Yet Another Take On Free Music

from the steal-my-music dept

Earlier today we wrote about yet another music label that was figuring out a way to use the music for promotion rather than trying to lock it up – and how that will eventually challenge the established recording industry. Here’s another example of a company looking to make use of free music, though I think they’ve got the system set up a little backwards. There’s apparently a relatively new site called Steal My Music, where independent artists can have their CDs given away for free. Shoppers pay for shipping and handling only. The idea (obviously) is to promote new and independent bands. The reason this seems backwards is that they’re giving away the tangible item (the CD), when it would make a lot more sense to just offer the music for free, without the CD. If they tied in with a P2P file sharing system, they spread out the costs as well. As it stands, it’s the band that has to eat the costs by having CDs made which they’re then giving away. If you have this great distribution mechanism for giving away music and using it for promotional purposes – it seems sort of backwards, instead, to focus on giving away CDs.

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Comments on “Yet Another Take On Free Music”

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AMetamorphosis says:

The profit IS in the S&H

The profit IS in the S&H. This is a standard way for businesses to offer products for $ 19.95 on television when in reality, add in the S&H and the item usually soars to near $ 30.00. I understand the term ” Shipping ” but can anyone give me a good understanding of what ” Handling ” is ? If by ” Handling ” they mean picking up the item and placing it in an envelope, then why don’t ” brick & mortar ” establishments charge me to place the item I just purchased into a bag ?

Ryan King (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Follow up ... sells his CDs for $5, shipping included.
This is actually a great idea. Checkout for a pretty good write up on this way of thinking.
There are a lot of reasons people want physical CDs over digital media. It’s complicated and illogical, but completely true.

Beck says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Follow up ...

I think there are many good reasons why someone would want to buy a CD rather than download the music:

  • They don’t know how to burn a CD
  • They don’t have a CD burner
  • Audiophiles don’t want the loss of quality when the music is compressed as an MP3
  • They want to give the CD as a gift
  • They don’t want to download an entire CD on a dial-up connection
  • Psychologically, a homemade CD doesn’t feel like the “real thing”
  • Mike (profile) says:

    Re: Re: Re:3 Follow up ...

    I should be clear, I wasn’t saying that people don’t want CDs. I, for instance, definitely prefer CDs to mp3s. My point was that you shouldn’t *give away* CDs. That’s a tangible item with a real cost. If you’re going to give away something, you give away something that costs the least amount to give away – and that’s mp3s… Then, if someone wants the CD, they clearly see value in it, and you can charge them for it.

    Anonymous Coward says:

    Re: Re: Re:4 Missing the point, Mike. Follow up ...

    Actually, Mike – aside from the minor physical costs, its a better investment for them to send real CD’s. Because the listener HAS to make a real connection to them, actually paying a small amount of money for it.

    Whereas if you download something, you listen to 10 seconds of it, decide you don’t like it, and toss it.

    But I’ll wager if you spent even $5 getting it, you’ll put it on and give the whole thing a chance – because you’ve invested something of your time and money in it.

    We see it all the time in business – charging $10 for a sample vs. giving it away for free invariably leads to a higher closing rate per unit! Because people who make even that much of an investment are that much more serious about it.

    Qualification of consumers (get to the people who want to buy) and Confidence (give them the confidence to buy without worry) are the two most important aspects of a sale.

    Cliff (user link) says:

    Re: Re: Follow up ...

    Actually, this is my site and I don’t make any money off of the shipping and handling fee. The little money that helps support the site currently comes from affiliate ads.

    The shipping is actual cost strait from the USPS server (different prices based on different shipping methods you can chose). The handling fee barely covers the cost of packing materials and the insane cost of the credit card transaction.

    Basically, the whole idea is to help artists get their cds and demos into more hands, and so far it’s working.

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