I inadvertently set off quite a debate this week when I posted a few slides from a presentation that I often use when I speak at music conferences. I wrote a post entitled ‘How Bands Can Make More Money By Not Putting a Price on a CD’. Of the 44 resulting comments the majority of musicians responding to my post were in agreement, but it’s fair to say that until I had some real world results my theory could have just ended up as a red herring.
So here’s one artists success story. My friend and trusty member of the Gang of Four traveling road crew [a job that is pitifully low in traveling right now] Dominic Keska, persuaded Benjamin Taylor [son of James Taylor & Carly Simon] to give my idea a try – here’s his comment left on the original post and also at Music Think Tank.
February 15th, 2009 at 4:47 pm
We tried this experiment with Ben Taylor at his show Friday night at the Bluebird Theater in Denver.
Ben made a very articulate announcement from stage stating that due to the economy etc..weâ€™ve decided to let people take his music home at a price of their choice. Also mentioning that the suggested retail price was $15..
We took in well over $1000 in CD sales, double what we would on an average night. We normally sell 3 Full Lengths at $15 each and an EP at $5.
We sold a total of 84 CDs averaging almost $12 per CD!
Last night we were in Jackson Hole, the trend continued, proving another good night. Where we sold 48 CDs and averaged almost $11 a CD.
We are moving more product than we normally would and in average making more than what our CD were to sell on iTunes or a record store.
Tonight we are in Boise, plan to continue the name your price for CDs and if Denver is an indication, we should reach the $1,500 mark tonight.
I will keep reporting how we are doing nightly, certainly thus far its working in our favor. Especially setting some ground rules for the consumer and not taking less than cost yet instilling the mind set that this is a win win for both fan and artist.