Selling MP3 vs CD's

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brianvassallomusic
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Selling MP3 vs CD's

Post by brianvassallomusic » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:11 am

Hello everybody,

"I would really appreciate your help in knowing from your experience and knowledge , about my question here,
that came into my mind lately.

Do people buy mp3 music or any music in file format these days, just as they buy CD's?

Is it worth considering cutting the costs on releasing music on CD and just release it as mp3
or any download format?

I know that itunes is as far as i know the best forefront place to sell music as mp3 etc..

Is buying WAV format music, that requested from music lovers?

On the above reflections, i would appreciate your feedback to see what you think.
It will be very helpfull for me and maybe for others here as well, before releasing a new album.

Cheers :)

Brian Vassallo
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Re: Selling MP3 vs CD's

Post by sedge » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:20 am

Hi Brian,
I can't wait till I am at the point asking this question!

I would always sell both CD and digital download. I prefer myself to buy the Physical, more for fan/keeps/collector reasons. Im likley to play the digital most times if available

Other things I see as happening are offering free download of some of the Mp3s too to 'introduce' the physical sales.

Using Bandcamp (http://www.bandcamp.com) as a digital outlet allows the customer to choose which digital format they want to download, WAV, FLAC, mp3. - per single or whole album too. Very Cool .

I'd like to get something Physical made when done anyways, fun for the artwork, actually feels like all the computer life has been given a physical life for the first time, might as well have some availble for sale if so.

My thought is, get your music in as many shops and as many formats/media as you can, you can always get the CD's themselves mastered, duplicated and printed fairly cheaply on short runs, and then create the covers DIY reactively per sale to cut some cost down.

Make sense?
Rob

PS for me it be easy, i would email my 2 fans and ask um how they want it : D

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Re: Selling MP3 vs CD's

Post by treesbygb » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:53 am

Hi Brian,
a good question and a whole can of worms! I think one of the issues that relatively unknown bands and artists face, is whether they can realistically sell their music at all! I think most of us are struggling to get people to simply listen to our music (which is why we joined taxi!), let alone buy it. It seems to me that promoting your music comes first then trying to make money from it comes later.

A lot of people disagree with this and say that by offering your music for free you are de-valuing it. I do not hold this opinion. For example if an A & R guy asks for a CD you'll gladly give him one for free. I think the music we are doing is for promotion, to get as many people out there to listen to it as possible in the hope that one of those people might be in a position to place it somewhere, where it can then make money.

This where Mp3's and CD's come into play. Unless you have a fanbase, or are a known band, then I would offer MP3's for free, get the music out there. Then you can also offer the CD for sale.

I've done an album of instrumental music, though the music is very song structured and each piece of music represents a particular place and moment in time. I've offered it as a free download and I've had some CD's printed as well. I've made the CD as desirable as possible by including a 20 page booklet of photos and poems that relate to each piece of music. It was produced by a friend who is a professional graphic designer and is being sold at cost price.

So, all in all a nice little package. However I'm unknown and the music is not really commercial, also I'm not going out of my way to promote it. Though I've done a bit! These are the statistics so far!
278 downloads of the entire album and 12 CD's sold!
I wonder how many of the people who downloaded the album would have paid for it? Not many I suspect!

OK, this is instumental music and I don't do gigs, so it isn't the same as most people, but thought you might be interested!
As Rob has said, bandcamp is a great place to do this:
http://garybruce.bandcamp.com/

To answer your original questions, I don't think the format matters. Most people will download an mp3 because it's quicker and they can't tell the difference between that and a WAV file.
I only produced a CD because I wanted something physical and I wanted to do the booklet. In order to save money I don't think it's necessary to produce a CD.

Hope that helps.
Gary

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Re: Selling MP3 vs CD's

Post by mazz » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:54 am

I haven't bought a CD in quite some time. For me it's much easier to go to iTunes and get what I want, and I really don't want any more CDs in my house, they take up valuable space.

There are places that are selling high resolution audio, and they also sell CDs and mp3s. Chesky records is one such place: http://www.chesky.com/ As you can see, they focus on jazz, which is a niche market, and that market is more likely to be concerned with sound quality than your average pop music listener with cheap ear buds and an ipod.

Personally, I don't think one should give all of their music away for free. Having a few songs as "teasers" or "calling cards" to get people to listen is one thing. But the challenge is, how do you get them to eventually spend money? For the foreseeable future, money is still the medium of exchange for just about anything you would want, and so it helps to have some. Why is music one of the only items in the world that is given away for free? That's an unsustainable business model!

As has been mentioned, the real trick here is how to get people to listen in the first place. Since it's relatively easy to create the product these days if you know what you are doing and have a reasonably modern laptop, the business then becomes about creating a buzz around your music so people have to go and check it out. At that point, you can ask them to sample some and then ask them to buy if they like what they hear.

There are many things about the "new" music business that resemble the old one, but the days of physical product changing hands are coming to a close. If you notice, some car manufacturers aren't putting CD players in the new models, they are putting in USB ports, jacks for hooking up mp3 players, etc. They obviously know something, because they don't make a move like that without extensive market research. We can tailgate on their research dollars and take notice of the trend.

There's a book called "Music Business 3.0" that is required reading for artists in this day and age, along with "FutureHit DNA" and some others.

There is so much music out in the world, that it's going to be difficult to generate a buzz, and it's really a full time job to promote it to the fullest extent in order to maximize the profit potential. Some artists have teams of volunteers and some paid part time, as needed basis staff to assist in the process.

As with any business, it helps to have goals. If your goal is to create a full time living from your music, then you'll have a much larger to do list than if your goal is to have some folks hear your music and a few of them buy it, hopefully. With any journey, it helps to have a decent map of the territory and a proposed route before starting out. I suggest spending some time on deciding on your goals and writing a preliminary map to focus your energies.

Good luck,

Mazz
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Re: Selling MP3 vs CD's

Post by Len911 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:46 am

I think cd's would work well in a live meeting situation, but for a strictly online presence, I wouldn't bother, unless you're well known or a legend.
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Re: Selling MP3 vs CD's

Post by eeoo » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:35 pm

If you're a gigging band cd's are still useful to sell at shows. Maybe that will turn into little usb sticks or some other medium at some point but for now, in my experience people still like buying cd's at shows. I know some bands that are pressing vinyl and when they sell a record there's a download card that goes along with it. I've heard that Best Buy will be replacing there pitifully small cd section with a vinyl section. Eventually cd's will become obsolete but for now they are still viable to some extent.

eo

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Re: Selling MP3 vs CD's

Post by mojobone » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:58 pm

I believe digital files are the future, but physical product will be with us for a while, yet. At least for the foreseeable future, we'll need to serve both markets, unless a format which preserves the notion of credits, artistic images and motion video as part of the package begins to dominate sales of digital music. I believe lossless audio formats will eventually replace MP3s, though they'll likely survive as an essentially valueless audition format, at least among serious music fans.
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Re: Selling MP3 vs CD's

Post by mazz » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:41 pm

I believe that what holds us back in this country (US) is the speed and bandwidth of the internet "pipes" that come to our houses. We are far behind other countries in that regard. Once the pipes get fatter and the speed comes up, the promise of the "cloud" and all it has to offer will become effortless. In other words:

As in the new Apple music on iCloud, any music you own a license for will be available to you anywhere on your "device". The device won't have to have a lot of memory on board because you will be able to stream music from your personal collection on demand to your device anywhere. The same goes for video and any interactive graphic materials.

If we think beyond the old delivery systems where the consumer is somewhat separated from the artist, then we can go into the interactive realm whereby an artist could give a concert live on the internet to their fans, take requests, allow recording for an upgraded ticket price. It would even be possible for the artist to see the fans that allow themselves to be shown via the cameras in their devices.

Obviously one of the advantages of recorded media is the freedom it offers the consumer to "time shift" their listening to whenever it works for them. Imagine going to listen to a favorite artist only to find out that they put up a completely new version of your favorite song, or they offered the ability to remix the song and they could be listening on the other end to what you are dong with your remix.

The possibilities are endless and the ability of the artist to interact with their audiences outside of live performances really removes that disconnect when someone is listening to a CD or mp3 by themselves. Of course, that's a great option, but I think folks would value an more personal connection with their favorite artists as well.

Thinking outside to box of music delivery is what will set the next "big" artists apart from those that are still locked into the physical delivery medium paradigm. Technology can be utilized for great things and there are uses for technology being devised now that we can't even imagine.

All of this potential really serves the emerging artist because they can try lots of things to see what works. Agility favors the smaller entities and the smart artist/business persons will jump ahead of the pack on this stuff.

We should expand our thinking....................

Just my 7c :D

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Re: Selling MP3 vs CD's

Post by brianvassallomusic » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:08 am

You really are a nice group of humble friends here..a sharing one ...as i am reading your views on every clever post you made here..thank you so much for responding in a huge way :)
i am building again my toughts on your toughts and from my reflections . i will write them down here what i think again overall ..later on this week..while i look forward to read more new views :)

Thanks guys ..i hope to see some ladies here as well, writing down their toughts ..And ultimatley this is a benefit for us all...good for re-organising our plans in music...besides of course keeping this great service to make heard our music by Taxi music professionals..but mostly i find taxi a great boost to make you improve songwriting and successful tracks / songs ...later BRIAN:)

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Re: Selling MP3 vs CD's

Post by billg1 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:09 am

Don't disregard the importance of your potential target demographic when making your decision. I was with a band that has a physical CD that's been selling decently online for over 10yrs. but my suspicion is that most of the people who purchase it are on the dark side of 40yrs. old. I think it's a safe bet to say that most people under around 30 won't buy enough CDs to make it worthwhile . . . UNLESS you're selling them at a gig.

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