Has anybody used these? What have been your experiences? Here's some examples of commercial download card providers: http://members.cdbaby.com/music-download-cards.aspx https://bandcamp.com/codes_how_to
We opened at another band's album release show a little while back and they were using these (from CDBaby). Here's what they did:
They made a ton of these download codes. The cover for their album release show was a lot higher than a typical gig in this town but it included a download code for their new album. I think the cover was $10. Still cheaper than a CD and for that price you get a digital copy of an album and a good show. Not a bad deal. They then proceeded to sell out a 650-cap club. After paying us and another opening band my guess is that they left with north of $6000 from the cover. I'd be interested to see how this affected CD sales and later digital sales. My guess is that they managed to sell a lot of copies of their album to people who were interested but probably wouldn't have bought a copy normally.
So just something to consider (especially for you guys in originals bands). I can imagine a lot of ways for download codes to be dumbly used including some very similar to this, but it seems to me that this worked well for them.