Archive for Music business

Going to the Future dropped Compact Disc sales, and I’ve decided to embrace the future and drop them as well. I can understand that some folks would much rather have physical media, but I’m afraid the future is one without. You can always download song files and burn your own CD if you wish. There’s no copy protection on my song files from iTunes or CD Baby.

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CafePress goes the way of the Dodo

Hot the heels of Lulu forgoing CD replication services, CafePress is now bumping up all its fees relating to inactivity and account termination. In other words, the people who’ve created cool t-shirts and logos and stuff better keep selling them or CafePress will shut them down. So much for the long-tail of the Internet.

Also not so cool: CafePress’s email that begins “Thanks for helping make CafePress the world’s destination for customized products.” They then proceed to hose the very people who helped make CafePress popular. Upshot: No t-shirts or other personalized items until I can find a new vendor. If you’re a musician, I’m going to advise you stay away from CafePress.

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Lulu drops CD sales

Lulu, the company I’ve used since 2009 for my on-demand Compact Disc sales, is dropping CDs entirely so they can focus on eBooks. I’m going to look at transitioning the CD on demand to Digital River (per Lulu’s recommendation) but it is possible that CD sales will be dropped altogether.

Therefore: If you’re intent on owning a physical copy of One Man Garage Band, best to order via Lulu before September 19, 2011. After that, OMGB will not be available at Lulu.

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One Man Garage Band tracks only 89¢

I’ve added a CD Baby widget to the One Man Garage Band page so that you can purchase directly from this site. It is, unfortunately, an Adobe Flash thing, so iPhone and iPad purchasing will have to happen through CD Baby directly or via iTunes or Amazon. Still, it’s a great way to get a preview of a song and learn about its history all on one page.

CD Baby continues to offer OMGB for only $4.99 and while individual tracks at CD Baby should see a price reduction to 89 cents within the next 24 hours, the complete 16 song album for $4.99 is clearly the best deal. Bear in mind that this pricing only applies to CD Baby—I don’t control pricing at iTunes or Amazon—but the tracks are 256-bit DRM-free MP3s, which means high quality and copy protection-free.

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My artist profile is now up on Ping, Apple’s music-related social network. There not much to it yet, but I’ll try to build it out a bit as we go. My primary creative content information hub will continue to be right here at

For other artists who are interested, I was able to get an artist page through CDBaby who has an agreement with Apple. In other words, sign up with CDBaby first and ask them about getting onto Ping.

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Blog issues

The WordPress database got bunged up somehow and I’ve spent the last few hours restoring from backup. That means some things won’t work for a little bit, but ultimately everything should be A-OK. (Whew.) Give me a few days and if you’re still noticing issues, drop me a line so I can get on top of it. Thanks.

Update: So far as I can tell all outstanding web site issues have been resolved. I even changed WordPress themes while I was at it. Hope you like the new look.

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Business cards are here

One Man Garage Band business card

Featuring Marsha Minten’s awesome One Man Garage Band cover art, new business cards promoting the album are now available for distribution. Email me if you’d like a batch.

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The evolving business model

One Man Garage Band has only been sold via sites like iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby that pay me at least 60 cents per track for each song downloaded. I am changing the payment option today so that going forward the album is also available to other business models like streaming, ringtones, etc. I doubt whether this will result in much greater revenue, but I’m sort of flying blind, willing to give it a shot, and happy to report the results in another few months.

There are two other options which I’ve not yet pursued. One is called “Everything that pays” which is exactly what the name implies. It’s reportedly great for exposure but I’m concerned that it tends to undervalue the product. That may not be the case. It definitely is that case in the final option, “Do it all. Even unpaid.” I may ultimately put OMGB into this “bin” (so to speak) but I’d have to have a very specific reason for doing it. Giving music away is great for publicity, but not so much for revenue. I’m not seeking publicity, in case that wasn’t clear, so at least right now I have a hard time envisioning it. I hate to be mercenary, but “Everything that pays” is a much more likely final destination.

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Album sales update

For those interested, album sales have been modest but consistent. Any revenue is better than no revenue, and though I’m not quitting my day job, I remain grateful to those who’ve supported my musical endeavors.

The digital download breakdown is roughly 66% iTunes and 33% CDBaby. This is about in keeping with what I expected, because I’ve been pushing CDBaby a bit (since artists are paid more). Ultimately, I think iTunes is simply a much bigger marketplace with much greater visibility so I anticipate the ratio may even be more pronounced the next time I check.

If physical album sales are included in the mix, the overall sales breakdown is 54% iTunes, 27% CDBaby, and 18% (physical CDs). The revenue breakdown is 53% iTunes, 31% CDBaby and 16% Lulu. Interesting, there have been no sales whatsoever via Make of that what you will, but since iTunes dropped its Digital Rights Management (DRM) I’m not sure what distinct advantage Amazon brings to the table.

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Downtime and updates

My apologies for the recent downtime. There was an .HTaccess configuration issue that kept WordPress from displaying all its yummy goodness. I believe I now have the problem solved and said yummy goodness is now again available to all.

It seems to have occurred when I did the WordPress 2.8.4 update, an essential upgrade since previous versions were vulnerable to a serious hacking exploit. Had my site been hacked, you could have arrived here expecting to ready about my creative endeavors and found stuff about the Jonas Brothers instead, a possibility of truly horrifying magnitude.

Cataclysm averted.

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