Prices Slashed! (here's why)

Yesterday evening there was a heated but ultimately productive discussion at Saturday's Radio World Headquarters: 


Marketing expert: "We need to reach as many people as possible. We need to give some music away for free to spread the word. We also need to make the rest cheap enough to entice people who aren't familiar with Saturday's Radio to buy without risking too much of their hard-earned money."

  Manager: "If we make our music cheap people may think of it as 'cheap,' as in poorly made. Perception means SO much."

Accountant: "We need to make enough money to cover our expenses & get Saturday's Radio out on the road. We need to look at our options and figure out the best way to do that."

Artist: "Man, I just want to make music." 

Marketing expert: "'Cheap' doesn't exist in the age of digital media. People know that low price is not an indication of low quality anymore. That's why great  software applications, eBooks, and music downloads are often very inexpensive or even free. There's so much stuff out there that people want to experience, but they often don't have a lot of money in this economy. They will be much more likely, as I said, to take a chance on something unfamiliar if they don't have to spend much money to do it."

She continued, "If someone basically hasn't heard of you, they're not going to take a chance on your music, or eBook, game, or whatever, above a certain price point. In the Long Tail economy, nobody's going to buy your mp3 album for $9.99 if they aren't already familiar with you. Saturday's Radio isn't the Beatles. Even someone as established and respected as Neil Young isn't selling a lot of his current music, and that's because it's priced too high. You're a Neil Young fan, Mr. Artist. You'd probably buy "Americana" if it were $6.99. But even at a sale price of $12.99 for the CD you didn't buy it, did you? Face it, almost nobody's heard of Saturday's Radio. Put your albums up at, say, $4.49 and see what happens. I'll bet more new people will buy. You can afford it, you have a good day job. I'd even venture that you can't afford NOT to do it."

Manager: "She's right, you know. As Seth Godin has said, the enemy of the modern musician isn't piracy, it's obscurity. Now's the time to get new folks interested & build a base of people who will love your songs. We all know about the '1000 True Fans' principal, right? Now's the time to court those great folks who might become 'True Fans'. Now we don't have much control over iTunes or Amazon prices, but we can set our price at CDBaby. We can price our albums at $4.49 and point people there."

Artist: "Sounds good, man. I just want to make music."  


Okay, I admit that all these people exist only in my head. But these are things I think about. 

Several days back I put up a Daily Poll question relating to The Who and tried to find like-minded folks, Who fans, on Twitter. One person I met, in the online sense, was Anne-Marie Klein, who has recently self-published two books (two more are on the way), fictional works, inspired by The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes." I found her books on Amazon, read the descriptions, and because they were priced at a very reasonable $4.49, I decided to buy and try one. I'm now thoroughly enjoying it. My point, however, is that know I wouldn't have purchased the book if it were priced much higher. That price of $4.49 made it a risk-free purchase. 

So, for the time being anyway, inspired by Anne-Marie & my own buying decision, I'm going to price Saturday's Radio albums at $4.49 for a digital download on CDBaby. As you can tell from the above imaginary conversation, the pricing of Saturday's Radio music is something I wrestle with. But for the foreseeable future I'm going to take our marketing expert's advice. She's a pretty smart cookie. 

Here are the links to purchase Saturday's Radio album downloads for $4.49 from CDBaby:

Smile Slightly

The Truth Hurts.