CD Prices for independent bands

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by musicman5strng, May 24, 2005.

  1. musicman5strng


    Mar 28, 2005
    Would you be more likely to buy a CD from a band you heard on myspace, garageband or any other music website if it were $8 instead of $10? If after downloading a couple songs you like the band and are considering buying their CD will that $2 make a difference?
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    My jury is still out on this whole thing. I play with someone( who sells her CDs for $20 and she's sold over 10,000 in the past 5 years. It's a different genre of music (not R&R) but I think there's something to say for her knowing her work is worth that much. I cringe whenever anyone asks her how much a CD is at show, she has absolutely no problem whatsoever saying, "Twenty dollars". And people happily give it to her.

    We've (The Nerve!) jumped around with our prices and I'm still not sure what the best thing to do is - we started selling ours at $12, and presently sell them for $10 because it seems what most bands are selling them for. I feel that dropping the price below $10 puts the message out that you don't think your CD is worth all that much.

    If someone is at a show and really seems unable to afford the $10 (meaning they're being cheap basically) we'll drop the price a little more, but I don't feel right going less than $10 for the advertised price. I'm curious to hear lots of people's opinions on this. I hope this topic takes off.
  4. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I think that's a bit of a generalization and depends entirely on the target audience of the music.

    In Micheline's case, her target audience seems to be upscale/older types with decent amounts of disposable cash. The majority of those people are probably white collar workers who take the idea of "more money = more quality" as gospel, since that is a pretty rampant attitude in those circles. So her charging $20 per album seems appropriate.

    For a rock group where you're playing gigs in clubs or theaters, the majority of the audience is almost certainly going to be made up of a different type of person unless your band is strictly adult contemporary or jazz. You are playing to people who are more likely to be broke or at least living paycheck to paycheck. These people will appreciate it when you sell your album for $6 or give it away for free with a $15 tshirt. They don't care about money = quality, they care about being able to buy another beer or two. They are willing to pay some money so that they can hear you for the next week or month rather than taking the risk that they can't download your songs. In exchange for the low prices, you get free advertising beyond the word of mouth you're already hopefully getting.
  5. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central


    What I see when I see low prices for CDs is "punk as ****" not "Oh, budget-line music". Depending on the kind of music of course. But I'm always appreciative when groups I like are selling low-priced discs, it means I can buy their album and then maybe a pin or something from them. Granted, this is sort of idiosyncratic to rock (and maybe some hip-hop). But Asian Man Records sells their discs for $8, Plan-It-X for $5, both produce high quality music, and the fact that it's affordable makes it even more attractive. Price is by no means an indicator of quality; otherwise they wouldn't be charging $18.95 for Nelly CDs.
  6. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    If a band was really indie, they'd give me their CD for free. And it would probably suck, so I'd throw it out of a moving car.
  7. EP's: five bucks.

    Full lengths : 10-12 bucks

    CD-R's : freebie.

    Anything less and you are selling yourself short. Why bother spending lots of money to record, master and dupe a record you're not going to make your money back on, then ensuring you can make more? If an artist can charge hundreds of dollars for a painting and they have no more "pedigree" than you, what the hell makes you think you don't deserve at least 10 bucks for a full-length piece of art YOU created?

    I find it tiring that people think music isn't worth the money, yet they think nothing of dropping 20 bucks on a major label crap disc at Strawberries?

    I find this line of thinking contradictory and sad. I put no more respect on a band that major label signed than a local/indie offering of equal quality. If the quality is there, and the production values and overall presntation of the offering is "on", why not spend the sawbuck? If anything, you're getting a DEAL at 10 bucks, if you already like the music, you really going to piddle over 2 dollars?
  8. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    The reason that I personally don't agree with charging a lot for a CD is that I feel that the live performance is more important, and that I'd rather make money from it directly. To that end, I'd rather have ten people buy it and pay $6 for it than to have five people buy it and pay $12 for it. More CDs out in the wild is marketing, and I'm still breaking even and then some at $6 a pop.

    Plus I think it's a bunch of crap that music costs so much to begin with.
  9. So music is not as valid an artform as say a painting or a sculpture then? In terms of money, you're getting a hell of a deal at 10 bucks....if the hard work went in, you should be paid for it.
  10. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    it all depends on what it is.

    3-5 song ep = $5-7
    full length, single cd. $8-10

    7 inch $3-5

    cdr demo=$2
  11. It all depends! If i like the band I would pay up to $20 for their music. If i like something i have no problem paying a bit more money for it. On the other hand, about a month ago I was seduced by a guitarist of this one band into buying their CD after him and i talked for a little while. Well I didn't actually get to see the band play because I came in late, but needless to say i really didn't like it, and i have to say my $10 was wasted. I guess what i'm trying to say is that i would much rather spend more money on something i really like then spend less money on music that is ok, or mediocre.
  12. We all would, of course, but I get just as burned on major label releases that are sub-par, or only have 2-3 good songs onnit, and oftentimes I have to pay more than 12 dollars, so what is the diff? If you don't know the product going in, who do you have to blame other than yourself? It's not the band's fault you parted with your money and didn't like the end result.

    I'm not trying to make a dispute between live vs. record, but if one professionally recorded / pro mastered / pro duped offering is really worth any more than another...that's all I'm getting at. It shouldn't matter if it's local or major label.
  13. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I am absolutely not assuming that and if I were, I'd have said as much the first time you mentioned it.

    For the record, I feel that a painting is overpriced, but I also feel that the original version of a painting is worth more because it's the original version. There are none other that aren't facsimiles. If I want the painting I'll spend $5 on a print of it and put it into an expensive frame or something.

    I don't think it's at all a valid comparison or germane to the topic at hand. The medium is different and so is the target audience. Paintings aren't temporally dependant like music is. I guess that the closest analog would be if someone hired your band to play in their backyard versus them putting your album on over a PA. I sure as hell am not going to charge someone $6 to play a show. :)
  14. musicman5strng


    Mar 28, 2005
    This is a nice discussion going on here. My bands thoughts are in line with most of yours. We feel our music, and how we recorded it (analog in a highly respected studio in our area) not some schmo's home studio in his basement(which are fine too for a lot of things), pro-mastered and pro duped is worth what you are paying for. At 6 tracks we think $10 might be pushing it, not from a quality of music standpoint but from album length. Of course, Hendrix's Band of Gypsys is only 6 tracks and sells for what, $14? Thats why we think $8 is a fair price.
  15. Hell I bought Pork Soda from a mainstream cd store for 5 dollars canadian. I think 10 bucks is fine if its of decent length.