I’ve been thinking about this recently as I’m planning to release some new music very soon and thought it’d be interesting to talk about how much to charge.
If you weren’t aware Bandcamp let’s you set whatever price you’d like for your music, even as a free download (depending if you have download credits left) . I’m going to go discuss my mentality when it comes to what prices to set, if any.
When I say ‘my mentality’ I’m in no way saying this should be your plan or strategy. It really comes down to what goals and objectives you’re after with your music. For my band Wired to Follow, we’re mainly after exposure as that for us, leads us on to other creative projects such as soundtrack work for TV etc. You might solely be after financial gain from selling your music to help fund you to make more and if so take my outlook with a pinch of salt as all I want to do is reach ears.
Now don’t get me wrong, we want to make money to fund paying for our studio, buying new instruments, web hosting etc and every penny counts. It’s just that we want to work on lots more projects, that’s our passion.
So with that said, why aren’t I just setting all of our releases as free downloads? Well, for a couple of reasons.
A Perceived Value
I feel there’s a perceived value in setting a price. For me, free downloads aren’t a novelty anymore. Think about it, when was the last time somebody said “Free Download” and you stopped what you were doing to rush to get it. So for me, I tend to stick to around £5 and under for our digital releases, depending on the amount of tracks on the release.
That said I do have a message on my bandcamp pages offering the music for free if you send me a message, as some people just don’t have money to spare and I’d rather they have it than not. I’m in that boat more often than not so I can empathise.
If It’s Free, There’s No Leverage
If I were to set everything to be a free download I could never have a sale. For example, just this weekend I decided to have a crazy sale were I gave out a discount code that would get you 95% off the entire Wired to Follow catalogue on Bandcamp. A good bunch of people (and if you’re reading, many thanks, you’re awesome!) jumped at the chance and bought everything.
I did this to get to try and get our music to new ears but not just their’s.
If you didn’t know, when you buy something on Bandcamp everyone in your follower’s feed gets to know what you bought. Not only that but some also get an email about it too. Their ‘fan square’ also gets added to your release page which looks ace when there’s loads.
All this is That’s exposure through basically word of mouth, the best kind of exposure. What’s more, these new people may not be aware the sale and if they like they music, may even pay full price.
It’s Not for Everyone
Like I said earlier, this may not work for you if you’re after immediate financial gain. For us it’s long term exposure and I must stress that term – long term.
I know when we release new music we’re not going to do a Kim Kardashian and break the internet – although I could do (*makes curve shapes with hands)… No, I’d do anything for music but I won’t do that.
Let me know your thoughts on this! I’d love to know where your head is at when setting prices on Bandcamp or anywhere!