if only to compare and contrast with the album version.
  2. Live show for one. How about a personalized one-off live recording of the album? Make sure to mention the guest of honor by name and leave in the mistakes! If playing through the whole album is too much work, how about dedicating a single song of their choice from your discography?
  3. Unique vocal. You could use alternate vocal takes, or even change a line of the lyrics to include a fan's name. How about inserting a clever line about how you've "done this 12 times already" and increment the number with each take? Even if you've already finished tracking the band, overdubbing a vocal is relatively quick and painless.
  4. Fan sing-a-long. Anyone with an iPhone can record themselves singing along to the chorus of your song. It wouldn't be too hard to tune it and layer it with the lead vocal. Who wouldn't want to share the results with everybody on their friends list? Alternately, you could layer takes from any fan who wants to contribute and sell the same "fan sing-a-long" version to everyone. It could even work in a live setting by recording the audience singing along, then handing out download cards telling them where to get the recording.
He notes that not all of these are easy, but it's a good list for brainstorming purposes, and to get others thinking about cool ways to improvise as well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Brendan (profile), Aug 26th, 2010 @ 2:43pm

    30 Seconds to Mars - This is War

    I meant to type up a follow up post for you regarding 30 Seconds to Mars, who you've talked about before. ( http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080820/0204472040.shtml ) I never got around to the full post, but here's the main points I wanted to bring up.

    For their album This is War (the first one after getting out of their contract with a massive lawsuit), the band included hundreds (or thousands?) of fans in the process. They hosted a "Summit" in LA ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_War#The_Summit ) and part of that event was recording vocals with their biggest fans as a choir, which is featured heavily throughout the album. You can hear the most prominent example in Vox Populi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9iJ9ICrdaY
    In addition to being a cool experience for the fans, it actually sounds fantastic, and builds a great feeling while listening to the album.

    Additionally, the album was sold in stores with 2000 different covers, each featuring the face of a fan who submitted a photo to them. Several celebrities (of varying degrees of fame) also participated and were featured, such as Conan O'Brien and a DJ from my local rock radio station, Bookie from 102.1 The Edge.

    You can see the "main" cover, a ton of the different individual liners here:
    Main - http://img.noiset.com/images/album/30-seconds-to-mars-this-is-war-cd-cover-45363.jpeg
    Indiv. - http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ZyL8neQ0mPg/Sx-BagiHgII/AAAAAAAAMBo/hH_B1KSegpA/s640/30.jpg

    Seems like they figured out a damned good way to get their fans interested in buying.

     

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    Thomas (profile), Aug 26th, 2010 @ 2:50pm

    This would never work for Stevie Nicks ..

     

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    TPBer, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 3:20pm

    Re:

    Because she is a, SBDC. You fill in the rest.

     

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    yourrealname (profile), Aug 26th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    While this is cool for some fans, this will really piss off completist collectors.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 3:32pm

    ♫♪la la la lalaalalala

    Oh how I love FRED MERCOWITZ OF SUNNYDALE CALIFORNIA♫♪

    la la la la la la la la♫

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    CwF+RtB the toolbox for the artist in the 21th century.

    CwF+RtB the basket of revenue options everyone should have.

    Maybe is time to make it more difficult to people to make fun of the concept using a brief but to the point explanation.

     

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    Bill Rosenblatt, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 4:06pm

    $33 an hour. Wow, what an inspiration!

    Seriously Mike, if you're going to go this route, why don't you go whole hog and disclose your day rate for consulting? Bet it's a lot higher than $33/hr.

    Look, I'm in the same business: give away the content you write, make money on other services (such as consulting). So I don't get it: why do you tout these so-called business models that produce money for musicians that doesn't even approach entry level in a major orchestra (nonprofit institution)?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    Re: $33 an hour. Wow, what an inspiration!

    Goddamn, I'd love to live somewhere where a orchestra gave you four times minimum wage to play. Or find an orchestra that gave you total creative control over what you were doing for them, since Brian Hazard has that, and wouldn't in an orchestra.

    You don't need to be making six figures to be successful.

     

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    Blatant Coward (profile), Aug 26th, 2010 @ 4:45pm

    Re:

    *in best Travolta voice*

    Yeah, ain't it cool!

     

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    Bill Rosenblatt, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re: $33 an hour. Wow, what an inspiration!

    Your point about creative control is valid, but otherwise you're missing my point.

    I'm talking about a way to make a steady living from being a musician. Experimenting with non-scalable, ephemeral, so-called business models doesn't get you there. A 2nd violinist at a 2nd tier orchestra would make roughly what Brian Hazard would make if he did his $33/hr thing all day every day, and he/she'd get to do it more or less indefinitely until retirement.

    BTW my father had a 36-year career in a 1st tier orchestra and barely scraped 6 figures at the end of his career.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 5:09pm

    Nobody would get it...

    Until one of his fans ripped it and put it online.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 26th, 2010 @ 5:20pm

    Re: $33 an hour. Wow, what an inspiration!

    Look, I'm in the same business: give away the content you write, make money on other services (such as consulting). So I don't get it: why do you tout these so-called business models that produce money for musicians that doesn't even approach entry level in a major orchestra (nonprofit institution)?

    The goal of these discussions is to show creative ways in which musicians are connecting with their fans in order to make a sustainable living.

    That you have some artificial standard of what is an acceptable salary is something for you to deal with -- not those musicians who find these business models workable.

    And, you are making the same ridiculous mistake of assuming that anyone is saying "just do this to make money," and then extrapolating out what that means on an hourly basis for a salary.

    On that same way, I could just as easily say, Bill, you give away your content for free, that means you are making $0/hr when you write! Bah free fails!!

    Get it?

     

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    Keith Sarver, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 6:05pm

    Re:

    How do you know? She's sexy and has a great voice. I'd buy.

     

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    Bill Rosenblatt, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re: $33 an hour. Wow, what an inspiration!

    No.

    I like to write, but I have never entertained hopes of making a living from my writings. I suffer no delusions that my writing is that good. I am a consultant who happens to write as a means of promotion. If promoting my chosen way of making a living required riding my bike (something I also like to do), I'd be doing more of that.

    It's fine for musicians who want to perform. Let them make their livings performing live (at least until real-time 3D video destroys that) and let them give away their recordings to promote their gigs. My father made the vast majority of his living from performing; he appeared on dozens of recordings and earned a pittance in royalties. Sure, might as well give them away now that you can do so with little loss.

    But for musicians who actually want to record, and make the most of a studio, I don't see a future; it's over.

     

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    Michael Whitetail, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 7:34pm

    I had never heard of this guy till now, and based on his wonderful ideas for unique reasons to buy, which shows a very strong inmagination and creative mind, I am going to check out the music.

    Artists like this are the ones who truely deserve our support.

     

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    I don't get it., Aug 26th, 2010 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: $33 an hour. Wow, what an inspiration!

    If you have a job (any job) and you don't like the pay, you get a different job or a second job. Why in the F*** do musicians think they are so GD special????!?!?!

     

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    Mike Wilson, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 8:09pm

    Artists are still starving though!

    My point is simple...all these 'cute' ideas that you so fervently espouse all lead to one conclusion...that the artist is still not making any money. Yeah, yeah I know, "but look how creative they are"! But look how poor they are! I totally agree that the digital era has royally screwed all of today's musicians; my son is one of those very good, yet starving artists (www.stevewilsonband.com). He writes and performs great songs, but a couple of thousand $$ doesn't even make him whole on his many years' investment; even $100K doesn't make him whole!. It's just too bad for these great "unknown" artists.

     

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    Freak, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: $33 an hour. Wow, what an inspiration!

    A few things that haven't been mentioned:

    a) If a musician is more skilled or more well known, it will obviously rise above $33 an hour.

    b) For that matter, for many options, you can hire other people to actually produce the unique or personal part of the content, (Ie: taking the pictures and printing out all the covers), or at least aid to speed it up or reduce the non-creative time you spend on it to a minimum, (Ie: After you mixdown the tracks, getting someone to organize them onto the CDs, burn them, label them and mail them).

    c) Personal fame. I don't know many Orchestra players, (Actually, I know exactly one, Ms. Vogel, a violinist, but that's because we're related), but I know plenty of singers/musicians/bands. Particularly local ones, yes, but I'm also aware of small indy artists in far off countries.
    I'm not at all a musician, nor do I listen to much music. (Being tone-deaf doesn't give you a very good basis to enjoy music). Nonetheless, if you mention names like Stemage or Son Kite, I know who those guys are.


    d) You focus on the money. Many artists do not. Many artists prefer to create, and be heard, and being paid to spend time doing something amazing and personal for their fans is right up their alley. There are plenty of artists who lament that they could never really connect with their fans again, "After they got big".


    e) Even focusing on the money . . . $33 an hour is a pretty sweet gig. Forget the comparison to another job, these guys are doing something they love and getting paid a nice chunk to do so. $33/hr. is definitely a comfortable living wage.
    (Compare to me where I'm working a job I hate, part time, $10/hr. and still manage to save $500 each month after rent, food, and tuition. If the word "cheap" doesn't come to mind, you've a very false idea of how I live)

    If they could work like that fulltime, that's $68k/yr. With semi-decent investment and some scrimping and saving, that's becoming a millionaire retiree in 20 years.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 26th, 2010 @ 8:26pm

    Re:

    What do you mean pissing off collectors is not a reason to buy?

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 26th, 2010 @ 8:30pm

    Re: Nobody would get it...

    Wow, if they rip it and put online, everyone will magically have the band/singer say their names aloud in the disc? Technology rocks!

     

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  21.  
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    HuwOS, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 8:48pm

    Minigolf

    Honestly Mike, Minigolf!

    and you're saying that's how all businesses should work now, do the stuff for free but charge for minigolf.

    Obviously unworkable even to a backwards child.

    Oh, I guess that isn't what you're saying.

    I guess what you're saying is there are a lot of ways to make money charging for things you can control and giving away for free the stuff that you can't control anyway although it will get you known and if people enjoy it, will create demand.
    And if that doesn't them millionaires then we have to remember that most musicians, performers and creative people aren't millionaires, they mostly barely scrape by and that's even if they are lucky enough to have a label/studio/gallery/whatever, sign them.

    But maybe, just maybe, I want to pretend you're saying something entirely different.
    Did you thank of that, did you?

     

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  22.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 26th, 2010 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Artists are still starving though!

    People pay for what they want to pay. I would like that people paid me for scratching my ass, but apparently, there is not a lot of demand of ass-scratch-watching business. If people don't want to pay artists an unlimited amount of money for selling the same product over and over at zero cost (per copy) then tough luck. They can always get a real job, hippies!

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:01am

    Re: Re: Re: $33 an hour. Wow, what an inspiration!

    I like to write, but I have never entertained hopes of making a living from my writings. I suffer no delusions that my writing is that good. I am a consultant who happens to write as a means of promotion. If promoting my chosen way of making a living required riding my bike (something I also like to do), I'd be doing more of that.

    And this guy is selling unique CDs as a means of promotion.

    Same thing. Why do you mock him, even though his means of promotion actually gets him paid?

    But for musicians who actually want to record, and make the most of a studio, I don't see a future; it's over.

    Heh. Keep believing that. We're seeing plenty of musicians doing just fine.

    Where there's demand, there's a way to make money.

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 7:25am

    Re: 30 Seconds to Mars - This is War

    recording vocals with their biggest fans as a choir, which is featured heavily throughout the album

    That explains why they did that on every song! I thought it ruined the album mostly. I wondered why every song had to end with a "We Are the World, We Are the Children" equivalent. Well, I am sure all the folks in the choir purchased a copy. Personally, I borrowed and ripped from the local library across the street...then deleted all but three tracks.

     

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    darryl, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 8:03am

    Beg and bribe + Kickbacks = flawed system. and reduced quality.

    Rasomwares or Bribewares, so you say "if you dont pay me, I wont produce anything, but if you do I will".

    So if you want it, or even think you want it, you have to take the risk, (a much larger risk than buying the published song).

    What if he was really popular and many many people wanted in on the paying for his recording, and many people missed out, ie that system does not scale.

    Why should a few select people pay for their own private versions, and the rest be denied that ?

    How is that system better, than being able to listen to the finished product, see if you like it, and if you do you pay a very small amount for the song.

    Why cant the "Reason to buy" be that the musician created songs that people like and want or are willing to pay for ?

    (BY HOWEVER MEANS, via a publisher or privately!).

    Would not creating a fan base, be achieved by the same method, by creating content that people want to listen too ?

    Or are you trying to convince them to buy something else, not the actual product they want to sell and create and perform ?

    Why should they have to sell something else, if people allready WANT TO BUY their product now?

    You scam seems to be suck people in with good content, then pressure them to purchase other things off them. Like a 'bait and switch' scam or something.

    Whereas why cant they just product a product that people want to buy and sell it ?

    How is that such a complex model that you can not understand that it 1. works, 2. works very well 3. is far better and more effective than Begware, or bait and switch.

    So not they have to be some type of sick charity, begging for loose change so they can produce a song, and giving "kickbacks" to those who donate to your 'charity' by putting them on the songs. (clearly to the songs detriment).

    So if quality suffers because of alternative systems, (like yours), or that musicians cannot gain the money to create their music, how is that a better system than creating something that is of a quality that people WANT to listen to and even buy?

     

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    FormerComposer (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 8:13am

    A John Cage record

    The Nonesuch recording of the sound portion of John Cage's multi-media piece HPSCHD came with a unique dot-matrix (I believe) printout of a sequence of preamp settings to change during listening to the piece. Volume, balance, treble, bass. Much lower tech than what is being describe here but still relevant (sometimes the 1970s are still relevant.) So, you had two "standard" ways to listen -- as the record was mixed and as it was mixed according to your personal printout. Of course, once you realized what changing the settings did for you, there were an infinite number of "versions" to listen to.

     

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    Brendan (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: 30 Seconds to Mars - This is War

    Really? I thought it added to each track. It wasn't used where it wasn't appropriate, such as on Hurricane, Alibi and Stranger.

    I really liked the sound of the whole album, so I bought the double LP realese (which kindly also included the CD).

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re: 30 Seconds to Mars - This is War

    Actually it is on Hurricane, sadly because that's the best song on the album. The other songs you mentioned were not worth the bits.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 9:46am

    Re: Artists are still starving though!

    I totally agree that the digital era has royally screwed all of today's musicians;

    There are no successful musicians any more? I had no idea.

     

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    Dom S, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Re: Beg and bribe + Kickbacks = flawed system. and reduced quality.

    FFS

    STFU already with your BS

    you embarrass us with your inane drivel!

    im british and spotted your utterly pointlees EPIC fail on the lawsuit article. you embarrass me and our country (if you are from the UK).

    now go sit in the corner with your dunces hat and think about what you did wrong.

     

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    Brian Hazard, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 11:21am

    It's not just a wage

    Mike, thanks for featuring my idea! I'm quite happy with the way it all worked out, and my fans seem to be too.

    As you mentioned in the comments, there's a lot more to it than just a wage. I've got plenty of work lined up at $90/hour as a mastering engineer, so why accept a "pay cut"?

    1. To help other musicians. I share the results of my promotional efforts at Music Think Tank and my own blog, Passive Promotion.

    2. To deepen the fan relationship. Granted, we're only talking 13 people here, but most have been fans for years. I genuinely enjoyed putting the CDs together for them.

    3. To increase sales. When you offer a deluxe item for $99, $10 for the CD seems like a bargain. It's a matter of framing the transaction.

    4. Promotion promotion promotion. Last night someone ordered 9 of my CDs. I emailed back to say thanks, and he explained that he saw the article here and thought it was a cool idea, so he checked out my music and loved it. That's what brought me over here in the first place!

    As for the hard labor involved, most of it was spent on the couch playing Red Dead Redemption on my Xbox 360. I had to pause every 5-10 minutes to access TeamViewer on my iPad, which was remotely controlling my studio desktop, to start it rendering a new file. Best job ever. :)

    Brian Hazard = Color Theory
    http://colortheory.com

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 9:41pm

    Re: Missing the point

    Forgive me a piece of ad hominem before I begin.

    You're an idiot. Here, let me tell you why you fail to get it.


    >Rasomwares or Bribewares, so you say "if you dont pay me, >I wont produce anything, but if you do I will".

    You're comparing CwF+RtB here? Where the artist has already produced the music, shares it for free, and offers something extra and unique for people who believe it's worth it?

    >So if you want it, or even think you want it, you have to >take the risk, (a much larger risk than buying the >published song).

    Actually, it's no risk at all. You pay nothing to get the song.
    Try checking out Brian's Site: http://colortheory.com/

    Right on the front page:
    "You can listen to my latest album The Sound in its entirety using the player to the right. All of my albums are available for streaming, sharing, or purchase at music.colortheory.com."

    As long as you have access to the internet, you can just go to his site and listen to any of his albums as you wish.
    Buying his albums merely gives you a bit more convenience. . . and supports a musician whose music you presumably like.


    >What if he was really popular and many many people wanted >in on the paying for his recording, and many people missed
    >out, ie that system does not scale.

    . . .wait, wait, what? What if I wanted to pay him, but I couldn't?
    1) Brian's model in particular, which I must assume you are talking about, you still buy the downloadable .flac album. That has no limited supply
    2) I wouldn't worry about not being able to give away my money . . . I think maybe you meant: "What if I wanted the limited edition good, but wasn't in line fast enough?". Except that you said the system doesn't scale . . . and unfortunately, there is something called supply and demand, where if he becomes too popular to put on these personal touches for everyone, he can simply raise the price until the people willing and able to pay match the amount of people he is able to serve.




    >Why should a few select people pay for their own private >versions, and the rest be denied that ?

    . . . I don't even know . . .
    What is your argument? What product cannot be like this? Milk? What if I pay for my own cow and milk her every morning, softly brush her every morning and feed her only select grains? BAM! Personal, private version milk to which no one else quite shares. And milk is largely considered a highly fungible product.

    What's more, is that artists, collectors, and other people less relevant to the argument, actually really treasure this uniqueness. What is the worth of something everyone can experience in exactly the same way?



    >How is that system better, than being able to listen to >the finished product, see if you like it, and if you do >you pay a very small amount for the song.

    . . . Being able to listen to the finished product, do with it what you will, for free, and if you choose to support the artist, out of your own good will, get something extra and personal?


    >Why cant the "Reason to buy" be that the musician created >songs that people like and want or are willing to pay for ?
    >(BY HOWEVER MEANS, via a publisher or privately!).

    Oh, that's a question directly answered by CwF+RtB.
    1)Because distribution these days is so cheap as to be free.
    2)Because to sell to multiple people who can distribute freely amoungst each other, requires either that they all like your music enough to want to support you, or that you stop them from distributing freely amoungst each other.

    If the first, then you give them a reason to buy, or support, by giving them something extra. If the second, most of the money from album goes towards merely from stopping them from sharing.
    The second way is only better for the middlemen who stop people from sharing. The first way is better for the people who share music freely, because they are richer by the amount of the music. It isbetter for the artist who can take a greater percentage of profit and offer his product at a reduced price, thus getting more exposure, fame, and ultimately again, profit. And better for the people who get something extra again for the same price they would be paying in the second method.


    >Would not creating a fan base, be achieved by the same >method, by creating content that people want to listen too ?

    Creating a fan base and connecting with them are not the same things.

    >Or are you trying to convince them to buy something else, >not the actual product they want to sell and create and >perform ?

    You offer the product for free.
    If they want to support you, they give you money. It just so happens that you will give them something extra.

    Really, the consumer could take the good, for free to him, anyways. But by giving him something he cannot take for free, like a physical good, you're giving him a reason to want to spend money vs. the idea of spending nothing for getting the good he wants.

    >Why should they have to sell something else, if people >allready WANT TO BUY their product now?

    Oh yeah, because the entertainment industry does not see pirating media as a threat.
    There are people who do not want to spend money on the product. Because, they can get it for free. The number of people that are doing this are increasing. If you want me to prove that, I can point out attempts at perverting copyright law, I can point out rootkits on music CDs, both of which represent the people who are SELLING THEIR PRODUCT being concerned, or I can point out the popularity of P2P networks, and streaming video, both of which the growth of them implies somewhat more directly people freely sharing media with each other, (But still not absolutely truthfully).

    >You scam seems to be suck people in with good content, >then pressure them to purchase other things off them. Like >a 'bait and switch' scam or something.

    Wheres the pressure?
    If the only pressure exists from someone's guilt in enjoying a product they didn't pay for . . .



    >Whereas why cant they just produce a product that people >want to buy and sell it ?

    Let me give you an a analogy.
    I offer you ice cream for $2
    That other guy offers you a cone of my ice cream, for free.
    Which are you going to take?

    In that example, everyone's happy with the second choice.
    The second guy, you see, has to pay me to get the ice cream.

    In music, however, he can copy the music he bought from me, and keep giving it out forever, and I only ever see the initial sale.

    CwF+RtB is acknowledging the presence of that second guy, and giving people who buy from me something they can't get from him . . . or at least, something he would also have to pay me for.

    >How is that such a complex model that you can not >understand that it 1. works, 2. works very well 3. is far >better and more effective than Begware, or bait and switch.

    How is it that you can't see that it's failing?

    IS pirating an issue effecting profit? If no, then why are big entertainment companies trying to fight it?

    >So not they have to be some type of sick charity, begging >for loose change so they can produce a song, and giving >"kickbacks" to those who donate to your 'charity' by >putting them on the songs.

    If you don't want the product, don't buy it. If people want the product, they will buy it.

    >(clearly to the songs detriment).

    I disagree, and demand proof that it does, and NECESSARILY, damage the song.


    >So if quality suffers because of alternative systems, >(like yours), or that musicians cannot gain the money to >create their music, how is that a better system than >creating something that is of a quality that people WANT >to listen to and even buy?

    want to listen to =/= want to buy.

    My GF, for example, wants to read Archie's Twilight parody, out of a morbid curiosity and a fascination for train wrecks. But absolutely does not want to support the enterprise. (Either Archie, or anything twilight)

    Sometimes, I want some background music with a trance-y sound and a nice beat. It's not worth enough for me to buy, (especially since if I look around, there are artists who offer their works in that field for free), but I definitely would want listen to it.

    If you offer your trance music for free, there's a much improved chance I will find and listen to it. If I listen to it, there's a much better chance I'll start liking your sound in particular. If I like your sound, and you, as an artist, connect with me, there's a much better chance I will want to buy. If you connect with me by offering something I WANT to buy, well, everyone's happier.
    I'm supporting an artist I like, the artist gets a bigger cut of the profits, AND I get something cool that I like.
    Oh yeah, and the people who don't want to buy the special things what the artist offers still get to listen to the music.
    If there are a lot of fans who don't like what you offer, it may well be a problem. Therefore, one of the important things about CwF+RtB turns out to be Connecting with your Fans. Who knew?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Freak, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 9:47pm

    Re: It's not just a wage

    I, for one, give your latest album a listen ;)

    I don't like your sound personally, but I do appreciate it.
    Eh, that's to say that I might be pointing a couple of my friends who like similar music to your site in the near-future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 3:33pm

    Re: It's not just a wage

    2. To deepen the fan relationship. Granted, we're only talking 13 people here, but most have been fans for years. I genuinely enjoyed putting the CDs together for them.

    Having been someone who has massively supported some musicians and athletes in multiple ways (e.g., sponsorship, free labor), I'd sort of expect a musician to give something like this to me as a token of friendship rather than something I would need to buy.

    I'm curious about how musicians are addressing this. Most have a core of friends who have been there since the beginning. Some have always paid for show tickets and bought CDs. Others have been friends and in return hope to get free CDs and get on the guest list. Sometimes they get those freebies and sometimes they don't.

    I think the most devoted fans who have access to the musicians think of themselves as friends. But when they discover that they aren't necessarily friends, just fans with money, it sometimes sours the relationship.

    I see almost nothing being written about this, although anyone who has been involved in music, sports, or Hollywood knows there are entourages. Some have been there as friends since high school and others come along later in life. The lines between friendship and money get really tangled up.

    I'm writing about some of this now, in gift economies. There's always been the matter of when is a gift a gift and when is it just a way to get something in return down the road.

    So as musicians sell "extras" I'm wondering how they determine who gets the extra because they paid for it, and who gets the extra because they are friends or long time supporters. Psychologically there's a big difference between buying a one-of-a-kind item and receiving one as a gift from the artist.

    Is music the service you only sell, like a doctor who will see you in his office for a fee? Or is it a gift where some people get it for free if you really like them and others have to pay because you see them as paying fans? Or do you have one level for paying fans and another level that isn't for sale because you only use those as gifts for family and friends?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Brian Hazard, Aug 28th, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    Friend vs. Fan

    I can see how some sticky situations could arise Suzanne. In my case, I actually made an extra CD for my friend Thomas, who runs the fansite colortheory.de. If I hadn't, I know he would've bought one, and I'm already indebted to him beyond calculation. I've never really had any issues, but this is the first relatively high dollar product I've sold.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Friend vs. Fan

    Yes, I remember one time a musician I had helped considerably was doing a CD release party. I hadn't been involved with this particular project, but had done so much in the past and might have done more in the future that it was reasonable for me to assume I'd be on the guest list. The artist's inexperienced manager left me hanging on that one. While the artist interceded and said I would be on the guest list, it soured me so much on the manager that I backed away from pitching the artist to potential sponsors.

    Yes, I could have bought a ticket, but on the other hand, my sense of protocol told me that the artists' team needed to know who acknowledge. If they were clueless on how to relate to current sponsors, they were likely to be clueless in terms of how to relate to potential sponsors.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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