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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



All four solo albums now on Amazon.com downloads

March 5th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Categories: cool links · Music News · New Music Strategies · site updates |

I’ve just seen that all four of my ‘proper’ release solo albums are now up on Amazon.com download store – here they are –

And Nothing But The Bass – $7.92
Not Dancing For Chicken – $8.99
Grace And Gratitude – $8.99
Behind Every Word – $8.99

that’s a pretty damn cheap way to get hold of them – and you can listen to all of them before buying over on last.fm.

The reason my stuff is now available on amazon is because it’s put there by CDbaby – if you sign up for digital distribution with then (a non-exclusive deal, BTW), they’ll ship your stuff to 50-odd digital stores. Most of them won’t sell a thing, cos they got no passing traffic, but because some of those stores include the iTunes stores worldwide, emusic, napster, amazon and a couple of others that actually shift stuff, it’s the best possible way for an indie kid like me to get his music out there. It’s cheap to set up (less than $40 per album), and they take a pretty small percentage. CDbaby are the ultimate indie long-tail company. lead the market, get everyone signed up, get a little bit of cash from tens of thousands of musicians, and make millions. We’re happy cos we get it cheap, they have leverage because they represent so many artists and labels, and everybody wins.

Seriously, if you’re indie, and you’re not with CDbaby, you’re missing out. Do it.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Jeff Schmidt

    Hey Steve

    I don’t see Amazon download store available in the CD Baby options – or Emusic – do you have to request it?

    If so – why? They’ve got every low rent digital retailer listed with push button publishing – but not Amazon or E Music? What gives?

    I’m lukewarm on CDBaby. Like you inferred – it’s a great biz for Derek, but I actually think it’s only mediocre for most of the artists.

    Here’s why:

    Main reason I use CDBaby is because I hate dealing with the post office.

    They take the order, process payment and ship the CD out. That’s worth paying for.

    But they charge me $4.00 per CD for that.

    This may have seemed reasonable during a time when everyone was paying $15-$20 per CD – but few people pay those prices any more.

    The new NIN dual CD is going for $10! You can get all the music digital for $5! The market is shifting and CDBaby’s pricing structure to artists is based on the old wave market.

    Add to that – the increased cost of duplication cuz most indie artists aren’t getting the 10,000+ unit price on the dupe (which puts duping CDs under .80 a copy)

    So add in another 1.50 per + freight to ship the CD to my house and MORE freight to ship it up to CD baby.

    So our break even on just getting a CD sold on CD Baby is now $6.00 or more a unit.

    Once you figure in costs to produce, master and materials – the typical indie artist is probably paying close to 8.00-10.00 per CD. No wonder we see pages and pages of unknown artists charging 15-20 per CD on CDBaby.

    Presently, Derek Sivers makes more per copy sold of Outre sold than I do.

    In fairness I have to disclose that over half the traffic that lands on my CD Baby page (in aggregate) comes from within the walls of CD Baby itself. There is value in the proximity offered there. Still – it’s a pretty expensive way to get my CD out to someone.

    I used TuneCore to put my Ruiner Severhead project out on all the same digital services + Amazon & EMusic for a flat yearly rate (it was under $50). No per sales charge.

    Unless Derek considers other pricing options I’ll probably do TuneCore with my next project also.

  • Steve

    eMusic made the ruling about being ‘opt in’ – it was because they couldn’t handle the through-put from cdbaby, initially, I gather. I’m not sure how the Amazon thing works – maybe they’re only taking people who sell a certain percentage… I dunno… perhaps it’s a trial to see how it goes, before rolling it out. Whatever, I’m on there. :o)

    WRT the $4 – I’m British, so my brain sees ‘£2′ not $4… the way I see it is that I’d never have CDbaby as my primary distribution point (I know a few people who do, and they tend to charge slightly more for their discs to cover that shortfall) – my own audience I connect with through my site. I tend to undercut the cdbaby price, and sell direct as much as I can. And as a result CDbaby sales are very rarely to people I know. So for me it’s virgin territory. The ‘how did you find this artist’? box is almost always ‘just browsing the site’ – new audience is always good, I wouldn’t have reached those people normally. My CDs on CDbaby can’t be signed, and dont involve any interaction with me, so people who want that are going to get them from my site… those who just find it on there, are going to buy it, and I’m going to get the kind of virgin interaction with a listener that I’d get on the radio or wherever, only I’m also going to make a few bucks. Not much, but enough to make it worthwhile.

    Would I like it if they dropped their cut? of course! I’m not sure how far a retailer can drop it before it becomes unsustainable…

    Will look into TuneCore though, for sure. :o)