What should we do with our new album?
Secret Archives of the Vatican have several tunes mixed and a few more in progress towards a new album. This is good. We think it’s going to be a good one.
However, some big decisions have to be made in light of the way the music industry is evolving and taking into account some financial and administrative practicalities.
Essentially, it boils down to the question of how to release the album. There are two main options and each has positive and negative arguments for being the choice we make.
The netlabel approach
We release the album as a freely available download, in various downloadable digital formats and including artwork.
- It’s cheap to do
- It’s free to fans
- Can still earn radio royalties if we register tunes with PPL
- We could release as many free downloads of alternative mixes or remixes as we like
- We don’t earn any money from sales
- It’s harder to promote to radio or magazines (print or online) if there’s no commercially available product
- It’s not taken as seriously as a commercial release. It could be taken as a backwards step for us as we’ve had commercial releases previously
- Not sure where to host it so it doesn’t cost us much money; multiple formats might require a fair amount of storage and bandwidth
The paid download approach
- We earn some money from sales
- It’s easier to market to radio and magazines – maybe with CDR copies for radio or DJs. We can earn radio royalties if we register the tunes with PPL
- Having a presence on iTunes, Amazon etc gives credibility and opens up some opportunities
- We could still release free downloads of alternative mixes or remixes; this would aid marketing
- Sales would offset cost of paying an aggregator to send the album to all the usual download sites
- An aggregator does all the work of getting it online for us
- It costs money to host on the various download sites, although not much
- Previously, we haven’t earned very much from sales, even after copious amounts of hard work marketing our releases. People do not seem to want to pay for our music.
- We will sell far fewer copies than would be downloaded for free
So, it’s a difficult choice to make and I’ll be consulting with the rest of the Secret Archives crew to see what they think. If you have any thoughts, please comment on this post. Thanks!