Final words on this whole “Buy One, Gift One” thing — got an email from Eventbrite’s Ty White last week, telling me that he did this very thing three months ago via Topspin, allowing fans who bought the new album download from All Smiles to gift a second copy to a friend!
Ty notes that 21% of the band’s fans took them up on this offer — happy with the double-digit results, but noting that larger participation was limited by, among other things, the extra effort of deciding which friend to send it to, and typing in their info post-purchase. Maybe these can be overcome by announcing “Buy One, Gift One” as an integral part of the release promotion (instead of springing it on the buyer during checkout), and as Ty posts, using Facebook connect to choose friends (even though getting that all-important email address holds more weight).
I would still encourage charging a small fee for that second download to cover your expenses in this emerging Age of the Benefactor, and to have a token value to your work. But as an all-streaming world rapidly approaches (more on that some other time), even a couple of dollars per download is better than collecting a few pennies per thousand streams.
Dig — in only two weeks’ time, Julia Nunes (who I first highlighted FOUR years ago) has collected $50,000 (!!!) to record her new album, FAR surpassing her $15k goal. Not only does she not go into debt recording this album, she already has a nest egg for album promotion and tour support!
Julia explains it best in her own words, but this really stresses the need for years of personally connecting with your fans across multiple platforms. Keep in mind that this $50k (so far) is from only 1000 fans — from a pool of millions of YouTube plays, 52,000 Facebook fans, and 23,000 Twitter followers. Regardless, Julia is constantly engaged, and offers great prizes at multiple tiers for her Kickstarter campaign. This is a solid foundation to work from before the album even hits the streets — just goes to show that you don’t need millions of people to LIKE your work, just a few hundred or thousand to LOVE your work.
Finally, yes, turntable.fm is awesome, a huge timesuck, hard to just be a passive listener. I’ve been hanging with a bunch of deep-benched industry geeks, either hearing stuff I have never heard before, or hearing songs that I haven’t heard in forever. So nice to have friends hand-pick the best tracks from all the music you haven’t had time to give a second listen; such a welcome change from traditional radio, where research dictates that every American should hear “Freebird” and “Kashmir” 10,000 times in a single lifetime.
Funny story, some guy came into a label room last week, hopped on the decks, first song he played was his own demo. Dude got kicked out so quickly that he’s *still* got a bootprint on his avatar’s ass. Brutal.