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Old 15th November 2007
Founder CD Baby
Derek Sivers's Avatar
Smile Get them thinking about YOU, not bitrates

Originally Posted by soulstudios ➡️
giving away 128kbps MP3s while leaving the option for cheap payments for higher quality versions ... What do you think of this strategy in and of itself?
Sounds like you've got the right idea.

The more people that have your music, the better.

You can always just ask people what they want, too! Treat your fans as friends and respect their opinion.

I think the medium-versus-high quality thing might be putting the emphasis in the wrong place. Most people would just shrug and say, "Oh, well, if that's the only difference, I guess the medium-quality is fine for me!"

Instead, at this stage in your career, there are probably lots of people who would love to help you in any way they can. Help you become the next Fat Freddy's Drop, so they can say they were one of the first people to buy your music before anyone knew who you were!

So perhaps try the idea of letting people pay not only as little as they want, but also as much as they want.

Show them what their contribution will be going towards:

"If 100 people could pay just $15 to download this great album, that $1500 will pay the travel costs for us to play The Rainbow in Melbourne and The Basement in Sydney, which could really help take our career to the next level. We really want to get our music out there more, and if you like our music, this small contribution from you to help that dream come true. Everyone who pays over $25 will have a permanent thank-you on our website. Everyone who pays over $50 will be thanked on the back cover of our upcoming CD."

Taking this approach can help educate your fans on how and why their contribution will make a big difference.

Get them thinking about you, and how much work it is to be a musician, instead of bitrates.