Nearly everyone has accepted the new normal today – if you don’t let your fans
buy it, they will steal it. Even the major labels (the last people to
any progressive idea these days) have gotten the message and have
started to release singles on iTunes the second they go to radio. The
memo is spreading across the music business fast – Always Be Available
(ABA) or lose the chance to make a sale and earn a fan.
The fact is, you should never be giving your fans permission to support
you. If a fan has the ability to obtain your music through illegal
means, you need to give them the chance to get it through sanctioned
means. Whether this is selling your music or at least getting a Email,
Like or Tweet for your music. In the past I wrote about how Man Overboard handled their leak
and because we immediately made it available to our fans we earned the
respect and devotion of our fans. It is a win-win situation when you
make your record available the second it leaks and do not present your
fans who want to support you with the tough choice of getting your music
immediately by stealing it, or waiting to pay you for it. This dilemma
never works out for the band and is a position you should never put
your fans in.
should also be available in any way someone may want to consume you.
This means if your fans like to buy from Rhapsody as opposed to iTunes
your music should be there. If your fans are discriminate listeners and
prefer FLACs, you should make sure they can purchase them from places
that carry them. Having your music on iTunes is not true for many fans
who prefer high quality digital downloads, consuming music through
subscription services (Rdio, Spotify, Rhapsody) or for a reduced
direct-to-fan price. Make sure you are available in any way a potential
fan may want to discover and consume your music.
doesn’t just go for your music. When a fan wants to buy a T-shirt you
should always be on top of your inventory. Not having a piece of merch
in a size or design can lose a sale. Not only is this a chance to make
some money, but you also lost out on having a fan be a walking
advertisement for your group. If you are out of CDs/LPs at a show, you
lost the chance to convert a fan into a die-hard listener who may spread
the word to other potential fans.
there exceptions? Yes, there is a place for limited edition. If you
have die hard fans and want to drive sales be making something limited
that is a fantastic method and can greatly increase sales. With that
said, limited items should always be items that are special cause they
are hard to produce in a great quantity or truly offer nice liking. If
your item has true mass appeal, it should be a constant fixture or you
are selling yourself short.
Always Be Available.