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How do we market our new album? Part 5

July 5, 2011

Barbary Lion

In our previous post on this topic, we discussed the sometimes tricky balance we have to make between pricing a release so that it is attractive enough, making enough that any money made isn’t absorbed by handling fees and an ideological commitment to make our music available to anyone who wants to hear it even if they can’t afford to pay.

This last policy connects with our aspiration to digital insurgency, subverting the old, greed-driven, dying record industry by refusing to operate as they do/did.

We’re in a fortunate position – we don’t need to make money from our music. We have day jobs. However, we’ve no objection to money. Send us some, we’ll accept it. Any money we do make, however, simply allows us to do more.

The old record industry subsisted on control of a limited-availability product (music). They controlled the creation, replication, distribution and marketing. They could effectively, therefore, name their own price, which is why we were all ripped off for decades. The post-label digital economy allows all of us to create, replicate, distribute and market our own music.

What aspect of digital resistance is being expressed in the way we are trying to market Barbary Lion, if any? Is making and selling music in any way rebellious or resistant to any form of oppression or wrongdoing?

Making it available free says this:

  • We’re being honest about not needing to make money.
  • We’re saying something about our attitude to intellectual property – Barbary Lion is offered under a Creative Commons license, even to those who pay. They can freely copy it for others.
  • We genuinely want to give something away to people just because it is good to give. Better than receiving, according to a famous preacher.

So, maybe this isn’t hugely radical or likely to change the world but it’s still a small act of resistance in a world that says everything should be for gain or profit.

The album has been out now for ten days and still about one in six or seven people is choosing to pay (big thanks to all of you!). We’ve had some good chats with people about the subject and we definitely want to say loud and clear that people are very welcome to download the album without paying and we thank you too!

Broken Drum Records


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