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#1
So me and some buddies are starting to play again and we're gonna record a demo before we start playing gigs. It's only gonna be 4 songs and I wanted to know what you guys think would be a fair price for it?

We were thinking of doing it like this:

- $2 if you buy it online or from us on the street.
- $1 at our show if you didnt buy a ticket from one of the members
- Free if you buy a ticket to our show from one of the members


The reason why we're doing it like this is because we need exposure no matter what we do. If we sell it online only then we get some money and exposure. If people buy it at our show then we get money and exposure. If they buy a ticket from us then we get exposure and maybe more ticket sales which means money if we sell more tickets then the promoter requires.

Does this pricing seem fair to you guys or do you think we should sell it for a little more or less? Recording it won't really cost us anything because we've got all the equipment to do it ourselves. The only cost would be buying blank cd's and slipcases and if we make it available for digital download then it will cost us next to nothing.


So what does UG think?
Quote by csn00b
I hate seeing cute girls topless and what not, it just feels wrong.
#4
In my opinion, if it's a "demo", it should always be available for free. Unless you're locally established, people won't know what you sound like, so if it's free, there's less risks (parting with money) involved to get it. If they like it, they'll buy your EP or album, go to shows, etc. If they don't like it, they can't be pissed and want their $1/2 back.
#7
If I was you, for your demo I'd make the digital version free for promotional purposes, at least at first. and then sell the physical copies for cheap like you were going to, and then sell them for a minor profit live.


Edit: also, I don't know if you guys sell all of your tickets in person, but if you were selling them online you could also do like a free download for buying the tickets thing. Just an idea.
Last edited by tweekcity at Jun 10, 2010,
#8
Quote by tweekcity
If I was you, for your demo I'd make the digital version free for promotional purposes, at least at first. and then sell the physical copies for cheap like you were going to, and then sell them for a minor profit live.


Edit: also, I don't know if you guys sell all of your tickets in person, but if you were selling them online you could also do like a free download for buying the tickets thing. Just an idea.

+1

im in the tweaking phase of recording an album right now and im planning on offering it for free and for sale if you want to buy it. i think starting out thats definitely the best way to go to get fans.
#9
This is the topic of many debates. In my opinion, if you do not put a value on your product, nobody else will. Giving away your product for free? It will end up everywhere but the CD player. By selling it, sure, you end up giving less out to people, but you end up having about the same amount of people listen to it, simply because they put some monetary value the product, even if they only spent $1 on it. The difference between 0 and 1 is huge.

By selling them for $1, it would offset the cost of production, maybe even put a little money in your pockets, and the end result will be about the same. And really, who's going to complain about that price?

Now, this is for physical CD's. Online distribution is another thing entirely. I would say put up a free download online, simply because if somebody is going out of their way to download music, they're going to listen to it.
My guitar modification blog.
Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
#10
Quote by Black Star
This is the topic of many debates. In my opinion, if you do not put a value on your product, nobody else will. Giving away your product for free? It will end up everywhere but the CD player. By selling it, sure, you end up giving less out to people, but you end up having about the same amount of people listen to it, simply because they put some monetary value the product, even if they only spent $1 on it. The difference between 0 and 1 is huge.

By selling them for $1, it would offset the cost of production, maybe even put a little money in your pockets, and the end result will be about the same. And really, who's going to complain about that price?

Now, this is for physical CD's. Online distribution is another thing entirely. I would say put up a free download online, simply because if somebody is going out of their way to download music, they're going to listen to it.

going into this thread i was also thinking the "give it away for free" way would be best, but this post makes good points that changed my mind...

personally, if somethings free, i'll always take it, but that rarely means i'll actually use it or do anything with it.

one dollar is a good price because it's so cheap and easy to give away, but it also sort of forces people to get their money's worth by giving it a listen.
<3 u
#11
Quote by Black Star
This is the topic of many debates. In my opinion, if you do not put a value on your product, nobody else will. Giving away your product for free? It will end up everywhere but the CD player. By selling it, sure, you end up giving less out to people, but you end up having about the same amount of people listen to it, simply because they put some monetary value the product, even if they only spent $1 on it. The difference between 0 and 1 is huge.

By selling them for $1, it would offset the cost of production, maybe even put a little money in your pockets, and the end result will be about the same. And really, who's going to complain about that price?

Now, this is for physical CD's. Online distribution is another thing entirely. I would say put up a free download online, simply because if somebody is going out of their way to download music, they're going to listen to it.


YES! People don't know what's valuable, unless you show them value. This is a good way for people to actually take the time and check out your CD. I can’t tell you how many “free” demos I’ve never listened to or thrown right away. I have no respect for it.
What he said about online is spot on too. Don’t sell yourself short, what you have set up right now sounds like a pretty decent idea, but I agree with free online, a dollar in person.
You can use it to promote tickets for shows, for example, every once in a while say “Hey, if you buy a ticket to the show we’ll throw in a free demo for you.”
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#12
Eh, yeah. I would never sell a demo though. Just kinda seems like a dick move :/
I play guitar
#13
Quote by )Eric(Draven
Eh, yeah. I would never sell a demo though. Just kinda seems like a dick move :/


The way I see it, if it's worth distributing, it's worth selling. You have to think of your music as a business at times.
My guitar modification blog.
Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
#14
Quote by Black Star
The way I see it, if it's worth distributing, it's worth selling. You have to think of your music as a business at times.

Yeah, it is a business. Perhaps it is a bad business strategy to sell a sample of something that is intended for maximum exposure growth.


If your goal is to make eight dollars, never mind...
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#15
Quote by hockeyplayer168
Yeah, it is a business. Perhaps it is a bad business strategy to sell a sample of something that is intended for maximum exposure growth.


If your goal is to make eight dollars, never mind...


That depends on what you consider "maximum exposure". Sure, many people will possess your CD, but how many will actually hold on to it long enough to listen to it? Putting a price on it ensures people who get a hold of it will actually listen to it, probably like it, and therefore will share with their friends. I'd say having a friend vouch for a band has a lot more weight than the band practically begging people to listen to their music. You have to make yourself look somewhat professional, and confidence in your own music is a part of that. If you're not confident enough in your product to sell it, you shouldn't be distributing it. It's that simple. If it's a good product, it will get at least as much exposure through selling, perhaps moreso.

EDIT: I would just like to point out I have no actual evidence, beyond common sense, to back up what I am saying. People value things that have value. People who see a band perform and notice they are selling merchandise are more likely to buy it and use it than if they were given away for free, simply because it has value. And, on top of all that, I have free demo CD's that I still haven't listened to, but every CD I've bought, I've listened to. Almost immediately, in fact. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, either.
My guitar modification blog.
Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
Last edited by Black Star at Jun 10, 2010,
#16
Quote by Black Star
That depends on what you consider "maximum exposure". Sure, many people will possess your CD, but how many will actually hold on to it long enough to listen to it? Putting a price on it ensures people who get a hold of it will actually listen to it, probably like it, and therefore will share with their friends. I'd say having a friend vouch for a band has a lot more weight than the band practically begging people to listen to their music. You have to make yourself look somewhat professional, and confidence in your own music is a part of that. If you're not confident enough in your product to sell it, you shouldn't be distributing it. It's that simple. If it's a good product, it will get at least as much exposure through selling, perhaps moreso.

EDIT: I would just like to point out I have no actual evidence, beyond common sense, to back up what I am saying. People value things that have value. People who see a band perform and notice they are selling merchandise are more likely to buy it and use it than if they were given away for free, simply because it has value. And, on top of all that, I have free demo CD's that I still haven't listened to, but every CD I've bought, I've listened to. Almost immediately, in fact. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, either.

I can't agree at all that people listen to purchased music more than free music. In fact, it's perplexing to me.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#17
Free is nice but I'd pay 5 bucks if it was good. It's only 5 bucks, helps support the band.
#18
With my band, I'm putting out our first album/demo for free. I feel as both a music lover and a musician that if I was to get a demo from someone for free, I would be more likely to attend a show they were putting on. If I get a demo and like it, I wouldn't mind paying $5 or whatever to see them live. If I bought their demo for $5 but didn't like em, I'd be out $5 and be stuck with a CD of a band I don't like.
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#19
download for free, physical copy for a few bucks. One the members here, JxD, has a great band. He gave me the link to download the songs for free and I ended up buying his bands tape.
#20
Quote by Tempoe
Free is nice but I'd pay 5 bucks if it was good. It's only 5 bucks, helps support the band.

yeah but let's be realistic: there are a whole lot of cheap bastards out there like me who would not pay 5 dollars for a mere 4-song demo. on the other hand, if all we have to do is whip out a dollar bill, then we'll gladly buy it and give it a chance.
<3 u
#21
I think your solution's pretty much the best one, actually. That way, people interested in the music will get it free (having already put some money into the band), will see it as a cool thing to be getting a CD off a band they're interested in, and will almost certainly listen to it. People who're vaguely interested are paying small change, and thus won't mind too much (but will also be sure to listen to it - I'm sure we've all got random free CDs lying around that we've never paid much attention to).

Depends on the quality, mind. If it's real 'demo' - rough takes, not necessarily the finished songs, poor performances - I'd either avoid giving it away at all in CD form (put it on a Myspace - you can replace them when you get better recordings) or give it away for free.
#22
Yeah i pretty much agree with all of you about putting a price on your work. every time ive gotten a free demo i never listen to it because there isnt a reason too which is why i wanna sell it but at a minimal price. the quality wont be like pro studio but it will be polished. Quite honestly though, i think that if the songs are good then the sound quality doesn't matter TOO much unless the mix just sounds like a complete mess.

I never thought of the free digital download idea though so thanks for that haha. Seeing as how our plans are to stay independent for a long,long, LONNNNG time getting more people to listen to the music is pretty important. once we get a big enough following then tours should start falling into place.
Quote by csn00b
I hate seeing cute girls topless and what not, it just feels wrong.
#23
free download online is a good idea but things like purevolume and myspace are for getting your music out there but i'd never pay for any demo if it's not of a good quality recording
which if your recording before you start gigging im assuming you won't have the money for a £400 a day studio for a 5 days which is wht you'd have to pay for decent quality recording
how about only giving it away for free to people who ask for it after a show
they've shown some interest so they obviously like you sound and plan to listen to it and your not just giving them away to people who it'd be waisted on
#24
One thing that is being totally neglected in this conversation is "what kind of band are you?" and "what is the purpose of your demo?"

The purpose of a demo for a cover band is to help them prove to a talent buyer that they are worth booking and will do a good job.

The purpose of a demo for an original band is either to help the band themselves flesh out ideas to tweak the songs or the production, in which case, why sell something that isn't finished? Either that, it is for the same purposes as the cover band - to help them get gigs. If that's the case, is it a live demo? In that case, sure, sell it or give it away or whatever you think is best. I've always maintained that if you do not attach any value to your own product that neither will anyone else. Is it a "studio" demo? If so, what is the point of selling something that isn't finished yet?

Computer and electronics developers will have prototypes and pre-release/development versions of their products, but they don't sell them. If something doesn't work as intended, the customer doesn't get p!ssed off and say "what a piece of crap!" They put them in the hands of associates of the company to field-test them. Software developers will release beta versions of their software for testing purposes, but they *expect* difficulties. That's the purpose of beta versions - to find stuff that needs fixed. As a result, they don't sell those either. They're not ready, and they don't want the customer to be disappointed.

Don't sell a half-baked version of your album!

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#25
Demos i always give out for free. But i give alot of shit out for free. Everytime i see a new face in my apartment, i'm basically like "OH, heres my discography, have fun!" .. I mean, theres no need to charge much, if anything for the copies you have yourself.

So my vote is for free.
FUCK YOU ALL!

666 BLACK METAL HOLOCAUST!!!!!
#26
I think selling it for a dollar or so would be good, not to make any sort of profit, but to make people take it seriously. You don't want it to end up in the trash like a Jehovah's Witness flier.
#28
My band is selling our 4 song demo for $5.

But there is almost 30 minutes worth of material on it, we might as well just call it an EP.
#29
Quote by DavidCP
My band is selling our 4 song demo for $5.

But there is almost 30 minutes worth of material on it, we might as well just call it an EP.

$5 makes a lot more sense than $1 to me.

It's like, "Hey! Our music is crap and only worth a dollar! Pleeeeease buy it! It's worth almost nothing!"

My vote is still for free though.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#30
Quote by hockeyplayer168
$5 makes a lot more sense than $1 to me.

It's like, "Hey! Our music is crap and only worth a dollar! Pleeeeease buy it! It's worth almost nothing!"

My vote is still for free though.


Well, $1 makes a lot more sense than either, to me.

Free is like "Hey! Our music is crap and worth nothing! Pleeeeease take it! It's worth nothing!"

See my point? In comparison, $1 looks somewhat better, even with your twisted perspective of it. I don't see how you can honestly hold that view of the $1 price without holding a worse view of free. That's precisely why I suggested charging something for it.

Furthermore, like people have said in this thread, your average person is more likely to pay $1 than $5 for music. Think about this: most people (at least in my area) think paying $0.99 for a song on iTunes is a ripoff. These are high-quality studio recordings we are talking about. Do you really think those same people are going to even consider paying $1.25 each for four low-quality recordings? Personally, I wouldn't, and I doubt many others would.

What we really need to find is some sort of survey depicting what the average person would be content paying for your typical, high-quality studio recording. I'd estimate it would be about $0.50 - $0.75. Now, of course, a low-quality recordings would be significantly lower than this, probably around $0.25 each. See where I'm headed with this? In reality, $1 for a four-song demo is perfect, and really, who doesn't have $1 to spare for music? And who's going to complain about losing out on $1 if the music isn't quite as expected?

Notice, most demos are not high enough quality to be sold at the same, or higher, price of a major label release. Suggesting each song should be sold at a higher price than their major label equivalent is ridiculous, at best.
My guitar modification blog.
Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
Last edited by Black Star at Jun 16, 2010,
#31
Quote by Black Star
Well, $1 makes a lot more sense than either, to me.

Free is like "Hey! Our music is crap and worth nothing! Pleeeeease take it! It's worth nothing!"

See my point? In comparison, $1 looks somewhat better, even with your twisted perspective of it. I don't see how you can honestly hold that view of the $1 price without holding a worse view of free. That's precisely why I suggested charging something for it.

Furthermore, like people have said in this thread, your average person is more likely to pay $1 than $5 for music. Think about this: most people (at least in my area) think paying $0.99 for a song on iTunes is a ripoff. These are high-quality studio recordings we are talking about. Do you really think those same people are going to even consider paying $1.25 each for four low-quality recordings? Personally, I wouldn't, and I doubt many others would.

What we really need to find is some sort of survey depicting what the average person would be content paying for your typical, high-quality studio recording. I'd estimate it would be about $0.50 - $0.75. Now, of course, a low-quality recordings would be significantly lower than this, probably around $0.25 each. See where I'm headed with this? In reality, $1 for a four-song demo is perfect, and really, who doesn't have $1 to spare for music? And who's going to complain about losing out on $1 if the music isn't quite as expected?

Notice, most demos are not high enough quality to be sold at the same, or higher, price of a major label release. Suggesting each song should be sold at a higher price than their major label equivalent is ridiculous, at best.

Okay, good luck with your lemonade stand.


And people don't think about money when they listen to music, they think about the music.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#32
Quote by hockeyplayer168
Okay, good luck with your lemonade stand.


And people don't think about money when they listen to music, they think about the music.


My, what nice fallacies you have.

I never said people think about money when they're listening to music. However, they do think about money before they buy the music. Music is still a product, after all. However, because you seem to lack the ability to counter an argument in opposition to your own, I say we simply agree to disagree.
My guitar modification blog.
Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
#33
Quote by Black Star
My, what nice fallacies you have.

I never said people think about money when they're listening to music. However, they do think about money before they buy the music. Music is still a product, after all. However, because you seem to lack the ability to counter an argument in opposition to your own, I say we simply agree to disagree.

When I hear demo, I think: This is a demo of the music you will hear at a show or on a more proper/finalized album. I see the main objective of a demo to not make money but to reach out to any possible persons of interest. I feel that charging a measly dollar limits your potential market, people don't like commitment on any level. You want your music to be everywhere, in as many hands and ears as possible. And have the band website on the CD's, linked to some free downloads.


It's the same reason you don't charge 5 cents for a free sample at the grocery store.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#34
Quote by hockeyplayer168
When I hear demo, I think: This is a demo of the music you will hear at a show or on a more proper/finalized album. I see the main objective of a demo to not make money but to reach out to any possible persons of interest. I feel that charging a measly dollar limits your potential market, people don't like commitment on any level. You want your music to be everywhere, in as many hands and ears as possible. And have the band website on the CD's, linked to some free downloads.


It's the same reason you don't charge 5 cents for a free sample at the grocery store.


Right there is the whole problem I have with your argument. Sure, your demo can make it into as many hands as possible by giving it out for free, but ears? There is usually quite a bit of time before the person has the chance to put the CD into a CD player. People want to get there money's worth for the product, so if they end up not paying anything, they have no actual incentive to listen to the CD. If they don't listen to it, there was no loss to them. However, if they have paid for the CD, they still hold monetary value to it. If they don't listen to the product, they feel like they have wasted money. Like I said earlier, the difference between 0 and 1 is huge.

The way I see it, you would end up having about as many people listen to your demo, you have a little bit of a professional image about you due to you selling a product, and you end up making a little bit of money to offset the overall cost of production, and maybe a little bit of profit.

Your grocery store analogy is flawed. Samples at a grocery store are immediate. You take it, you instantly put it in your mouth, and you know right then as to whether you want more or not. Instant gratification. However, there is (usually) time in between you receiving the demo and you listening to said demo. That time makes all the difference.
My guitar modification blog.
Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
#35
I still don't know why you think selling a $1 demo makes you look professional...
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#36
Quote by hockeyplayer168
I still don't know why you think selling a $1 demo makes you look professional...




Are you only capable of processing a handful of words at a time? I said a "little bit", implying "not much, but a little". I did not say it made you look professional, only closer to such an image. I don't know how else to spell it out without being entirely redundant. Having a product for sale is more professional than giving things away because one of the major factors of professionalism is money. If the audience, especially a new one, doesn't think you have a product for sale, they might interpret it as you not being good enough to have a product for sale.

I would also appreciate it if you would acknowledge the rest of my argument, as well, instead of cherry-picking portions of my argument that you think you can refute.
My guitar modification blog.
Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
#37
Quote by Black Star


Are you only capable of processing a handful of words at a time? I said a "little bit", implying "not much, but a little". I did not say it made you look professional, only closer to such an image. I don't know how else to spell it out without being entirely redundant. Having a product for sale is more professional than giving things away because one of the major factors of professionalism is money. If the audience, especially a new one, doesn't think you have a product for sale, they might interpret it as you not being good enough to have a product for sale.

I would also appreciate it if you would acknowledge the rest of my argument, as well, instead of cherry-picking portions of my argument that you think you can refute.

lol you're the one bolding one sentence of my posts and dedicating 3 paragraphs to it...
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#38
Quote by Black Star

exactly. stop wasting your time with this guy... everybody else gets your point.
<3 u
#39
I agree with Black Star. He wins. Since this is my thread, he wins and hockeypyerlayer loses.

Demo's are more like flyers rather than food. People will hand you a flyer, 99% of people will take it, walk a few feet and throw it on the ground. I've never seen anyone do that with free samples of food lol. If you had to pay a dollar for that flyer you would look at it and maybe even check out some of the talent on the flyer to justify your spending. Now I'm not saying that you should charge for flyers or anything because that would be retarded. My analogy is that people take free demo's for granted just like they take 99% of flyers for granted.

I know it's a weird way of looking at it and i hope it makes a point but i'm sure it won't hahahahaha.


Whatever, we'll sell it for a dollar, give it away with a ticket to a show and put it up for free online download. The reason why we want to sell the physical copy is to offset the cost of the blank cds, not necessarily to make a profit but if we can make some money too then we're cool with that.
Quote by csn00b
I hate seeing cute girls topless and what not, it just feels wrong.
#40
I guess you guys were under the impression that my bands demo would be terrible quality. Let's just say it's far from terrible quality, we're professionally recording our "demo."
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