Why I Won’t be Installing the CDBaby Facebook Music Store

A few days ago, CDBaby launched a Facebook Music Store, that integrates with Facebook pages, so you can sell your music there (assuming it’s also on CDBaby).

The store has its own tab and is basically an embedded version of your music page at CD baby. So people can buy CDs and downloads, with just a few quick clicks.

I’m not going to add it.

I’ll stick with Bandcamp.

Here’s why:

1: the usefulness of it assumes that the potential music sales traffic on Facebook is people coming to your page, rather than seeing a status update in their feed. If I post a bandcamp link in a status, it sticks an embedded player right there in their feed. They see it as often as I choose to post it. And I can embed any of my albums at any time…

2. CdBaby have yet to introduce variable pricing – I can change what the fixed price is, but I can’t do ‘pay what you think is fair/what you think it’s worth’. So I’d suddenly have to switch from the system I like at the moment that allows people who want to dip their toe in and find out what I’m about to download things without paying up front, but also allows those who see far greater value to them in what I do than anything my conscience would ever let me set the price at (which in turn provides me with a huge jolt of encouragement and gratitude towards those people. Always a good thing when you’re trying to create art.)

3: The shop would only stock my music. Of the last 15 Bandcamp embeds on my Facebook page, 8 are of my albums, 7 are of other people’s. It’s just as important and useful for me to be able to introduce those who choose to read what I’m posting over there to great new music that I find, as it is for me to be able to post about my own stuff. That we can do that in the same Bandcamp-y format also helps normalise the Bandcamp process, making it a natural place for people to look for music, and the indies win again. I like generating sales for the people who make the music that I love. Bandcamp embeds on Facebook allow me to do that.

4: It’s not just me that can share bandcamp embedded players like that. ANYONE CAN. You can, right now, copy the URL to any of my albums, paste it into your FB status update, type ‘check out this guy, he’s the greatest musical genius that ever lived!’ and all your friends can click play right there on the site. They don’t have to come to my page, they can do it from the comfort of their own feed. And they can share it and do the same. They don’t have to ‘like’ my page to get there, there’s no further transaction necessary, despite it then being VERY easy indeed for anyone who wants to to buy my album in that environment.

So, I’ll stick with bandcamp, and if you want to help prove me right, you keep sharing the music you love, OK? 🙂

2 Replies to “Why I Won’t be Installing the CDBaby Facebook Music Store”

  1. Steve,

    I appreciate your feedback on our new MusicStore for Facebook This is just version 1.0, so there are many upgrades planned in the future. Artists had been asking us for a long time to make it easy for them to sell music on facebook , so that was our first step. As for your comments about Bandcamp and CD Baby, I don’t see it as a situation where you have to choose one or the other. Frankly, I think using both the store option and posting in the feed can give maximum impact. There are different strategies for each. In the near future we’ll also be giving artists the ability to post right into the feed, as we know that it is definitely a cool way to spread music.

    Kevin at CD Baby

    1. thanks Kevin, I too appreciate your feedback. 🙂

      I don’t think there’s anything ‘wrong’ with having two stores, beyond a personal desire to keep things clean and simple. Too many tabs within my FB page, and it starts to get a bit MySpace… Also, it seems to take people a while to incorporate a new music buying service into their online routine/arsenal/whatever – diversity is a really good thing until there’s confusion amongst one’s users about the best place to get a particular entity. By focusing on bandcamp, I’ve kept a consistent message to my audience that this is the best service for buying my music… I know of other artists who’ve done the same thing with Topspin to equal success…

      I’m glad to hear you’re introducing more features – I’ll keep an eye on the developments, and if I can see a place where it’ll help me, I’ll install it. I’ve been largely happy with CDBaby over my years using your services for digital distribution and CD sales (though I’ve given up restocking on CDs, as it ceased to be worth my while with postage costs rising and the dollar plummeting in value).

      thanks again for chiming in here – it’s a credit to the company that you are watching things and providing information like this.

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