Giving out recordings at gigs?


PDA

View Full Version : Giving out recordings at gigs?


gorkyporky
01-12-2010, 01:58 PM
So, we finaly have a gig lined up, and i was thinking that we could put all our recorded songs on CDs, print out some decent covers and lables, and hand them out at gigs.
We would include contact information in the back, or iside the box. The recordings are not really profesional, but arent that bad for amateur recordings.
I think they are actually decent sounding demos, and as such, we would not charge anything for them, just have a bunch of them (like 20 or something) at the bar at the venue we are playing at, and then if the crowd is enjoying us, we would tell them they can get the CDs (EPs, demos, whatever they are) at the bar for free, maybe give a couple of them out from the stage, for the most active crowd members :p: .
We could also send them around to other venues and maybe a record company or two, to book more gigs and stuff like that. Getting signed is mostly just an imposible wish right now, but it doesnt hurt to try.
We sould include like 4-6 songs on the CD, maybe some kind of joke track or something for the hell of it. No covers, except if you think its a good idea. Anyway, what do you guys think?

EDIT: i think its also worth to mention that i have a bunch of empty CDs at home that i will probably never use, being the era of USB keys and all. And if anyone has any idea how to get a lable onto the cds that would be great.

alkalineweeman
01-12-2010, 02:02 PM
It's a mighty fine idea, i will always pick up a free cd if the band are giving them out, even if i don't perticularly like the band that night they may be different on disk or just having an off night, what do i have to lose by taking a free cd so yeah i say go for it.

RockInPeaceDime
01-12-2010, 02:09 PM
Labels

http://www.staples.com/CD-DVD-Labels-Media-Labels/cat_CL140962

gorkyporky
01-12-2010, 02:24 PM
^ thanks, but im not in the USA but in europe, and in a small country, so solutions like that arent really an option. Im looking for more of a D.I.Y. solution :D. Im thinking about lightscribe, but i have no idea how much those cds cost.

scguitarking927
01-12-2010, 02:43 PM
Sounds like a plan. If you have Microsoft publisher I'm pretty sure there's a blank CD document that you can use. Maybe find a download for a template on the web or something, and just print them out on sticker paper and put'em on.

Dutch_Apples
01-12-2010, 11:26 PM
Also think about this...if you aren't using CDs anymore, what makes you think your audience still is? I've received dozens of free CDs over the last 2 years and many of them remain sealed/unplayed. I've seen a lot of bands move towards the promotional code business card size/credit card size card which gives a link to your website where you can either download or buy the recording. You should look into this.

gorkyporky
01-13-2010, 04:04 PM
Well i can put all that information in the CD case, cant i? Or even on the back side since its more visible. So you get that fancy new internet info where people can listen and download songs, and an actuall CD with songs, thats always nice to have, and franky, seems much cooler than a plain olf buisness card. Hell, i still listen to my audio cds, i bet other people do to. And we can do an audio/data cd that has our songs in the standard .cda format for stereos and stuff, and in .mp3 form. Maybe even throw on some promotional pics or whatever.

scguitarking927
01-13-2010, 05:43 PM
it is a dying market though, so maybe use the cd's that you have, then maybe at the show ask people for an email and get them on an email list and send them your songs that way.

gorkyporky
01-13-2010, 05:45 PM
What about sending stuff to record companies? Im guesing that the CD demo approach works the best or what?

Damascus
01-13-2010, 08:28 PM
What about sending stuff to record companies? Im guesing that the CD demo approach works the best or what?

Two things I've been reading recently* are pretty emphatic that an unsolicited demo (a demo not passed onto the company by a laywer/manager/A&R guy/whoever that they already know and at least partially trust) will not be listened to.

*One of them was an article from Sound On Sound's website, written by someone who worked in some talent-scout/artist interface part of a record label, the other was "All You Need To Know About The Music Business", written by a music business lawyer - bascially, people I imagine know what they're talking about.

n to the k
01-14-2010, 05:58 PM
i would give them out but also make sure you promote your website/myspace a lot aswell and offer free downloads from there.

axemanchris
01-14-2010, 07:40 PM
Try not to give away your music. If you don't attach any value to it, why should anyone else?

Oh, and about covers.... the going mechanical royalty rate it about $0.08 per copy MADE, not sold. Consider that, and there is a minimum license of 500 copies, so you're on the hook for about $40 per song you want to cover on your CD. Of course, you could just give that away too....

CT

Black Star
01-14-2010, 08:04 PM
Try not to give away your music. If you don't attach any value to it, why should anyone else?

Oh, and about covers.... the going mechanical royalty rate it about $0.08 per copy MADE, not sold. Consider that, and there is a minimum license of 500 copies, so you're on the hook for about $40 per song you want to cover on your CD. Of course, you could just give that away too....

CT

This is true. However, this also goes back to the question: "Will the copyright holders really care about a local band doing covers?"

Besides the fact, it's irrelevant, since the TS stated "no covers". Still good info nonetheless, though.

But I do agree: try not to give your music away. Sell the demos for $1 if you have to, it's much better than giving it away for free.

Bitches nBagels
01-14-2010, 08:17 PM
So, we finaly have a gig lined up, and i was thinking that we could put all our recorded songs on CDs, print out some decent covers and lables, and hand them out at gigs.
We would include contact information in the back, or iside the box. The recordings are not really profesional, but arent that bad for amateur recordings.
I think they are actually decent sounding demos, and as such, we would not charge anything for them, just have a bunch of them (like 20 or something) at the bar at the venue we are playing at, and then if the crowd is enjoying us, we would tell them they can get the CDs (EPs, demos, whatever they are) at the bar for free, maybe give a couple of them out from the stage, for the most active crowd members :p: .
We could also send them around to other venues and maybe a record company or two, to book more gigs and stuff like that. Getting signed is mostly just an imposible wish right now, but it doesnt hurt to try.
We sould include like 4-6 songs on the CD, maybe some kind of joke track or something for the hell of it. No covers, except if you think its a good idea. Anyway, what do you guys think?

EDIT: i think its also worth to mention that i have a bunch of empty CDs at home that i will probably never use, being the era of USB keys and all. And if anyone has any idea how to get a lable onto the cds that would be great.
I think im gonna do this with my band at our next gig and see how it turns out

maybe sell some shirts to get money, lol

gorkyporky
01-15-2010, 10:04 AM
This is true. However, this also goes back to the question: "Will the copyright holders really care about a local band doing covers?"

Besides the fact, it's irrelevant, since the TS stated "no covers". Still good info nonetheless, though.

But I do agree: try not to give your music away. Sell the demos for $1 if you have to, it's much better than giving it away for free.


why is is better than giving it away for free? Im certain many more people will take the cds if they are free, and then half of them will probably give it a listen. But if its like 1 or 2 then maybe a quarter of the people will buy it and that means only half as much pepole exposed to our music. We can always sell them when we make a new demo cd with profesionaly recorded songs.

Black Star
01-15-2010, 03:36 PM
why is is better than giving it away for free? Im certain many more people will take the cds if they are free, and then half of them will probably give it a listen. But if its like 1 or 2 then maybe a quarter of the people will buy it and that means only half as much pepole exposed to our music. We can always sell them when we make a new demo cd with profesionaly recorded songs.

You assume half will listen. In reality, maybe a quarter would listen. If you give it away for free, people will not care as much about the product. They will take the CD, but it will probably end up everywhere but the CD player. That's because they didn't have to do anything to listen to it, so they don't see it as being valuable in any way.

However, people are more likely to listen to something they paid for. Once again, you assume half, but in reality, I'd estimate about three-quarters, at least. Why? People value things they paid for more than they do things they were given for free. Also, it won't be that dramatic of a decrease if you are selling them for a $1, since if your band is actually any good, people won't mind paying a measly dollar to listen to it.

Also, you can factor in the fact that by selling them for $1, you get at least some of your money back. Combined with the idea that people value things that they pay for, your income will increase by just selling it for $1.

AlanHB
01-15-2010, 06:58 PM
A cooler idea would to make the cd either originals or covers (depending on what sort of band you are = not half/half) and hand them away for free to places you want gigs at.

SomeoneYouKnew
01-15-2010, 10:32 PM
Try not to give away your music. If you don't attach any value to it, why should anyone else?This ^

A cooler idea would to make the cd either originals or covers (depending on what sort of band you are = not half/half) and hand them away for free to places you want gigs at.Like to the management of those places? Sure. That's an investment.

Have your CDs available for sale when you gig. Maybe give a couple out as prizes or smth. That generates a little interest on the part of everyone else.

Damascus
01-16-2010, 08:46 AM
Quick question for people saying that it's better to sell CDs than to give them away - are you working on logic here ('stands to reason that someone will value something more if they have to spend money on it') or have you noticed people throwing CDs away after gigs/heard about people not bothering to listen to free CDs etc. whilst also noticing that when you sold them, you tend to get more of a response because people have been listening to them?

Black Star
01-16-2010, 10:38 AM
Quick question for people saying that it's better to sell CDs than to give them away - are you working on logic here ('stands to reason that someone will value something more if they have to spend money on it') or have you noticed people throwing CDs away after gigs/heard about people not bothering to listen to free CDs etc. whilst also noticing that when you sold them, you tend to get more of a response because people have been listening to them?

I haven't done the experiment myself, but a few local bands around here tried the free CD approach. After the gig, when the audience would start to leave, you would start to see a few CD's sitting on tables, floor, chairs, etc. This is at the venue. If these people are already indifferent to the CDs, what will happen once they get in their cars, drive home, sleep (assuming this is an evening gig), and wake up the next morning? They're not going to care one bit. Now, I did not see how the bands did on paid CDs, but even if they sold less than they gave away, I think it's safe to assume it'd be more in the band's interest, since the CDs would not be going to waste.

The rest of my argument mainly comes from logic.

Now, it can work, if done right. For example, handing them out from the stage to active crowd members is not a bad idea at all, since you can obviously see they enjoy the music, and therefore have a higher chance of actually listening. Also, handing a few CDs out from the stage will generate interest in the crowd.

For the TS, I'd also recommend sending your recordings to other venues, but not record companies. Venues might give you a chance, even if your recordings are less than perfect. Record companies won't even give you a listen; your recording will go straight to the trash can.

axemanchris
01-16-2010, 12:12 PM
Remember those AOL CDs that kept showing up in your mailbox? How often did you actually open the package? From there, how often did you actually install it?

I, personally, have CDs I've been given that I haven't listened to - or even unwrapped. However, I have NO CDs that I have paid for that I haven't listened to at least a couple of times.

The rest is psychology 101.

CT

Damascus
01-16-2010, 02:09 PM
So you both feel that the number of CDs that get listened to will be larger if you sell them, even though you'll almost definitely end up with less people having CDs? In other words, you don't think enough of the people who recieve free CDs will listen to them to outweigh the number who will end up listening to them if you sell them, because even though less people will buy than recieve free, a greater % of those who buy will listen and you'll end up with a larger number of people having listened in the end?

How do you think the manner in which the CDs could be given out would affect the sum? As in, if someone is told they'll have to come and find you after the show somewhere in the bar, they're having to make an effort (even if it turns out to be pretty minimal) to get the CD and so are presumably at least a little interested in getting it. What do you think about the cost - something small to cover the creation of it, something more to make it a bit more worthwhile for you to sell it, something very minimal to encourage people to buy it (which would presumably shift it more towards not being valued by the buyer)?

I'm not trying to play devil's advocate here - I don't have much of an opinion on the subject yet - I've just seen it come up quite a few times on here and you get a lot of different opinions, but I've not really seen much of people explaining the evidence/thinking behind their stances on it, so I'm interested to hear that.

Black Star
01-16-2010, 03:32 PM
So you both feel that the number of CDs that get listened to will be larger if you sell them, even though you'll almost definitely end up with less people having CDs?

In other words, you don't think enough of the people who recieve free CDs will listen to them to outweigh the number who will end up listening to them if you sell them, because even though less people will buy than recieve free, a greater % of those who buy will listen and you'll end up with a larger number of people having listened in the end?

Exactly. Now, this is assuming you actually make the sales. That's why I suggested a low amount, such as $1. It doesn't hurt the consumer very much at all, but they still perceive the CD as having some value, simply because they paid something for it.

How do you think the manner in which the CDs could be given out would affect the sum? As in, if someone is told they'll have to come and find you after the show somewhere in the bar, they're having to make an effort (even if it turns out to be pretty minimal) to get the CD and so are presumably at least a little interested in getting it.

They may be a little interested in getting it, but once again, unless they're going to put it in their CD players in the cars immediately after the show, they'll end up forgetting about it. Sure, they had to go through the effort to meet up with the artist, but money is more valuable than time or effort in most people's minds.

What do you think about the cost - something small to cover the creation of it, something more to make it a bit more worthwhile for you to sell it, something very minimal to encourage people to buy it (which would presumably shift it more towards not being valued by the buyer)?

I think all of those factors should be considered. I picked $1 out of thin air for demos simply because CDs cost much less than $1 to physically create, cost of recording can fluctuate, and of course, people don't like carrying around change if they don't have to. It's the lowest amount a customer can pay without the amount being a hassle to any party involved.

You have to remember, though. Consciously, people think, "Wow, it's only $1, what a steal! Let's get one!" However, subconsciously, the difference between something and nothing are immense. The mind attaches value to the product.

I'm not trying to play devil's advocate here - I don't have much of an opinion on the subject yet - I've just seen it come up quite a few times on here and you get a lot of different opinions, but I've not really seen much of people explaining the evidence/thinking behind their stances on it, so I'm interested to hear that.

I personally think it's great that you're trying to listen to the different opinions on the topic. I wish more people would take the time to listen to other views on topics.

Blind In 1 Ear
01-16-2010, 03:49 PM
Also think about this...if you aren't using CDs anymore, what makes you think your audience still is? I've received dozens of free CDs over the last 2 years and many of them remain sealed/unplayed. I've seen a lot of bands move towards the promotional code business card size/credit card size card which gives a link to your website where you can either download or buy the recording. You should look into this.
i agree with this.

axemanchris
01-16-2010, 06:03 PM
If you are selling your CD for $1 when everyone else is selling *their* CDs for $10, what message does that give the potential buyer about your CD?

It gives them the message that your CD is only 1/10 as good as anything else they would otherwise buy - or in other words, not worth the effort.

Now, that does get moderated significantly by the fact that we are talking about a home-made product on burned CDs. Ours were professionally duplicated, packaged, shrink-wrapped, etc. They looked and felt like everything else they bought for $10 or more.

Dollar amount vs. Listener volume - I would rather sell 50 CDs and have $500 in my pocket, and have 50 people who will impose a certain amount of pressure on themselves to like the music because they need to justify spending $10 on a CD than 200 people hearing my music who never really cared in the first place and have me with no money.

It costs money to make product. For us, it was about $2 per disc just for the manufacturing. That didn't count recording or anything else. That was $1000 to make 500 discs. I don't know about you, but *I* sure ain't giving away $1000.

These days, too, there is a LOT to be said for facilitating digital downloads through iTunes or whatever over hawking a physical product.

CT

Black Star
01-16-2010, 06:13 PM
I almost put a disclaimer on my previous posting clarifying that I was specifically talking about the demos in the original post. Looks like I should follow my instincts :haha:

Of course professional recordings are going to be worth more than $1. At the same time, however, I wouldn't recommend trying to sell homemade demos on CD-R's at $10 a pop, either.

Cathrag
01-16-2010, 06:38 PM
Put them on your merch stand with everything else and charge $5/equivalent for them.

User_Name336
01-17-2010, 01:52 AM
i've seen a few bands do a "pay whatever you feel our music is worth" kind of deal.
they said that they're stuff will be sold and for whoever wants to buy a cd or shirt or anything, to judge them based on their show and the content of their music. then for us to decide whats fair. if we think $0.01 is fair thats what we pay, but if we think $50 is fair they'll "willingly be forced to accept"

kyle62
01-17-2010, 05:43 PM
Digital download cards might be a better option.


However, for once I very much disagree with Chris opinions, when you're talking rough demo quality rather than pro polish, I think there's nothing wrong with giving away Cds or selling them for a token amount (1 covers costs nicely and is small enough that people will pay it).

However I will say this - stay away from home inkjet printing.

It almost always looks awful, there are much better alternatives:


Lightscribe

http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/lightscribe.jpghttp://i48.tinypic.com/33vnn9g.jpg

These are a great idea, once you've burned the CD, you turn it over, pop it back in the drive, and the laser burns artwork on to the disc! This is how we do our demos, burn all the artwork straight on to the disc and then stick em in ultra-cheap clear plastic wallets.
You need a special 'Lightscribe' drive and special discs, but a lot of computers already have the drives (look for the logo on your DVD burner) and the discs are only slightly more expensive than regular CD-Rs. The cheapest compatible burners only cost about 25.

+Cheaper than printing
+Can be easily done at home
+Looks very classy (if designed well)
- Needs special discs
- Takes a long time to burn each disc
- Single colour only


Business Card CDs
Business card CDs are a great idea, they look much more profesional - especially if you're only giving out a few demo tracks rather than a full album. Personally I think the smaller, simpler look stops expectations getting too high...

http://www.wizbit.net/artwork/business_cd_card_montage_new.jpg

+ Looks very good (if designed well)
+ Cheaper than inkjet
- More expensive in short runs
- Limited space

axemanchris
01-18-2010, 12:58 AM
However, for once I very much disagree with Chris opinions, when you're talking rough demo quality rather than pro polish,

See, and therein is the kicker. Really, if you don't actually have a product, then whether you give it away or sell it is really moot.

Nobody wants something half-baked. A home-demo that sounds like a home demo on burned CDs....

If you pulled the cake out of the oven half way through cooking:
1. Nobody wants to buy it because it's not done yet
2. The actual product "in process" should actually be worth something when it IS done.

What do you do?

Wait till it's done, and then sell it for a fair and competitive price.

In the meantime, give it away to venues and promoters and stuff as a means of getting gigs so you can have the financing in place for finishing your product.

CT

Gurgle!Argh!
01-18-2010, 10:25 AM
Remember those AOL CDs that kept showing up in your mailbox? How often did you actually open the package? From there, how often did you actually install it?

I, personally, have CDs I've been given that I haven't listened to - or even unwrapped. However, I have NO CDs that I have paid for that I haven't listened to at least a couple of times.

The rest is psychology 101.

CT

i used to follow this opinion, but i'm not so sure anymore. i mean, yeah, i'm more likely to listen to a CD i bought than one that i got for free, but that is only because i have a higher interest threshold to buy a CD.

what i'm saying is that yes, if you give away CDs, most of them will go unlistened. but overall, you will probably get more listens than if you sell them, because some people will take one who wouldn't buy one (ie, someone with no money on them or someone who just wasn't sure they wanted to pay). it really depends on your budget and your aims. if you can afford to give out a tonne of CDs, go for it. if you can't, don't.

Damascus
01-18-2010, 11:25 AM
i used to follow this opinion, but i'm not so sure anymore. i mean, yeah, i'm more likely to listen to a CD i bought than one that i got for free, but that is only because i have a higher interest threshold to buy a CD.

what i'm saying is that yes, if you give away CDs, most of them will go unlistened. but overall, you will probably get more listens than if you sell them, because some people will take one who wouldn't buy one (ie, someone with no money on them or someone who just wasn't sure they wanted to pay). it really depends on your budget and your aims. if you can afford to give out a tonne of CDs, go for it. if you can't, don't.

I think I realise that what I was looking for was a kind of Freakonomics "I sold demo CDs at prices x, y and z, as well as giving them out for free, then I sold professional-grade CDs at prices w, x and y, as well as giving some of those away for free and I found that..." which obviously isn't an experiment unsigned local artists will have carried out.