We've written a few times now about the band Uniform Motion
, who has been extremely transparent with their latest release, such as explaining how much they make
from different streaming platforms. Andy Richard, from the band, has also been quite active over on our Step 2
platform, and recently shared the results of a survey the band did of fans
after they experimented with "pay what you want," including his own analysis of what the results mean. Here's just a snippet:
5. What made you decide to download the music?
I wanted to sample the music before buying a CD/Vinyl: 28%
I wanted to sample the music before paying for the MP3’s.: 22%
I wanted to own the music but couldn’t afford to pay for it: 22%
I don’t really know. I just clicked the buttons!: 19%
I wanted to own the music but I don’t think music is worth paying for: 4%
I wanted to write a review about your music: 3%
6. Do you have any idea how many times you have listened to our album(s)?
More than 5 times: 45%
2-5 times: 30%
More than 50 times: 15%
I have no idea: 3%
I didn’t even get past the first couple of songs, you guys suck! 0% (thankfully!)
7. What made you decide to pay for our music? (multiple responses ok)
(Only people who had made a purchase were asked this question)
I wanted to support the band: 100%
I wanted to own the music: 61%
I wanted to own a tangible version of the album (CD/Vinyl): 61%
The key take aways are summarized here:
People who buy music do so to SUPPORT you.
So the interaction with fans is key. In today's business, you need to 'deserve' people's support and just making good music is not quite enough.
The value is in the relationship not the MP3 file.
We keep hearing from critics that the music is the "only thing of value" that a musician really has to offer as an argument for why any business model should be solely focused on selling music. But, as we've explained over and over again, that's not accurate at all -- and Andy's summation here encapsulates what we've been trying to say for years much more simply than we've ever said it. None of this means the music doesn't matter. The music absolutely matters, and the relationship is only built if the fans like the music in the first place. But the real value isn't in the mp3 file... but in the relationship.