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Notes From the Underground is an interesting article written by a subway musician about his experiences.

His list of three suggestions for musicians are: 1. Drop the price of CDs, 2. Branch out and 3. Embrace file-sharing. I more or less agree with all of those and I think have tried to do them all, so hooray, merit points for me. (I still find mostly gay porn when I search for ‘brad sucks’ on Kazaa or Shareaza though.)

A comment on point #1: after selling a lot of CDs myself at his recommended price of $5, I’m not sure how important that was in selling the CDs. I did it because I just wanted my music out there and realized I could sell my CD at $5 with shipping included and not lose money. I think that’s what they call “desperation”.

I wish I had a way to know how my CD would have sold if it was $6 or $10 or $20. If I ask, most people deny that they would have paid a penny more, obviously because they’d rather get it for $5 – and I can’t blame them. It’d be even better if they could get it for $2.50 or a shiny nickel, but what people want to pay for things and what they actually cost aren’t usually the same numbers an economy has told me.

Anyhow, I don’t really have a point other than to say after my experiences I’m not convinced the price is all that important. Regular people (ie. non-musicians and other people who don’t care about the RIAA) didn’t seem too wowed by my $5 price. I was hoping they’d be all “OH MY GOD, FIVE DOLLARS WITH SHIPPING INCLUDED, HOW COULD I *NOT* BUY THIS??” but that hasn’t happened much. At times I’ve gotten the impression that the unusually low price makes them worried they’re getting tricked somehow, but the confusion makes it easier to subdue and rob them though, so I guess it all works out.

Posted on - January 8, 2004 [at] 5:58 pm by Brad
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3 Comments on this post

A1phab3t on Subway Music
January 8, 2004 at 7:29 pm

There’s a well-known and accurate business maxim that if you price your product too low, people will think it is lacking in quality. How good can it be if you’re selling it that cheap?

I think $10 US (shipping included) is the perfect price for a CD. I think your $5 deal, while honorable and done out of good intentions, doesn’t serve your music well and doesn’t maximize your audience like you would think it would.

Or, if you had one CD for $5 and another for $10, people would think they’re getting a deal.

OK, I’ve given enough marketing secrets away. Come to my seminar to learn how to truly become a millionaire in three easy steps.

soda on Subway Music
January 9, 2004 at 1:52 am

I, for one, fell into your trap of “HOW COULD I NOT BUY OUTSIDE THE INBOX FOR $5” but then again I already knew almost all of the artists on the CD and had downloaded a couple of them, so I knew that it was going to be good for sure.
But honestly, if I’m un-lazy enough to go click on the paypal crap when I remember that people have albums up for that cheap online and I like their work, then I am much more likely to buy stuff at $5 than $10+.

soda on Subway Music
January 9, 2004 at 1:55 am

P.S. that just reminded me to go order your solo album. Thanks. :P

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