Wednesday, 15 June 2011

An experiment in the pricing of music

I'm trying something new. For some time I've been using the 'pay what you want' method to distribute my music, to allow me to grow my audience. Thats been for a couple of years now.

It seems to have worked well, but I've been thinking of ways to reward the people who choose to pay for the music - this is an attempt to do that :

This album is a live download of the gig I did at the Electric Garden Festival in May 2011. 7 songs. It will be available for a limited time only.

The official release (pay what you want/free) is Sunday 19th of June but if you'd like it early you can download it for £5 (minimum) today. The idea is to try and reward the people who have supported me by paying for music in the past by getting the music to them early. We'll see if it works! Any funds will go to finishing off recording, mixing and mastering my 3rd album which is nearly done...

The download includes 2 essays and photos.

Thank you.

Artwork by Ben Marsden of

What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea?


Tom Emmons said...

Interesting idea. Hope it helps!

rubken said...

For me early access isn't that exciting. I like the idea of extras in premium packages, but that can expose you to upfront costs perhaps. She Makes War did that well with her last album, but I think she produced most of the geegaws herself.

What about getting someone to knit some Matt Stevens beard merkins? That would be an item of desire for many?

Unknown said...

A strap-on beard perhaps :)

Totally agree on She Makes War - very cool at those ideas, she is awesome :)

Anonymous said...

What is an essay? X)

James Beaudreau said...

Seems like a great idea to offer the album early for a minimum price, but I don't really see it as a "thank you" to former paying fans, unless I'm missing something...? Do people that paid for an album previously get the new one free? Because couldn't anyone take advantage of the "early" offer -- both people who paid previously and those who didn't?

Unknown said...

The idea is to offer something to the people who decide to pay of some value (ie early access) that isn't available to people who don't pay for downloads.

Like i say its an experiment and i'm not saying its a perfect model.

I'm probably going to stop free downloads all together eventually and just make a "best of" type thing available for free. Its an ever evolving thing thou. Not sure really. Nobody knows all the answers for this one.

Noor said...

Matt, this is a good idea indeed :) But I am not sure if its workable.

Also, if you plan to do something similar for next release, my personal suggestion be ,make sure you do a little earlier. I mean avail this early bird kinda offer + bonus tracks at least a week or two before :)

Dave (The Echelon Effect) also did something similar to your experiment for his upcoming release I believe.

Unknown said...

Agreed - I only thought of it yesterday :)

Wes Royer said...

I guess my thought is, there's no harm or extra cost in pre-releasing to paying fans, so why not? However, I would have considered putting at least 4 week between pre-release and official release. I think your experiment was a good idea.

As for everybody else's comments, I agree that offering special packaging to paying fans has proven very successful for labels and indie artists. And be creative, but low cost. Exclusive downloadable tracks and videos are alright, but more personal or customized packaging is a better touch, IMO.

Graham said...

"The download includes 2 essays and photos. " - That's the kind of thing that would be effective for a pre-release special for fans.


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