Jump to content

Your Ad Could Be Here

The Ransom Distribution Model


Recommended Posts

I'd like your input on an idea for a new way of distributing music. The basic concept is this: after your album has been released, anybody can download it for free on limewire or other P2P and you get the short end of the stick. But what if you ask fans to pay up front, before the album's release?

For instance, let's say Radiohead didn't sell their songs on a "pay what you want" basis, but instead let fans pre-order the album, and the band agreed to release it as soon as 1 million pre-orders were sold(at, say, $10 each). They obviously couldn't control piracy after the release, but assuming they could keep the tracks from leaking beforehand, they might have $10 million in gross receipts.

Let me know what you think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it could get a little complicated. If I said you'd get your album after I had one million pre-orders, and I didn't get one million pre-orders, would I be refunding money to one million people? The postage alone would kill me financially. On the other hand, if I didn't deliver an album, I'd have to refund the money, wouldn't I?

I think a better business model might be the FAN CLUB. You join my fan club--costs, say, $15 a year. I guarantee that during the course of that year, you will get, if your dues are paid up, a free album. It will have new stuff on it, and I think I can guarantee you'll like it--you're a fan, after all, and you like my stuff. I might post a teaser or two on the Website to make sure, but hey, I've already got your money.

My main challenge under this model would be to make sure I priced the album *to the public* a little bit higher--not to mention releasing it a little bit later--than to the fan club. Not too hard to pull off, though.

The key here, just as with that million-order album, is there needs to be the *fan base* to support it. I'm not sure you can do it without that fan base already in existence--a group of people committed to wanting your stuff. First charge, then, is to build that base. Yes?

Joe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a problem with a lot of these radical new distribution ideas is that they rely on there being either a fanbase or that there definitely will be one. I remember a previous scheme where the artists made the music, and then a record label bought a copy for millions, with the understanding that they could make copies and sell them for thousands to record shops, with the understanding that the record shops could make loads of copies and sell them for a fiver. Neither of these schemes would be good for emerging artists.

Now, when I first read the title of this post I thought it said "Random Distribution Model" instead. Now that's an idea - you select a song, and then some of the time it's free, and some of the time you have to pay. If you can combine the music industry with online gambling, you might win at everything, forever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

I can think of several bands that have done the "pay up front" bit.... and they then gave the album to those who paid, and sold the album to those who didn't.

It's a good idea when you already have fans, not so good if you don't.

Cheers

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey

One band that has done it for more than one album (3 I think) is Marillion.

Their main motivation I understand was that they were no longer with a major label and needed funds to both record and release the albums. So they turned to their fan base to raise those funds.

In addition they also offered incentives (though I can't remember exactly what).

Cheers

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lol I don't want to assume

It is true that other models don't work without a fanbase, however in the conventional model you have media to promote with (cd,mp3 etc) to try and encourage fans.

Where I think the model falls down is that in order to create promotional tracks to build a fanbase you are "making them available" (sad fact of digital music).

Where I think the suggested model really works is that at the end you don't have 495 CDs left under your bed at the end of it! :) and you saved the outlay....

What I would ask is... if you ask for money upfront.... and you don't reach the target number for releasing, what happens? You refund all that money! That could be a lot of transaction costs.

One permutation I would suggest is "Volume Discount". So if we get 1000 up front orders it will cost you X on release date, 5000 it will cost you Y etc.

Cheers

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason I don't assume fan base is that many artists their first real ongoing promo is their demo CD. Gigs yeah but they are generally transitory, and many online artists rarely perform live.

So I was looking at it from as many angles as I could. Personally I don't really have a fan base anymore, it's been 9 years since I was able to play live and I haven't kept a continuous touch as previously I was the writer/singer in bands, and now I am doing stuff myself. What fan base I have is small if at all. So I guess in many ways i was looking at it from the perspective "is it a model I could use?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our Jeep clubs have several "Volume Discount" schemes running.

Get a "Promise to buy" from X# of people and the parts cost $X, get Y# of people and the parts cost $Y. The closer the group of buyers gets to the Y#, the harder they will push to get others on board [smiley=bounce.gif]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

Your Ad Could Be Here



  • Current Donation Goals

    • Raised $1,040
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By continuing to use our site you indicate acceptance of our Terms Of Service: Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy: Privacy Policy, our Community Guidelines: Guidelines and our use of Cookies We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.