[FoRK] My Wife's CD release

Lucas Gonze lgonze at panix.com
Fri May 20 19:44:28 PDT 2005


...
How does an artist avoid the distribution system, make reasonable amount 
of money (say 10-50 cents per song download -- I don't really know what 
number makes sense... but I'm sure one could calculate for different 
genre's depending on production costs, etc), get the music to the 
audience, and then get unadulterated feedback from the audience?  The hard 
copy (CD) give a little artificial control (for at least right now)...
...

Make a web page for the album.  Put 1-3 numbers per album up, not the 
whole album, not snippets.

Don't freak out about this being contrary to sales because it's standard 
practice.  Everybody does it, including the majors; the only exceptions to 
this rule are for major hit songs that buyers don't need to sample.

Then make an excellent ecommerce hookup to sell the album.  Sell hard 
copies, but also MP3s, Oggs, FLAC, WAV, WMP, AAC, whatever the listeners 
want.  ...I have heard encouraging results based on selling a download 
version of an album followed up by a hard copy in the mail.  In my own 
experience, Payloadz is a perfectly fine download vendor and Magnatune is 
the best.

Make the site friendly and readable.  Make the music excellent, of course. 
:)  Make the ecommerce really smooth, easy, and trustworthy.  Then take a 
cast of your middle finger and FedEx it to the distributors.

BTW, classical sells well online, though it's hard to draw attention to it 
in the first place.

- Lucas

On Fri, 20 May 2005, Reza B'Far wrote:

> Thanks for the idea Lucas :-)
>
> I often tell my wife "I have this email list with mucho brain power"... Man,
> I tell ya, there is nothing like Fork.  I don't know any list that has as
> many diversely intelligent people in it.
>
> Anyways, I'm assuming by saying a promotional MP3 you mean I just rip the
> entire album and put it up and give out un/pw or something?
>
> The only problem with that is that ripping the entire album in MP3 (or
> whatever digital format you can put up on the web) format and putting it up
> is counter to trying to sell it.
>
> The other thing is that it may be actually a good idea to rip a couple of
> the songs in their entirety and put them up for free... She didn't write
> most of the songs so there is a complicated royalty thing with the
> composers... The one that she composed doesn't carry that problem... there
> are a couple of others that are hopefully out of the royalty period...
>
> Being married to a professional musician, I see some fundamental problems
> with MP3's as a medium though SO LONG AS the distributor is taking all the
> money (Sony, Virgin, etc.).  There are really no viable channels for the
> artists to go directly to the consumer.  Yahoo's launchcast is the only
> thing we've found that's even remotely acceptable.  The cycle of getting
> stuff through the commercial MP3 services takes a distribution system
> (publisher).
>
> In order to distribute your music, as an artist, regardless of how good you
> are (not to brag or anything, but my wife has a masters in Piano from
> Julliard and the other two people in the trio are from Julliard and Moscow
> conservatory so they got credentials, she has studied with Morten
> Loridsen -- probably the best known American composer today, etc. etc.), you
> really need to sell your sole to the devil (distributors).  Have you guys
> seen these cheezy DVD's at Fry's where they dress up 3-4 female violinists
> in skimpy outfits and they play some strange techno'd concoction of pop
> based on classical... well, that's what distributors do to Classical
> Musicians.  There are a bunch of groups now that do this: they are not
> really selling music, they sell something else... whatever you want to call
> it.  Now, I'm not one to be stuck up about "artistic integrity"... in fact,
> my wife and I criticize lots of musicians for being so rigid when it comes
> to this "artistic integrity" and not being flexible enough to adapt to the
> consumers, but... you get my point...
>
> The problem is exasperated by the fact that Classical/Jazz is a smaller
> market than pop/rock. But that's really not the main problem.  The main
> problem is that there is this totally useless distribution layer in between
> that controls everything... and to a degree controls musical/artistic tastes
> through a feedback mechanism.  What's ideal is to try to circumvent it and
> create a direct connection between the artist and the listener.
>
> Anyways, sorry about the long rant, I digressed...Being that you're a
> multimedia Guru, what are your thoughts in general?  How does an artist
> avoid the distribution system, make reasonable amount of money (say 10-50
> cents per song download -- I don't really know what number makes sense...
> but I'm sure one could calculate for different genre's depending on
> production costs, etc), get the music to the audience, and then get
> unadulterated feedback from the audience?  The hard copy (CD) give a little
> artificial control (for at least right now)...
>
> I'm very much looking forward to getting feedback from you folks :-)  I know
> lots of you must have thoughts on this.
>
> Reza
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lucas Gonze [mailto:lgonze at panix.com]
> Sent: Friday, May 20, 2005 6:25 PM
> To: Reza B'Far
> Cc: meltsner at alum.mit.edu; fork-noarchive at xent.com
> Subject: RE: [FoRK] My Wife's CD release
>
>
>
> I'm curious, Reza -- why not host a promotional mp3 yourself?
>
> - Lucas
>
> On Fri, 20 May 2005, Reza B'Far wrote:
>
>> Thanks Ken :-))
>>
>> Pretty funny...
>>
>> Well, we have an allotment of "promotional" copies that she can send out
> for
>> the "cheap" people who can  be able to put a link on a public site
> somewhere
>> with a review to it.
>>
>> She's grateful for the compliment though :-)
>>
>> Reza
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Ken Meltsner [mailto:meltsner at gmail.com]
>> Sent: Friday, May 20, 2005 12:14 PM
>> To: reza at voicegenesis.com
>> Cc: fork-noarchive at xent.com
>> Subject: Re: [FoRK] My Wife's CD release
>>
>>
>> Very nice samples; too bad none of them are full tracks....
>>
>> Ken "Cheap, Cheap" Meltsner
>>
>>
>> On 16 May 2005 09:47:05 -0700, Reza B'Far <reza at voicegenesis.com> wrote:
>>> Hi Folks...
>>>
>>> Well, I'm under "encouragement" ;-) to publicize my Wife's CD (Susan
>>> Boettger) as much as I can... She's a classical pianist... The CD is
>> mostly
>>> modern classical with some Jazz influence and one of her own compositions
>>> (based on Persian folk songs)...
>>>
>>> Officially, the CD cover reads:
>>>
>>> "Edge is a reflection of how our eclectic, multi-cultural society has
>>> blended the edges of musical genres as we've known them.  Here, tango
> from
>>> the streets of Argentina, Middle Eastern folk music, and American jazz
> and
>>> film music co-exist to complement one another...."
>>>
>>> There are some samples available too:
>>>
>>> http://www.pianoedge.com/performer.html
>>>
>>> Let me know if any of you folks have or know of any big blogs for this
>> type
>>> of music
>>>
>>> COMMENTS ARE HIGHLY APPRECIATED since they (her trio) will be working on
>>> their second CD soon.
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>> Reza
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> FoRK mailing list
>>> http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Absolute power corrupts absolutely, but model train sets do a pretty
>> good job as well
>>
>> -- 2/28/05, in a odd dream
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> FoRK mailing list
>> http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
>>
>
>


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