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Su Terry: BLOG

Does iTunes Get You Any New Fans?

Posted on April 19, 2012 with 1 comment
Here's a gnarly nugget to gnaw on: Does offering digital downloads of your music result in acquiring new fans? Speaking for myself, I usually download one or two songs from an artist I've just been introduced to, and that does it for me. On occasion I download an entire album, and that does it for me. Rarely, if ever, do I become that artist's "fan" in terms of buying more of their products.

As artists, we must ask ourselves what the purpose is of selling our wares. If it's to make money, we have to crunch numbers and see how many units we are actually selling. If it's to make new fans, is that happening? If it is happening, what do we have to sell to the new fans when they show up? If it's to document your music as it evolves over the course of your career, well, that's fine. No worries, you're done.

Maybe we should be reconsidering this whole download thing. It takes a lot of effort, and are we getting the results we want from it?

Back in the days of vinyl, with somewhat of an overlap into the days of compact discs, we had the ability to garner new fans through not only the music we were offering, but also from the information on the liner notes, and the artwork accompanying the music. Not so on a download. As a sidemusician on a download, no one will even know you're on it since sidemusician info is not included, nor are liner notes...unless a "digital booklet" is offered along with the album download, and unless the customer actually downloads the digital booklet, and unless they actually look at the digital booklet.

People are spending far too much time in front of their computers these days. After folks have read and answered their e mail, done their online banking, paid their bills online, updated their status on Facebook, played Angry Birds, written the day's blog entry, edited their new photos, ordered fill-in-the-blank from Amazon, not to mention the computer tasks needed for their job--are they really going to pore over your digital booklet? Maybe once.

Back in the days of vinyl, you memorized the liner notes, and studied every detail of the cover. Especially after smoking the joint that you rolled after cleaning your weed on it. And that, my friends, is how fans were made.

So if you're looking to expand your fan base, is iTunes really going to do it for you? I say, not.

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October 7, 2012

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