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Discount CDs at gigs

breezy 14 Jan 09 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 14 Jan 09 - 04:45 AM
Will Fly 14 Jan 09 - 04:56 AM
Will Fly 14 Jan 09 - 04:59 AM
breezy 14 Jan 09 - 05:04 AM
breezy 14 Jan 09 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 14 Jan 09 - 05:21 AM
Will Fly 14 Jan 09 - 05:25 AM
gnomad 14 Jan 09 - 05:37 AM
Will Fly 14 Jan 09 - 05:41 AM
treewind 14 Jan 09 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 14 Jan 09 - 06:15 AM
Barry Finn 14 Jan 09 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,Steve 14 Jan 09 - 07:04 AM
The Sandman 14 Jan 09 - 07:40 AM
greg stephens 14 Jan 09 - 07:56 AM
Backwoodsman 14 Jan 09 - 08:01 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 14 Jan 09 - 08:15 AM
JedMarum 14 Jan 09 - 10:12 AM
Big Mick 14 Jan 09 - 10:19 AM
JedMarum 14 Jan 09 - 10:26 AM
JedMarum 14 Jan 09 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 14 Jan 09 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 14 Jan 09 - 11:04 AM
dick greenhaus 14 Jan 09 - 11:50 AM
treewind 14 Jan 09 - 12:55 PM
wysiwyg 14 Jan 09 - 01:08 PM
The Sandman 14 Jan 09 - 01:09 PM
DebC 14 Jan 09 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 14 Jan 09 - 01:22 PM
The Villan 14 Jan 09 - 01:28 PM
JedMarum 14 Jan 09 - 09:35 PM
Seamus Kennedy 14 Jan 09 - 11:45 PM
JedMarum 15 Jan 09 - 12:36 AM
Seamus Kennedy 15 Jan 09 - 02:29 AM
Anne Lister 15 Jan 09 - 02:50 AM
breezy 15 Jan 09 - 05:11 AM
breezy 15 Jan 09 - 05:34 AM
breezy 15 Jan 09 - 05:48 AM
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Acorn4 15 Jan 09 - 06:14 AM
breezy 15 Jan 09 - 06:41 AM
matt milton 15 Jan 09 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 15 Jan 09 - 07:06 AM
Hamish 15 Jan 09 - 07:11 AM
matt milton 15 Jan 09 - 07:15 AM
The Sandman 15 Jan 09 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 15 Jan 09 - 07:35 AM
matt milton 15 Jan 09 - 07:37 AM
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breezy 15 Jan 09 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 15 Jan 09 - 07:53 AM
Gene Burton 15 Jan 09 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 15 Jan 09 - 08:00 AM
Anne Lister 15 Jan 09 - 08:02 AM
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breezy 15 Jan 09 - 08:10 AM
matt milton 15 Jan 09 - 08:11 AM
breezy 15 Jan 09 - 08:22 AM
George Papavgeris 15 Jan 09 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 15 Jan 09 - 08:31 AM
greg stephens 15 Jan 09 - 08:32 AM
Howard Jones 15 Jan 09 - 08:50 AM
breezy 15 Jan 09 - 08:55 AM
wysiwyg 15 Jan 09 - 08:57 AM
breezy 15 Jan 09 - 09:00 AM
The Sandman 15 Jan 09 - 09:04 AM
The Villan 15 Jan 09 - 09:17 AM
breezy 15 Jan 09 - 09:19 AM
matt milton 15 Jan 09 - 09:38 AM
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The Villan 15 Jan 09 - 10:01 AM
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JedMarum 15 Jan 09 - 10:08 AM
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George Papavgeris 15 Jan 09 - 10:36 AM
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Skivee 18 Jan 09 - 06:05 PM
breezy 19 Jan 09 - 04:36 AM
treewind 19 Jan 09 - 04:41 AM
Skivee 19 Jan 09 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 19 Jan 09 - 11:57 AM
breezy 19 Jan 09 - 12:18 PM
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pavane 20 Jan 09 - 07:05 AM
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treewind 20 Jan 09 - 01:21 PM
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greg stephens 20 Jan 09 - 03:12 PM
treewind 20 Jan 09 - 03:16 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 20 Jan 09 - 03:23 PM
treewind 20 Jan 09 - 04:49 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Jan 09 - 05:05 PM
Folkiedave 20 Jan 09 - 05:08 PM
breezy 20 Jan 09 - 05:20 PM
breezy 20 Jan 09 - 05:25 PM
breezy 21 Jan 09 - 04:41 AM
breezy 21 Jan 09 - 04:45 AM
breezy 21 Jan 09 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,Cuan Korsten 23 Jan 09 - 10:46 AM
breezy 23 Jan 09 - 01:26 PM
Rafflesbear 24 Jan 09 - 10:55 AM
JedMarum 24 Jan 09 - 12:11 PM
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The Sandman 24 Jan 09 - 12:31 PM
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breezy 24 Jan 09 - 04:31 PM
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treewind 24 Jan 09 - 04:49 PM
The Villan 24 Jan 09 - 04:56 PM
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The Sandman 24 Jan 09 - 05:26 PM
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JedMarum 24 Jan 09 - 06:44 PM
The Sandman 24 Jan 09 - 07:09 PM
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The Villan 25 Jan 09 - 05:34 AM
treewind 25 Jan 09 - 05:43 AM
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GUEST,Tom Bliss 25 Jan 09 - 05:57 AM
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GUEST,Tom 25 Jan 09 - 06:42 AM
The Sandman 25 Jan 09 - 07:12 AM
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Subject: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 04:31 AM

If i pay £10 admission , or even £8 should not the artiste ask a more inviting price for their CDs e.g £5 as they will already be getting a fee?

I was very impressed with Anthony John Clark's approach as he would only ask for £5 for a CD, that way he hoped to sell more and get his songs and him out to a greater audience.

just a thought

yes I know they dont have access to retail outlets, so what


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 04:45 AM

Hi John

It's not quite as simple as that. Some artists have to buy their CDs from their record company, so simply can't lower their price.

For those of us who run our own labels; if you subtract your costs (fuel, equipment, strings, phone bills, website, printing - and the unit cost of the CD, including recording and printing etc) from the fee, then divide by the number of hours you've spent preparing, organising, driving, hanging about and performing, you get an hourly figure some way below the minimum wage. So it's tempting to sell CDs at the 'market rate' of £10 or so pounds. That said, I do sell some old unwrapped CDs at £5, and I'm aware that I would sell more units if I dropped the price of my current CDs to £5. But the increased uptake would not be enough to make up the difference (I know because I've tried it). The break point is about £8. But that would mean carrying around a big bag of coins and faffing about at the CD stall - and life's too short!

However, as you suggest in your other thread, the economy may change these figures, so I'll keep an open mind.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 04:56 AM

CDs bought at concert gigs recently:

Richard Durrant - £10 (£10.79 at Amazon, plus postage)
Waterson-Carthy - £10 (£13.98 at mazon, plus postage)
Sultans of Squeeze - £12 (£6.99 at Amazon plus postage)

From this list, it's clear that John Kirkpatrick & Chris Parkinson's "Sultans of Squeeze" CD would have been much cheaper from Amazon. However, the evening had been so good, I didn't actually care on this occasion, and was able to drive home with the tunes from the concert playing away in the car.

A tenner seems to be the going rate for CDs sold at gigs.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 04:59 AM

Oh - and should have added:

The Boat Band "A Trip To The Lakes" - £10 (£12.69 at Amazon, etc.)


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 05:04 AM

Thank you Tom for your input.

However I do think that justifyibg the price with an 'hourly figure' for all 'add-on' costs is a red herring. Nice try though, 'hanging around time', you sound like a car delivery driver!! We called it down or dead time so we had a cuppa, you could write a song and make it productive ;0]

Is it not better to sell more rather than less and though we may regard ourselves in one light, hey , you even called me a 'professional' - wow, -
the big british pubic havent got a clue and couldnt give a shit.

BTW I do like your songs and think you are a comtenp source for material and I can see others gleaners adding your songs to their repertoire, as for me I'm still listening.

Any others out there wish to add to thos discourse about CD costs at gigs?

Capn Birds?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 05:09 AM

Hi Will

Cheers for your contribution

I realise £10 is the going rate but would you agree that on occasions one a can be caught up in the hype of the evening.

I got it, dont buy drinks , buy a CD, it'll last longer.

Should go down well with landlords and room letting officers

Its still foggy so I'll not be going out just yet.

I can spekk justifying


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 05:21 AM

It's not a red herring when it's your only source of income, John. Most people know what they earn per year, and can tell you how many hours they do to earn it. If I divide my annual income by the number of hours I spend doing the things I need to do to ensure good quality performances and CDs (and, yes, you do normally include 'captive down time' in that calculation) I get a figure below the minimum wage. If I knew I'd sell more than twice the number of CDs at £5 that's what I'd charge. But at the moment that's not the case. T


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 05:25 AM

I produce my own DVDs for sale on the 'net, which involves:

1. Creating the original video tracks to HD standard & stereo sound
2. Burning the original, and copying from this master, in both NTSC (US) and PAL (Europe) formats
3. Designing and printing the CD/DVD sticky labels
4. Designing and printing the case insert
5. Assembling the final product

That's a summary of my time. The costs, apart from my time, include:

6. Cost of slip cases
7. Cost of label materials (paper & CD/DVD stickies)
8. Cost of ink
9. Cost of DVD blanks
10. Cost of CD/DVD packaging for the post
11. Cost of postage -airmail for non-UK, 1st-class for UK

I also provide, where appropriate, free downloadable tab/chord/SN sheets from my website, to match some of the DVD pieces. The DVDs sell, through PayPal, for £6 in the UK and $12 (which currently works out at around £7) in North America. I've never worked out the profit because the DVDs are sold to those who want a better quality of my demonstration & educational pieces on YouTube. My guess is that it's around £0 per item! (But that's my choice, as the aim of my YT stuff is free educational).

However, it does support the strength of Tom's argument. There's no such thing as "dead" time for a professional, working musician.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: gnomad
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 05:37 AM

As Tom says each artist can calculate a unit cost for a disc, which will vary considerably depending on a range of factors. To sell below this price is to incur a loss; something one might decide to do, but not generally a good plan.

The calculation then becomes more subtle: is the artist one who wants to get his work better known (as AJC above) = downward pressure on price; is the evening's deal with the organiser one which leaves the artist with little to gain other than what can be made from merchandising = upward pressure; what price do the audience expect to pay, and will varying that price have a significant effect on sale numbers; the artist can reduce unit costs by selling more, but how many more potential buyers are out there, and how big a reduction.

Economic hard times are affecting us all, audiences and artists alike. I don't feel there can be a right to expect cheap goods at a performance, there are too many factors at play which may make it impossible, but of course I appreciate it when I find them.

Incidentally, the "Sultans" disc is back to £12.69 at Amazon now, damn them.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 05:41 AM

Breezy - yes, it's very easy to get caught up with enthusiasm at a concert gig and buy the CD, regardless of price! To be honest, I'm very choosy about the events I go to, so rarely get a duff one, or one that's blatantly overpriced.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: treewind
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 05:57 AM

If we sold CDs for £5 we'd make a dead loss against what we paid for them, never mind all the other overheads etc.

We do sell for less than the Wild Goose RRP (£12 vs. £13)
We offer a discount if you buy more than one (£10 each)
We charge purchasers exactly the same price (including quantity discount) via the web site, absorbing transaction and postage costs, which is really quite generous.

And to add to Tom's answer, look at it this way: the ability to make some profit from CD sales (and it's always a gamble - you never know how many or few will sell at a gig) means performers can charge a lower fee that they would otherwise have to, and there's already pressure, from club organisers to keep fees (often unrealistically) low.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 06:15 AM

In my own experience, reducing the price will only have so much effect on the number of sales. More important is the number of punters who actually want a CD. If they don't want it enough, you'll struggle to give it away.

From a punter's perspective, I'd also be wary of buying a CD that's priced too cheaply, particularly from an artist I didn't know. It suggests to me that it's been cheaply produced and isn't worth as much as a full-price album (only £5 CDs I've seen at gigs are home-produced, not-available-in-the-shops short-run CD-Rs)


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 06:50 AM

The performer can always take a less amount to do the gig, get more folks in the door & sell more CD's at the table. Of course they can also lower the price of the CD's too & owe at the gig's end. Soon they may have to pay the patrons drinks to boot, just to get them through the door.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 07:04 AM

No dont think the artist should reduce the price unless they really want to. Performance is one thing and CD sales are another. It seems that performers are always expected to reduce both performance fees and give CDs away for nearly nothing. Its a day job they are doing to earn a living wage.
Breezy, are you prepared to reduce your hourly rate at your day job?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 07:40 AM

Breezy.why have I been invoked
Artists should sell them for whatever they think appropriate.
its a mistake [imo],to suggest that because a performer is getting paid for a gig,he should sell his cds for less.
if a performer wishes to do that ,thats not my concern,that is the performers.
what performers get for a gig is variable,if I was getting a generous fee,I might be more inclined to reduce my cds,but I dont feel I should be duty bound to do so.
most performers in my experience, dont get paid enough anyway,and cds sales help to keep the wolf from the door.
I believe that 10 pounds is a reasonable price to pay for a cd,but with the way sterling is at the moment against the Euro,I need to charge 12 pounds to get the real value,likewise all my prices for English gigs has now been devalued.
But I cant break my agreements and now ask for more,for my gigs because of the sterling fluctuation,so I would be stupid to sell my cd for 5 sterling[3 euros],wouldnt I?
again I can only bring a certain amount of cds over on a plane,so bringing 50 cds is unpractical,I am better off selling 25 cds at 10 sterrling than 50 at 5 sterling.Iwont be increasing the price of mycds because of the devaluation of sterling ,neither should I be expected to reduce them,I have to live.
http://www.dickmiles.com
I live very frugally.
most professional folk singers like myself have become masters at penny pinching.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 07:56 AM

Fees are often very low, and CD sales help a lot. The Boat Band sells at £10 on a gig(thanks, Will Fly!), and honestly doing it for less would not be a good idea for a number of reasons. Obviously if people have a salary from a day job they can afford to give them away for a fiver, but I really can't. I honestly don't think that lowering the price would generate enough extra trade to make it worth while.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 08:01 AM

"so I would be stupid to sell my cd for 5 sterling[3 euros],wouldnt I?"

Summat up wi' yer maths I reckon, Dick.
GBP 5.00 x (current X-Rate per FT) 1.10 = Euro 5.50 n'est-ce pas?

But I understand and agree with the points you make in your post.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 08:15 AM

From breezy:"

If i pay £10 admission , or even £8 should not the artiste ask a more inviting price for their CDs e.g £5 as they will already be getting a fee?...I was very impressed with Anthony John Clark's approach as he would only ask for £5 for a CD, that way he hoped to sell more and get his songs and him out to a greater audience....just a thought
..yes I know they dont have access to retail outlets, so what"


breezy, are you being 'serious' here, or merely playing Devil's Advocate?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JedMarum
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 10:12 AM

I have experimented with prices for years for CD sold from the stage. I am certain that I do not sell more CDs at $10 then I sell at $15 ($15 is the US standard price). No matter what the price of admission has been.

BUT I have found that people are more likely to buy multiples with a little discount incentive. What's worked best for me is offering CDs at $15 for the first, and $10 thereafter. People almost always buy two, where they would have bought one. Some buy 3 or more.

There is not getting around it; by far the most important incentive for CD sales is not price, but an exciting or otherwise moving show. I believe there are two reasons for that - 1) people want to remember and relive the experience through the CD and 2) people want to reward the artist and show their appreciation for the experience.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 10:19 AM

I believe you are dead on it, Jed. The venue also has a lot to do with it, which ties into both of your points. I have found that when we are playing a venue that is not conducive to the performer being able to capture the crowd, sales suffer. For example, one Festival we play has a main stage and a number of smaller stages. When we play the main stage, which is physically removed from the crowd (above them and separated by a small fence), surrounded by the market tents, we sell far fewer CD's than when we play the "pub" tent, or the satellite stages. I believe it is because there are fewer distractions and we have the ability to capture the audience much better.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JedMarum
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 10:26 AM

Other then price and economy, there are two reasons for the industry-wide drop in sales.

First of all, people are saturated! We have too many CDs in our homes already! Where do we put them? How do we manage them? There are only so many CDs we manage well anyway, keep near the CD player or in the car. What do we do with jewel cases when there 10 or 15 of them in the car? Or 150 of them in the living room?? And what about those 20 or 30 CDs that turned out to be crap, or the ones I just don;t want to listen to anymore?

CDs are a pain-in-the-ass. I really want to be sure I'm going to listen to it, if I'm going to buy it.

And Secondly we are rapidly moving to alternate media for music. I am certain a majority of people reading this thread have some music on their PCs and at least half of them have it on their iPods and similar devices. Yes, CDs can be the initial delivery mechanism to those alternate media devices (ie, buy the CD then rip, store and download MP3s to your computers, iPods and other devices). So people don't have to just buy CDs anymore.

I've started putting out business cards with my CDs and telling people to go and find my albums on iTunes. I'd rather they bought the CDs from me, of course - but especially the younger ones, they would prefer to right to their iPod.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JedMarum
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 10:32 AM

Yes Mick - there is no getting around it, the environment for CD sales makes all the difference. I have played some events where the stage is as you have described and I know there is no chance of sales happening, in any reasonable number.

I do try to set up the sales area to my benefit, when I can.

Festivals normally provide good space and often help (for which they take a piece of the sales). Concerts almost always do the same and sometime do NOT take a percentage. Pubs, you're on your own! As a solo performer, mostly - I have to place a low priority of my time to CD sales - I am somewhat at the mercy of the environment.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 10:38 AM

I'm usually at the mercy of people's honesty! Standing about hopefully near the CD table is not high on my priorities either, so I work the 'hedge veg'* system. People eventually find me with their money, specially if they want a signature. I've only had one CD not paid for in all these years.

Tom

*Do you have that in the States? It's common in the Channel Islands - just leaving surplus courgettes and spuds in a trug on the hedge for a donation. No-one even steals the coins!


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 11:04 AM

No particular disrespect intended to Sneezy, but I think the OP is indicative of a society where nothing has much value anymore and people have come to expect everything on the cheap. My belief is that if you want something, you pay the going rate. If it means you have to go without something else, you make the choice about what matters more to you. Musicians aren't charities and neither should they be. That's one reason I'm always shocked when I go to see a decent act at a folk club and its only three quid or something to get in. Fees must be bloomin' low...

I'm sure I valued my music more when I was a teenager and only had enough money to chose one LP when I went music shopping, as opposed to now, when generally, if I want a CD or a download, I can afford to just get it (at the cost of driving a beaten up car, mind you...). back then, I sweated those decisions about what album to get and I was gutted when I got it wrong.

Meanwhile, Jed hit the nail on the head about the glut of CDs in people's lives. My shelves are shocking and they pale compared with some folks I know. It's overkill out there...


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 11:50 AM

From a practical viewpoint, the only CDs a performer is apt to sell (or at least 90% of them) are at gigs. And the only economic reason for the CDs in the first place is to supplement performance fees.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: treewind
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 12:55 PM

"indicative of a society where nothing has much value anymore and people have come to expect everything on the cheap"

Well said, SC
A.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 01:08 PM

For you giggers and CD-sellers, here's a word from a buyer. Others' mileage may vary, but....


1. A big reason to buy (and a big reason people have bought them from me at functions where I've helped run an artist's CD sales table during the crush) is because "X could not come tonight and she would SO love to have heard THIS song and THAT song, which CD is it on?" And/or "Which CD has X type of music I know my friend likes?"

2. I cannot tell you how many times I have looked on a CD insert to try to find the artist's website and/or CD purchase site for their earlier (or later) work.

3. If I have not already fallen in love with at least one CD, I am not at all likely to want to download an artist's MP3s, but when and if I do I will be song-driven more than artist-driven by that time-- I'll want to hear song samples to choose among their work to get the songs I will love. (I will trust their taste in material.)

4. These reasons are one big reason why CDBaby works for me, and, to a lesser extent, Amazon. I can hear the work and not have to wade thru Facebook invitations or an artist's self-promo stuff. If I have already heard that artist and fallen in love with the songs, the promo stuff becomes part of the "mere artists' patter." CDBaby is the simplest place to hear the tunes (tech process for user), and usually has the longer clips.

5. The CDs I have loved the most have been the ones someone else gave me who knew my taste in songs (and life), and so I think highlighting them at gigs, as potential gifts, is a great way to build an audience base and CD sales. Church research on tape ministries also shows the power of having a tangible item to give, if one wants to introduce a listener to something good. The tangible creates the urge to gift.

6. Digital media is now a great approach for me as a user, but as a gifter, I want jewel-cased portability because not all my recipients may have digital tools. That means that when I buy now for myself, the CD is usually gifted on to someone else eventually, who lacks digital capability (and who then often wants to know how to get more of the same and looks for a snail-mail artist/distributor address on the CD insert).

7. Once I download digital from a known and loved performer, that soon becomes my preferred buying habit for that artist. Although the whole chain of my buying has started with a CD-- if I get more of them, they very quickly go to someone else who doesn't know that artist's work at all, who I think will like the music (and hopefully buy more later on their own).


~Susan


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 01:09 PM

no, I dont agree,
admission fee does not necessarily have a bearing on payment.I recently did a couple of gigs in Sicily with Richard Grainger.
at one of these gigs there were 300 people present,they were an attentive appreciative audience,and there was no charge,however I got a good fee,plus my travelling expenses.
I dont care what the admission fee is,providing I get a good audience and get my fee,in fact I would rather play to 300 people[if its free] than 30 people paying a tenner.
if an organiser can get subsidies[all well and good] and pass it on ,it means the less well heeled can appreciate and afford entrance.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: DebC
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 01:11 PM

Hi Tom,

I know a number of performers that use the "heg-veg" method (never heard it called that before. My buddy Andrew McKnight, calls it the "Honour Envelope", though he spells honor the Merkin way :-)

I give discounts for multiple CDs and that seems to sell a number of 'em. $50 for 4, $40 for 3.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 01:22 PM

Hi Debra

I may try the discount thing that you and Anahata suggest. I have boxes of CDs all over the house that I want to get rid of before I stop touring in July, cos as Dick says, I won't sell many (any?) after that.

I've got the two most recent cds with CDBaby (and through them to iTunes) and may release more tracks through them in future. I agree with Jed that CDs are on the way out - though I'll go on making them if I go back to touring, because..

people want to buy
before the tears are dry

Tom

Tom Bliss on CDBaby


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 01:28 PM

I think that an artist should charge what they are comfortable with. However at £10/12 a shot, it should mastered properly shrink wrapped and professionally done. I think it is not acceptable to sell CD's at that price if they are not up to the standard that you would expect if you go into a CD shop.

One of the very best examples of a beautifully produced CD was Steve Tilston's latest CD Ziggurat. So well done Steve for thinking of your customers. If you don't know what I mean, buy it and you will find out.

What I'm mindful of at my venue, is that there should never be any pressure to buy a CD. Not everybody has a load of money and they need to walk out of the venue having enjoyed the evening without feeling guilty becuase they didn't buy a CD.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JedMarum
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 09:35 PM

Good info ~Susan - thanks!

Agreed The Villan, if you're asking top price, you should be selling the full, professional package.

As far as I know, discs are still required for radio distribution, in the folk/celtic world. For me that's about 500 copies. I don't CDs are going to disappear soon - but their growth is stunted!

And it is true as Dick says, for the most part their financial justification is for the performer, selling from the stage. That accounts for may 70% of my sales - still.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 11:45 PM

Jed, Mick, Susan, DebC -

Great points. I also practice the discount for multiple purchases, with $15 being the cost for one here in the U.S.

Tom Bliss's explanation of expenses is also pretty accurate.

I play at festivals and concert venues that take up to 20% for allowing us (the performers) the privilege of selling our CDs.
Their rationale is that they are providing a retail platform for us to sell, therefore they are entitled to charge us for said privilege.

At some venues, sales are wonderful, so I don't mind paying the 20%;
at others sales are horrible, so I resent paying the 20%, but I still have to pay it if I want to sell at all.

I've begun dropping the jewel-case format, and moved to paper/cardboard wallet format with my CDs. They are lighter, narrower (therefore you can fit more to a case), cheaper to mail, and they don't crack or break.
Something that bothers me is a person refusing to buy a CD because there's a crack in the jewel-case - even though the CD itself is unscathed. In those cases, I'll knock a couple of bucks off the price.

Ultimately, I'd love to have some format at a show whereby I can sell downloads of individual songs to purchasers ( folks at my shows usually buy a CD because of one particular song they've heard) in the same time that it takes to sell a CD.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 12:36 AM

The standard jewel case is what I still use for radio distribution. Their libraries are typically sized for standard plastic jewel cases and I want to be sure mine get a chance to stay in there! I do like some of the other packaging and would certainly drop that case if I didn't aim a significant portion of each manufacture run at radio.

I am miffed by the obvious "shelf damage" CDs can take, after being lugged around from festival to festival. I also, mark a cracked case down, even though the CD and the contents are good. I've not had actually broken cases.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 02:29 AM

Jed, I've found that even if the jewel-case isn't cracked, sometimes the little hinge lugs are broken off, rendering the case useless.

My CD wallets are the same length and width as a jewel-case, they even have a spine with the title printed on it for shelf-stacking at radio stations (or at home).

And when I travel to a festival across the country, I ship boxes of my CDs ahead of time via USPS or UPS to the gig.

Invariably a lot of the jewel-cases are damaged, but not the wallets.

I've got about 7 of my 12 CD titles in the wallet format; it means re-formatting the artwork, but that's why I have a graphic-designer son!

Have you ever been charged a percentage at a festival or concert for the 'right' to sell your stuff?

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Anne Lister
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 02:50 AM

I, too, have moved to card wallet packaging for my most recent albums and it's a great way to cut the weight out of dealing with CDs.

A point no one else has made (so perhaps it's just me) is that my CD sales money normally goes into the fund for making a new album. In the past (before my "angels" project) it was to repay the loan on the previous one. These days it's money for the next one. So if I discounted the albums at a gig it would make it all the more difficult to make future recordings.

And yes, I have been charged a percentage at a festival and a concert to sell my stuff. Not good.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 05:11 AM

Morning all. what a fantastic response. I have read everyones post and made notes, so by the time this gets sent up the mad may have gone off line.

starting with the earliest,


Steve, I dont have an hourly rate just a pension now so its out of my hands, the last job was a 'job rate' and you had to moove from one to the other at your own expense, 2 years, 70 hour week, for maybe £300, in the nend I was sacked for 'attitude' when I wasnt allowed to use the bog at one client's place and I threatened to use his front door!!. In college, as an agency lecturer for 12 years , the hourly rate was set and you had no choice, take it or nothing.

Tom. I really appreciate the insight to how you work , thanks for being so open, so keep on touring until you empty those boxes please, maybe they will be reduced if you have so many, Some great songs there.

Annie Hat less

One of the country's greatest exponents on m'deon, concertina ,cello and Mary H. -dont forget the banjo- a trad Welsh instrument carved from the oars of a coracle, the banjo that is.
Dont mention the 'grand slam' thats when Mary ........
This guy and his Welsh woman are the best
You sure do play some very low paying clubs ! But thank you.
Yes some of them do cahrge only £3 but possibly they are 'singers' clubs, then again us organisers do/did want our clubs to be economically viable and put on great shows
Thanks and all the best
Blwyddyn newydd dda xxxx


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 05:34 AM

part two

Barry Finn

well said sir, hope they are listening and inwardly digesting

No go nads
no cheap , just affordable for a bus pass holder

Steve
dun you, bugger off

Capt Birdeye

Hello Dick and welcome, well seeing as you appear on all the best threads I waswondering what took you so long.

Thanks again for your input coming as it does from a 'pro perspective'
I reckon youve checked the £ rate by now, you've been done, again, have you not? to be sure.

So you did that gig for Cicily!, was it an offer you could not refuse !! '

greg

go solo

backwoodsman, you beat me to it thanks, now capn may believe us, to be sure

Lizzie, you can clain your prize when you see me in Padstow on may day


jed

thanks for your input and insight, do you really give away 500 to radio stations etc?

I agree wholeheatedly with 'a good show and something to remembera moment one wants to cherish' well sayd

your crystal gazing leaves me bewildered but not yet I hope

Chuck em, raffle prizes, freebies, pigeon frighteners for allotment holders and gardeners.
chuck em
Windscreen deflectors!!

and I dont believe you only sold one CD!! [joke]
No they steal the veg !!{joke]

Big Mick

[avoid the obviou

jump down off the stage, break down the barracades, cross the divide

Splat oringe

its the pollen count

must be a singers club which is where Anahata plays, so thats why he's grumpy

Dear Dick

you need to get out and about more, good luck

WYSIWYT

I so agree, its the song , not the ego driving it.

padstow may day susan



Vill

nearly vin garbut night at Faldingworth, I've got another 40 people coming , Vin said they could, he's entitled to 40 free admissions, and the local T V crew are coming


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 05:48 AM

Part Three

bloody phone went , sorry for that and what did I hear when I picked it up

'And when did you last review your gas and electricity tarifs..'

It was an aaaaautomated messge.!! I'm being spoken to by a machine, and it doesnt do washing up, so I puts phone down

now where was I?

ah yes , back to the plot



Seamus, a good old welsh name to be sure

Guess you be from over there, barrack-land, all hecklers welcome

Boom Boom

worth 2 in the bush

dont know if venues/clubs/fests here charge a commission on artiste's Cd sales , but I did think about it for my club at one time, but dropped the idea. I did have some concerns as Villan mentioned.

I remained 'open minded' but objected to floor singers and resident plugging their CDs when we had a main guest and felt the same if a floor singer did that to me when I was a was a headliner, 'hey , this is my gig, get out'

Get rid of the packaging so reduce costs and pollution, its the songs we want !



Thanks one and all

Have a nice day

yuck


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 05:53 AM

Sorry Tabster, didnt mean to miss you out

Good idea, re-invest without taking a cut, thats the way,

to starve according to some!

I guess you are from over there, yes?

I am in the wood !

sorry to be cryptic, just felt like it.

do check out Tom Bliss


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Acorn4
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 06:14 AM

This is slightly off thread but connected to the topic .

What do you do when someone suggests swapping CDs?

I don't sell my CDs in great quantities, but occasionally get requests to swap by other performers. Sometimes it's a bit embarrassing because, although the CD suggested may be a good one, sometimes it might be not quite my "cup of tea".

My normal reaction is to say OK, but if I suggest swapping myself, it's normally because the person concerned has expressed some kind of interest in my songs, and has perhaps shown an interest in buying a CD and I like what they are doing so suggest the swap. It's not normally a big problem and can often be worth it to maintain folk cameraderie.

I was, however, once caught out when I agreed to a request to swap without any great enthusiasm, to be greeted by:-

"Mine's twenty pounds because it's a double"

Must have seen me coming!

I'm fortunate because I don't have to sell CDs as part of making a living, but I was wondering how people who do deal with this situation tactfully.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 06:41 AM

An interesting point

When someone enquires, why not ask them why they should want one of yours?

If I did not want one in return I'ld say

'Thanks, but , no thanks, my wife wont let me swap, she makes me pay her for every one, nor will my 3 kids, who incidently havent eaten today'

or' Nah, dont like your gear'

or
'Aint got room, thats why I'm having to sell these'

I never say I have CDs, I always wait until someone asks, and they usually do, then again sometimes not.

I regard selling a CD as a bonus, not an expectation, certainly not a right.

Its an opportunity but as I have gotten my fee I have already been rewarded.

I always make sure the club does not make a loss wherever I gig as I wish to leave it in as good or better financial situation than when I arrived, then I hope to return sometime, unless I am forced to take more than I deserve which can make me feel guilty,for a short while, but accept it graciously, I think.

For me its all about cooperation and sharing

Boy this beer is good stuff


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: matt milton
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 06:51 AM

To those without record deals, who press up their own CDs:

1.        The most expensive part of CD duplication is the packaging. If you get your CDs duplicated at a pressing plant, you will save a significant amount of money if you just order CDs on a spindle: ie the CDs alone, without any wallets or jewel cases. Buy your own wallets or jewel cases (or whatever) separately, and, if you have time, print them yourself at home with your printer. I'm about to get 1000 CDs duplicated and it will cost me £350. I'm going to use paper sleeves (which cost 3p each). Jewel cases aren't bio-degradable anyway; not very green. I'm printing onto them at work, using the work printer. This means I can sell CDs at anything from 50p upwards and make a profit. A CD for £5 is a 500% profit.
2.        If you're registered self-employed, then the costs of CD production are a tax-deductible expense. Any CDs that you give away are promotional; also a tax-deductible expense.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 07:06 AM

Matt - in that calculation you're not taking into account the costs of the recording studio (and possibly accommodation), the production team, any guest/session musicians (MU rate is a minimum of £114), mastering, graphic design - or even the cost of the ink. Some of us can do much of this ourselves of course, (but very few can do all of it, well) and even if we can, our recording and graphics kit has to be paid for. And if it's our job, then our own time should really be costed in as well.

Are your CDs actually CDRs? These sound much the same, but are not acceptable to some shops and radio stations because they don't play reliably in all machines. Fine for demos, as you say, but no good for serious 'product.' You may get CDs for that but I doubt it - glass mastering usually costs that much, and then you have the blanks and replication to pay for. There's also a problem with card and paper sleeves because they can get damaged before sale (damp CD tables caused by beer spills are the main enemy).

Even a fairly simple CD by a solo artist with no multi-tracking could cost up to a grand to record and master properly. My out-costs are more like £2-3k, and if I costed in my own time (I do my own graphics) it would be double that. Even at a tenner a pop it takes a good while to break even.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Hamish
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 07:11 AM

I feel insulted if the act charges too much. I've been to gigs where they've asked £13 or £14 which, in addition to maybe £10 or £12 entrance is taking the p1$$. £10 is the going rate, and I feel like I'm getting a good deal, if it's a well produced CD.

I have huge sympathy for Tom's point about down time. The way I look at it is that many musicians take a full day's effort to do a gig, what with travelling time. Certainly enough time that doing a day job on gig days (and often the next day, too) as well is unthinkable.

--
Hamish


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: matt milton
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 07:15 AM

Recently I bought a Lacie portable firewire LightScribe CD burner. It means I can burn a CD and inscribe words and pictures onto the body of the CD while on the move. In theory I could be making CDs on the train.

It occurred to me that I'm not far off being able to record a gig on my laptop as I'm playing it and then burn CD copies of the recording afterwards while having a few pints, and selling them on the spot. I could even give dedications to audience members during the gig, so that their CD would be "personalized". Or play a request!

Then I thought maybe you could take a leaf out of the visual artist's book. A painting is expensive because it's a one-off. So you could record your gig, and make one CD then and there – one CD only – and charge £20 for it. Or auction it then and there. Artwork and dedication would be entirely personal and unique. Obviously, you'd need to be a bit of a name, with a fairly loyal following for this to work...


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 07:27 AM

Villan,No one has to buy anything.
market forces dictate,so if your not happy with a cd thats not shrink wrapped[have you thought about the environment,and all this unnecessary packaging]you dont have to buy.
some of my cds are shrink, wrapped some are not,it would not affect my buying of a cd at all,what makes me want to buy, is the music.
Personally I get pissed off with buying a product with unnecessary wrapping,carrots wrapped in plastic [for god sake,all it does is rot the carrot quicker].
will the cds deterioate quicker if they are wrapped in plastic,so why is it done?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 07:35 AM

I'm with you on the packaging issue Captain (I'd tax it!) but see my point about damp - which is why I've carried on making mine with wrapping. Also, some shops will not stock unwrapped CDs because of the risk of theft. Tom


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: matt milton
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 07:37 AM

Tom

(can't work out how to quote on here)

No, they're not CDRs (according to the website). I'm going to use www.keyproduction.co.uk

You're right about those other costs: I haven't factored them in. But most of them don't apply in my case. I don't use a recording studio. I record at home and it's a very simple set-up. Voice and guitar, or voice and mandolin. The occasional overdub. there are no guest musicians bar my sister adding a harmony on a couple of tracks.

I work for a multinational corporation, who pay me very little and demand a lot, so I have no qualms about using their printer ink and other office resources. I'm well aware of the pratfalls of spilled beer on paper sleeves, but the costs I'm talking about, I can write-off quite a few. And, like quite a few other voices on this thread, I get really fed up with jewel cases. I'm happy to replace the odd soggy paper sleeve with jewel cases from my own CD collection frankly! I'm going to be packing CDs into sleeves during my work lunchbreaks, while watching TV, and on the bus on the way to gigs.

The only real significant extra cost I haven't included is mastering: £20 per track at www.littlebazaar.co.uk. I'm not going to attend a mastering session, but their promise is money-back if you're not satisfied. It shouldn't – fingers crossed – be a big deal, as all I want is a louder version of what I already have.

I also haven't included the cost of my equipment in this. I have two expensive Coles 4038 mics for instance, which are the most professional pieces of kit I own. I could factor in the cost of my guitar, banjo, and fiddle too. But, well, these are things that I would probably own whether or not I had decided to put out a CD. And I think even if I did factor in all this stuff, I could still afford to cost those CDs at £5 and make a profit. I'm even considering just giving them away, and claiming a proportion of the expenses of producing them as "promotion" on my company accounts.

Ultimately though, I'm not a professional musician. I wouldn't even describe myself as semi-pro; I'm more like 'hobby-pro'; and it's more a case of me forcing my CDs onto people than people genuinely wanting them! I don't want to lose money on making CDs, but equally I don't *need* to make any off them either.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: matt milton
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 07:41 AM

that last statement was a bit of a cop-out, on reflection. I do want to make the point that the packaging of a CD really does seem to be quite a disproportionate part of its cost, and if there's any way of cutting that out, it significantly alters the maths.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 07:50 AM

Thanks for that matt

If you want it louder, then get closer to the mics!

140 euros for the scribe.

Good luck, its great to have a hobby like this.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 07:53 AM

I was kind of assuming that was the case Matt. I've got some wonderful CDs made that way, which i really enjoy listening to.

My points were in defence of the 'market rate' of £10 per CD for a 'produced' product. (And I forgot to include MCPS licences, which some will have to pay).

I also forgot to include the costs of promo copies (including postage and packaging) and magazine adverts - which are not cheap.

I don't really like jewel cases either, but the CDs I have in card cases are all looking very shabby, and can't easily be repaired. If a jewel case breaks, and they often do, it's fairly easy to swap with an old CD you don't listen to very often. Stacking and storage is easier with jewels too.

Keyproduction looks like a good deal. Best of luck with it.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Gene Burton
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:00 AM

Haven't had time to read the whole thread as I'm at work, sorry.

I only charge a fiver for my CDs, or 6 if I have to send them; and still make a small profit on them. It certainly can be done.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:00 AM

Dick,
I agree shrink-wrap is wasteful and unnecessary, but I'm personally glad that my CDs are protected from beer spillage, damp and the British climate ;-)


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Anne Lister
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:02 AM

Breezy, am I from over where? Wales isn't normally described as "over there" in the UK!

We've had the discussion on the costs of making CDs before, and yes, you can make them for very little money if you record at home and use other people's resources for producing the printed parts. With all due respect to Matt, that's not normally the kind of product on sale at gigs for £10. I can tell you that my most recent CD, recorded in a studio with four musicians adding their contributions (but some giving their time and expertise for free), some travel to and from the studio and the final result professionally manufactured with eco-friendly packaging (but yes, with cellophane wrap I'm afraid ...it does make a difference in some circumstances) has cost me in the region of £3,000.
A certain number will be given out as review copies, airplay copies or other promotional reasons. Yes, I will make a profit on the other sales as I pre-sold enough to cover most of the costs, but I'm not making enough money at gigs or anywhere else to feel I can afford to discount my prices at gigs - perhaps if I was playing big venues and taking large fees I would feel differently about it all. And, as I said, where possible (at the moment family finance means it's not possible) I'm putting album sales money to one side ready to create future CDs.

I've just done my accounts for 07/08, a year in which I thought I'd done far better than ever before, and was somewhat gobsmacked when I totalled up my total income (including some supply teaching). Far and away less than I would have thought, to the extent that when I put in my expenses once again I find I'm owed tax rather than needing to pay it. So I don't think we musicians/storytellers/songwriters should be the automatic target for requesting discounts!

Anne


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:05 AM

Captain Birdseye, if you are a professional performer then you should be professional about everything related to your business. Its your image and your pride. For £10 quid or more, we expect the real deal. That is a customer comment from me. I do not sing or play. I am one of the audience or punter as some people rudely say.
I mentioned shrink wrapping etc, etc , becuase to the person buying, they can see that a lot of care and attention has gone into producing the CD and visually is more marketable.
I agree about the music.
I get quite a few CD's as an organsier and to be honest 90% could go straight in the bin. Don't go down that route.
You must look at your customer and give them the very best you can do. It reaps benefits in the end.

The Churchfitters spring to mind. The qaulity of their Cd's including the artwork shows a lot of care and attention has gone into what they do. Take a look http://www.churchfitters.com/ediscographie.php
Their act is excellent as well. So much so, my audience demanded that I get them back again. They care about their image.

They are not the only ones, but I have used them as an example.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:10 AM

hello Gene

welcome to the discussion

I'll give you more time to catch up first

Sorry you are at work, glad someone is


Hey jonny, you must learn to control those shakes, must be from outatown

Tom , like me today you appear to have too much time on your hands, I did 4 hours yesterday, and it was cold, or are you adding this time to the costs as well [;0[] just going to put you on as I havent heard you for a while and I do like some of your songs, if I cant make out a particular word or phrase , may I ask you to clarify, as I'm slightly mutton at least according to my wife a kids.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: matt milton
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:11 AM

I rather confused things by mentioning the Lightscribe thing. That's something that isn't anything to do with the project I was describing. I bought myself the lightscribe burner when I had a CD stuck in my drive (a folk CDR, as it happens!) and urgently needed to save some files for day-job work. I only use it for making one-off CDs or demos: I don't think it's worth the time and effort in trying to home-burn more than 50 CDRs.

but I do think Lightscribe technology is a very interesting development. For those that don't know, you can burn audio or data to them just like a normal CD; but it also 'prints' onto the body of the CD by burning with a laser. So no ink. No labels. And I think it looks smarter than a conventional label. (Part of me also quite likes the fact that it's an "engraving" of sorts, albeit with a laser: shades of William Blake.)


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:22 AM

from breezy, to matt, with hand over mouth to hide smirk,

bit extreme, couldnt you have got it out with a penknife?


I put the kids to supervising the burning and by the time I package and label one then , hey, here comes another !

To Tom

The Violin
Mary Prout
Spirit

are my 3 faves but confess to having not heard much of the others as of yet


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:22 AM

The subject of CD production cost v sale price having been dealt with at length, I want to address Breezy's opening line: "If i pay £10 admission , or even £8 should not the artiste ask a more inviting price for their CDs e.g £5 as they will already be getting a fee?.

False argument, John, because the entrance fee is not controlled except to a small degree by the artist (may be subsidised by singers' nights or not, or by some grant etc). The organiser has -rightly - much bigger say in that. So you cannot ask the artist to modify the CD sale price based on such a premise. Neither should the artist's fee be dependent on "CD sale opportunity" (an argument that sadly I still hear from time to time). That would be a little like asking a restaurant to drop their menu prices because of the tipping opportunity (OK, I know the analogy is not brilliant, but you know what I mean). The fact is that performing and CD sales are two distinct transactions, which can influence each other up to a point, but which have no bearing on each other's underlying cost.

Unless the venue can guarantee a minimum number of CD sales (and pigs will fly).

But there are other reasons than cost affecting CD price also. Promotion, for example. As those who come to my gigs will know - because I often refer to this in my intros - my main objective is to "get the songs out", and in order to serve that objective I may keep a low price, or even give CDs away. I suspect, without knowing for certain, that AJC has a similar objective and reasoning. And I am fortunate that I do not depend on my music income, having a day job - though I still want to at least break even.

And yet, I am also aware that if I drop the price too far, too fast, I will put unbearable pressure on those who do depend on CD sales for their income. And I don't want that on my conscience.

I believe that in the next 12-24 months we will see CD sales being eclipsed (not just overtaken) by downloads, though the CD format will not disappear altogether for various reasons. If this does come to pass, then we will see truly how wrong that opening line was. But I believe something else will happen too: As recorded music (be it downloaded or whatever) becomes always cheaper and accessible, by contrast the value of live music increases. Where once artists did gigs to promote CD sales, because that was where most of their income came from, we will see people giving away music to attract people to their gigs - and gig fees will strengthen along with the increased value of live music.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:31 AM

Too much time? I wish!

I'm learning new stuff for the spring tours, recording two tracks for a charity CD and practising for tonight - first gig after Christmas break.

Oh and sorting out village hall tours.

I just drop in here for light relief!

T


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:32 AM

George P is optimistic about rising audiences coming our way. I thiunk this happening, and is going to continue. In spite of the economic down turn, there are definite straws in the wind showing that live gigs are on the up and up. That is my own experience, certainly.
At the most mundane level, we do a monthly informal gig in our local pub. People have started coming earlier to get good seats over the last six months: including a gig on Jan 7, which you would think was the ultimate pits of the year.THat I fion d interesting. And there are new venues/clubs opening, festivals all over the place. George could be right(I hope). AS regards CD sales...I dont see them collapsiong for folkies in the next year or two, but I expect a general decline is coming. What we all need to do is make them worth owning...nice looking, good booklet. They will never be as good(or as practically useful!) as LP covers, but they do have something going for them. I certainly like something to have a look at when I sit down to enjoy my first listen to a CD(generally my only listen, unfortunately, these days!).


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Howard Jones
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:50 AM

The entry fee to a gig entitles you to see the live performance, nothing more, nothing less. Why should it entitle you to a discount on any merchandise? Do you expect a discount on your beer as well? If the artist runs out of CDs do you ask the venue for a refund?

If the artist sells CDs, they'll price them at what they think is appropriate. Some will decide that it's worth discounting them because they hope to sell more, others may not. They may be constrained by their record company. If they price them too high, they won't sell. If you don't like the price being asked, you don't have to buy it, you can try to get it cheaper elsewhere.

Why is that hard to understand?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:55 AM

Tom , put on tracks already on your album, there that saved time. no charge.

Reinforce the songs you know and only add 4 maximum for the tour. there more time saved , no charge.

George, youre late, apologies as read, you dropping anything , including trousers, will not have any bearing on anyone else. me dropping my prices will not make people rush to buy me over anyone else.

Hearing an artiste does make one go and listen, otherwise I would not have gone to hear, Peter ,Paul and mary, Bob Dylan, The Clancy's, the Beatles etc so that argument is not new. The problem is , hearing then to begin with.

greg , when I listen to a song I wish to be in a darkened room with no distractions, so I wont want to read anything at that point. Should I find I need further info then I would do my research and if 'twere handy all well and good.
btw watch for a decline in attendees during feb and march, good luck


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 08:57 AM

Oh and PS, discounts for multiple purchases do work. When I have been selling them that way I have never seen 2-3 people buddy up to go in on it together and reduce their cost. They're too star-struck to think of it, I guess. :~)

Re: wallet cases instead of jewel. I hated them at first, but now I like them. Easier to manage in the car.

Sometime I should write up what I have learned when helping artists sell their CDs. Let me just say that a good salesperson and former candy-counter cashier can double your sales (in exchange for a CD, LOL).

~S~


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 09:00 AM

hi Howard

but you would expect it cheaper than in the high street would you not?

'appropriate'

£8 is a good price do you not think?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 09:04 AM

the Villan,I am professional about everything I do, http://www.dickmiles.com have a look at my website.I dont need a lecture on professionalism.
two of my cds are shrink wrapped one isnt,it has made no difference to sales.,and while it may protect from the damp,has nothing to do with the qualitry of the music.
content before form,most people buy cds because they have enjoyed the evening,not because they are shrink wrapped.
cds can be well designed and professionally produced without being shrink wrapped.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 09:17 AM

Dick
It should have read

Captain Birdseye.
If you are a professional performer then you should be professional about everything related to your business. Its your image and your pride. For £10 quid or more, we expect the real deal. That is a customer comment from me. I do not sing or play. I am one of the audience or punter as some people rudely say.

"If you are a professional performer" was meant as a general comment and not directed at you. Sorry about that.

I am well aware of your capabilties.
Les Worrall


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 09:19 AM

'shrink wrapped' may require some explanation to those undergoing therapy.

those plastic cases are highly breakable and the wrapping is wasteful and no one nicks em from stores, cos there 'folk'

And isnt it a shame the govt has declared its intention to go ahead with a terd runway at heathrow.

or as the scots mae sae

a broon hoon has s55t on us


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: matt milton
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 09:38 AM

"I believe that in the next 12-24 months we will see CD sales being eclipsed (not just overtaken) by downloads, though the CD format will not disappear altogether for various reasons. If this does come to pass, then we will see truly how wrong that opening line was. But I believe something else will happen too: As recorded music (be it downloaded or whatever) becomes always cheaper and accessible, by contrast the value of live music increases. Where once artists did gigs to promote CD sales, because that was where most of their income came from, we will see people giving away music to attract people to their gigs - and gig fees will strengthen along with the increased value of live music."

you took the words right out of my mouth. The live experience is the one thing that'll remain unique, specifically because it's undownloadable and undigitisable.

The only way I differ from you is that I'm not quite as optimistic as you are regarding gig fees going up. In my experience, living in London where rents are absurd, landlords of pubs charge a fee for the use of their function room that makes profiting from live gigs an uphill struggle. I can't help but think if a landlord notices increased attendances at gigs he might well start upping the rent fee too. But maybe I'm being over-cynical.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 09:51 AM

That happened in Padstow at the Golden Lion bout 20 year ago.

The opening night was packed, 50 plus attendees, room was free,, so came a demand for rent

the following night, after the demand for rent, the club was empty,

Chico got nowt and lost the club, it has never returned.

So that could happen and already there are clubs paying rent they can ill afford.

But in Redbourn the club has returned to its spiritual home at the Hollybush, small snug and intimate and now patronised by the landlady who values the club

Steve Tilston there tonight


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 10:01 AM

Say hello to Steve for me John.
Les


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 10:03 AM

no, shant.

you didnt say 'Please'

no


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 10:08 AM

Seamus - I love your wallet packaging and your artwork is first class! I would prefer to use it myself for the "shelf-life" issue alone (that is, reducing the damage they get in being carried or shipped around before they're sold). But I've been inside a number of radios stations and I've seen their libraries. Granted I did no scientific study - but I've never seen anything but plastic jewel cases in the racks. I've also heard DJs say they don't even open packages that are non-standard. Now that may be changing, and there are sure to be exception - but I am playing the odds by staying with plastic for now. I am nearly convinced your wallet packaging is worthwhile for me - but I would do a separate run for radio.

breezy - yes, I really do plan 500 of a new title for radio. I just released a new album in Nov and 250 are already out. I have another 150 ready to go and will save the rest for the add-ons.


The future of CDs I think is uncertain. I am sure music artists will continue to make albums and sell via CD. My CD sales still outnumber my Digital sales. It is still the best medium for face-to-face sales, and that is important part of the live performance business - so I don't see that disappearing.

Like Seamus said above, I look forward to the day when folks at shows can simply place their iPods or Blackberries into a portable docking station that I carry with my laptop, pay the $1.50/song or $15/album and download the whole thing in seconds. They could get a whole printable artwork package the same way - even if that came in a subsequent email.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 10:14 AM

Folks, the way to do the MP3 thing is just to sign requestors up on an email list where they pay you for the link to the free download. You decide what that "membership" fee is and how many downloads or what time period it covers. You just run it on their card or let them do it later in rtesponse to your "member's" emailing, via PayPal.

You can add that "service" to your email promo list too, as well as put it on your website. Look at how Audiobooksforfree.com does their purchase downloads.

For a REAL big idea-- let MAX manage the tech end of it right here, for a MudCut.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 10:36 AM

Matt, you may be right. What I really meant was that the total pot of gig fees will go up as the live gig market expands further, not necessarily (or only) the individual fee for a particular artist. Individual fees will depend on whether more venues become available etc.

Don't discount either the possibility of live gigs on the internet, where you pays your fee and then you are allowed to connect to the camera feed during a particular timeslot. It's a poor man's "live", but live nevertheless. This month has seen the start of live opera and orchestra performances being piped into cinemas in the UK, where you still pay an entrance fee, though not as high as if you were in front of the real thing, of course.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 11:22 AM

Wow Susan, thats a great idea, can it really be made to happen?

George ,Hamish do you understand the concept?

Does this mean that Matt has an idea that Jed can use?

Kids back home now so I may be ousted

thanks for your company today


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 11:38 AM

Breezy Please

Well I watch live football on Sky. So why not have a monthly package fee to watch live shows (Folk)- (hmm maybe I could interest Sky to come along to Faldingworth each month) - same principle. Or like the Sky Box Office for Films. We couldthen pay big big fees to the performers a bit like what Kaka earns.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JohnB
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 12:07 PM

From an earlier post from Guest Tom Bliss "The break point is about £8. But that would mean carrying around a big bag of coins and faffing about at the CD stall - and life's too short!"
This is total BULL, how can anyone justify such a price structure. It means you can only charge 5, 10, 20 units of your available paper money for your product. There is nothing wrong with making change, that's what it's for, to charge a correct price for a product, not more, or less. If your CD is worth 12 quid and you can justify the price, then sell it for that.
I belong to a group who put on one concert a year, it comes with or without a meal. Due to increases by our caterer last year our costs were going up around 2$. In my absence due to holidays, the group decided to round up the costs (to avoid making change) the result was around a 10-15% drop in overall ticket sales. What good does that do for CD sales?.
More Bums in Seats = more CD sales. Therfore it is a better bet to keep the ticket costs low than the CD costs.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 12:20 PM

JohnB
Have you ever thought that becuase you weren't there, you didn't sell as many tickets.

I know what Tom means as far as £8 is concerned. We normally charge £8 to get in. everybody comes with a tenner or twenty pound note. I have to make sure I have a least £50 worth of £1 coins.

However, what is interesting, is that for the first time on Saturday I am charging £10 to get in for Vin Garbutt. Guess what SOLD OUT and a waiting list. It will be dead easy for me to get the dosh this time. I wonder how many CD's Vin will sell and at what price.

Just seems the opposite to what you have said. :-)

Les


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 01:46 PM

Wow Susan, that's a great idea, can it really be made to happen?

CAN happen is in my head. WILL happen is in the head of whoever runs with it. The trick would be to set it up as I described, as a pilot, offCat, like Audiobooksforfree.com does-- and then offer it to the Cat. Or PM Max or other site leaders. Ah spawns 'em but Ah don't run 'em anymore-- ideas I mean.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 05:13 PM

Off topic, but "Splat oringe"?

Sneezy, I like it!


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Jed on a borrowed PC
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 02:41 AM

I do the same as Tom. My discounts are based on my ability and and willingness to manage change. We are not working a high volume sales environment with cash drawer and help ... we're handling between 10 and 50 or so product that must be managed, usually personally and with the focus in the chat with the customer/listener.

YES - Seamus I've had venues charge a percentage. I'd rather they charge a set fee, but some do a percentage - and that hurts. I make sure my base is high enough to compensate. I understand they need to cover their expenses, but I have to figure how much it will cost me and be sure the whole package is worthwhile.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Peace
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:15 AM

Discount my ass. I ain't Walmart.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 12:32 PM

That doesn't sound peaceful!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 12:55 PM

Breezy,

Yes, I would expect to get it cheaper at the gig than in the high street. Firstly, artists are probably going to make more profit from CDs they sell direct than from those in the high street, so they benefit if you buy from them. Secondly, its good marketing to encourage you to buy there and then, while you're in the buying mood. But if artists choose to charge full price that's their decision.

I'm not suggesting artists shouldn't discount their records at a gig. What I'm saying is that paying to get into the gig doesn't entitle you to get the CD cheap.

On the question of shrink-wrapping, I frequently come across articles advising that CDs should be shrink-wrapped as it looks more professional and distinguishes them from home-made CD-Rs.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 02:06 PM

calm down Peace, its only a discussion.

Thanks Max, for making mudcat available.

I'm happy if the CD plays on my machines and I can listen to the songs, thats all I ask. The rest is just details.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: LesB
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 02:48 PM

5 for a CD is not enough, but I would expect a discount from the normal retail price when bought at a gig. In fact I only ever buy CD's at gigs. I would rather the Artist get the retailers profit & I get a discount (a couple of quid), then we are all happy. Although the best buy I got was a home made CD by Tony Wilson for £5, (he only had a couple left), with 20 odd songs on it.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: meself
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:12 PM

LesB: You're trying to have it both ways: you say you want the 'Artist' to 'get the retailers profit', but you also want a discount. Guess what? If the artist is giving you a discount, he is not getting the retailer's profit - where do you think the discount comes from?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:19 PM

The difference between the retailers price and the artiste's maybe


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:23 PM

JohnB

May I tactfully opine that 'total BULL' could be a little harsh and slightly unfeeling?

Maybe I didn't explain properly.

By 'break point' I was referring to the point at which the increase in demand caused by the discount meets the decreased income caused by the discount - i.e. no net gain. Yet the going rate is £10, and I sell enough at that price to keep me happy, so have no incentive to offer a discount, specially as carrying sufficient change would be a major hassle, as would be the need to man the CD table at all times.

The 'hedge veg' system doesn't work if you need to fiddle with coins, and standing by the CDs all night can make a chap look a little sad and desperate. Also, believe it or not, I may have other things to do; to visit the gents, tune my guitar, pop to the bar for water, chat to the organiser or other chums, answer questions in the corridor about lyrics, back-stories, guitar tunings, recording techniques, microphones, someone's visit to Sark, how Tom's elbow is, and so on.

Maybe you are not aware of the mechanics of solo touring? Jed and Villain have mentioned the problems associated with carrying round large quantities of metalwork. I would add that I already have enough trouble keeping my folding stash safe on tour. If I don't go to a bank to 'launder some eagle,' I come home with a sizeable wad. I also have two (or three) foot journeys in and out of every gig with six or seven heavy items to carry. The requisite money bag would be too big for my pocket, and would oust a sizeable block of product form the 'shop box.'

No, I don't think my system is 'total BULL.' 'Businesslike in a non-business environment' would be closer to the mark, I submit.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JohnB
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 04:04 PM

OK so BULL might be the wrong phrase now, it's based more on my own feelings about what happened here. My reasoning is not necessarily to charge less but to charge more.
We (my wife sells morethan I do) were here to sell tickets for a concert but had problems due to the price when you round up ticket prices you double the roundup ammount for a couple buying tickets.
SO! how does your system work when everone else is charging 12 or 13 local units for a CD. Do you stay at 12 and be underpriced or go to 15 and not sell any? That's why I "don't like" people NOT using change as an excuse to round things up or down as applicable.
Another part of my reasoning is that here (Canada) the groups I have been involved with provide a person (free admission) who sits by a CD table all night and sells your CD's for you. This is done with or without a percentage commission as per the feelings of the particular organization.
Nothing personal was meant,by BULL. JohnB.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: meself
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 04:35 PM

"The difference between the retailers price and the artiste's maybe"

So you got my point exactly, but I'm not sure you got LesB's - that he wants the artist to get the profit that would otherwise have gone to the retailer (while simultaneously giving the customer a discount ... )


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:11 PM

I'm not following you JohnB. The typical price here in the UK, at the type of gig mentioned in the OP, is £10. And we've stayed at that for a long time, probably for reasons of convenience. (There may be a jump to £15 eventually, if CDs survive that long). Some people do sell for less or more, for various reasons, but £10 suits me, and people seem happy to pay it. (I have people buying 4 or 5 CDs sometimes, and a discount for multiples had never occurred to me before this thread).

For me, a standard figure of £8 would have to be a discount to encourage sales, and I was explaining that this doesn't really make sense, given the true cost of production, the low level of salary/income and the convenience/hassle factor.

Mutli-act gigs/festivals are a very different matter.

Here you're either selling on the hoof, as you dash out to the next gig, (so what other acts are charging is irrelevant - they're not in your shop) or you're selling at a separate stall set up by and manned by the organisers.

Now here, you DO need to look at what others are charging. If the going rate is £12 then I'd sell at that and give £2 to the stall holder for his or her work (or whatever we agree or is stipulated). They will have time and facilities to handle change and keep a record of sales - and that's what I'm paying them to do. If I bother.

Truth is I sell very few CDs at festival stalls. The urge to buy comes right after my set, while the emotions are still running high, and that's where I'll try to be selling. If I leave my CDs on a table in a tent on the far side of the site, among all the big names and old guards and 70s collectors vinyl I may not sell a single copy. And the guys who were desperate for a copy after my set have been washed out by the next brilliant act, so never go looking for my CDs half a mile away. I may even forget to go collect my returns!

Tom


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:16 PM

Sorry I forgot to add - that a few clubs/venues do kindly offer to help sell CDs (Hi Surreysinger - thanks again)! But this is rare.

If it happens we'll agree the price and cut (if there is one), at the time. But again - it'll just be my CDs (unless there's a support act, who are unlikely to be charging more - I don't mind them charging less because if people want me they'll have to buy me) - so I can set what price I think is right.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: LesB
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:30 PM

What I mean is that if a CD is £13 in HMV (if you can find it) then if I pay £10 - £12 for it at a gig, then I get it cheaper (but I probably wouldn't find it at a retail outlet anyway) and the artist will get more for it than if it were sold in a shop. So we both win. What's to understand?
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:41 PM

I think we have to get things into focus here a bit. The artists selling the CD's at folk events (with very few exceptions, if any) are not mega rich celerities. They are hard working talented people trying to make enough money to keep being able to give us the benefit of their talent. Whether an artist sells at £10 or £8 seems irrelevant to me. If the music is good them buy the sodding CD!

Ok if someone was selling direct at £14+ I would be put off but below that good luck. In any case what business is it of ours how an artist structures their fees - perhaps they did the gig at a low fee in the hope that they would sell enough CDs to compensate.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: meself
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 09:46 PM

"What's to understand?"

Well, since you ask, what's to understand is that, contrary to what you idicated in your earlier post, you apparently want the artist to get only a portion of the profit that would have gone to the retailer, and not the prospective profit in its entirety.

Cheers back at ya.

'self


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: kendall
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 09:53 PM

There is no way around the cost of making CDs. Either you buy them from the company and retail them at gigs, or you make them yourself. That requires a considerable cost in equipment and time.

I realize that everything in the UK is more expensive than it is here, and 10 pounds sounds high to me, you have your own set of problems to deal with.
At gigs, I feel that I have to get a certain price to make it worth my time and investment. If I have to mail them to people who order that way, I have to charge over the price of the CD. Just recently, I mailed one to Iceland, and it cost me $3.00 just for the postage; never mind the insurance and package.
When I toured Scotland back in 1990, the folk clubs only charged 1 pound admission, so I was counting on being able to sell recordings. They never arrived over there, so I didn't even break even. It paid for the plane fare. I had to eat the cost of hiring a car,and meals. But, at least there were free lodgings at most of the venues.

Seeing people being paid for having fun, and selling stuff to boot looks like a license to print money to some who have never tried it, but those who have know better.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Skivee
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 01:39 AM

Right you are, Kendall.
It's on thing when a performer knocks off a home recording on the PC
Our (Pyrates Royale) latest CD cost just over $12,000 to produce. This includes professional studio recording time, mixing (nearly 200 hours added together), mastering fees. CD pressing, artwork, shipping of production materials to the duplicating plant, long distance phone calls, royalties payments of nearly $700 per run of 1,000, time to find out who REALLY wrote that song that "everybody knows" is in public domain but is not. This isn't a complete list by a long shot. That production cost wasn't supplied by a big record label. Every cent came from the pockets of the band members.
We sell the CDs for $18 per. It's a 69 minute album that showcases our most technically demanding work. We know it's worth the price. If we discounted the price, we would effectively be paying patrons to have the recording.
One venue we were at tried to demand that we sell recording only through their shop, demanded the right to set the selling price and pay us their mandated net price that would have actually gotten us $2 less per CD than our unit production cost. In this case we refused to sell a single cd. Our performance fee covered our food lodging and transport. They viewed the entire profit(what a misunderstood word!) margin of CD sales as their right.
We give a discount when patrons buy it with our previous albums. The money we get from performance doesn't reduce the production cost of the recording at all. It goes to gas, strings, personal taxes, meals, the replacement tire for the van, and all the other things that previous posters have mentioned.
Very few of us makes big bucks at the folk music biz. Most of us earn those dollars and pounds the hard way. To pretend that CD sales are some kind of fluff or gouging on the part of the performer is simply not realistic or true.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,LesB (on Laptop)
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 04:15 AM

well 'self, unless i'm labouring under a missconception, if the artist sells to me at £12 i've always assumed that they would be getting more than if i bought it from a retail outlet for ay £13-50p. I'm not trying to do the artist out of money. It's just like most folks i'm looking for a bargin.
I also would like to say that the prospect of getting a c.d. at a slight discount would be an inducement to making a spur of the moment purchase, in fact almost every time i've been to a gig £ seen c.d.'s for sale at full price i've usually thought to myself, " there's no rush to by it now i'm not saving anything", and then found that subsequently i've never got round to buying the c.d. anyway. Either my enthusiasm has cooled or I never see it for sale again.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 04:22 AM

Hey Skivee you must be in the 'Big League' £8.000 worth at todays xchange rate [approx] 18US$ = £12 - it used to be £9 not too long ago

Can you kindly tell us minnows how many did you have done, and how are the sales going so far ?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Anne Lister
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 05:31 AM

I'm still puzzled about why performers (self employed, generally not earning lots of money by anyone's standards and in some cases - like my own - not even earning enough to pay tax) should be giving a discount to audiences, many of whom will have "proper" jobs and who will almost certainly be spending more money on drinks than they've paid to get into the gig.

Anne
(ducking behind the computer)


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: peregrina
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:14 AM

At gigs at a great local small venue I often wonder how the performers even cover the cost of new strings, broken strings and petrol.

Are people sometimes playing at a loss? (I hope not.)

If I like the music enough to want the CD, I'd be embarrassed not to pay the asking price or buy direct from the artist's site instead of Amazon.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 07:59 AM

my cds, have 65 minutes plus time,and have been recorded by professional engineers,for which I have had to pay professional recording rates.
I have four cds available at the moment two of which are shrink wrapped,2 are not,they are all professionally produced,and well designed,three of them have been designed by Cathy Cook,who has a degree in graphics and illustration.
just for the record[excuse the pun],I have on occasions arrived at gigs with no money, even for a drink,that is how renumerative being a professional folksinger is,I have struggled on for years,because I love the music,and feel to be able to do it properly,I need the time to practise it properly,which I feel I would not have time for ,with a full time job[Even if at the age of 57 I could get one] .
latterly, I have had to teach music ,to maintain myself ,at about the same rate as UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT.
cds, are for me a useful way of supplementing an incomethat is about the minimium wage,of course If I was a solicitor or an accountant and was semi pro,I could afford to give my cds away.
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: treewind
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 08:04 AM

"if the artist sells to me at £12 i've always assumed that they would be getting more than if i bought it from a retail outlet for £13-50p"

Yes, but think of the numbers sold. In the folk world, nearly all the sales are at live gigs and the numbers sold though retail outlets are insignificant. The retail outlets are the places where the attitude "I don't care about the money, I just want my music to be heard" really applies. Through Wild Goose we get (eventually...) about 50p for anything sold by other retailers. The direct sales are the main channel, and the one we have to rely on to cover costs, let alone make any profit.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 09:18 AM

Hey Dick, surely 65 minutes is a little on the lengty side, I used to reckon 60 mins max once,, but nowadays 40 - 45 seems adequate, 12 songs max., maybe 13.

Pete Coe, Jez Lowe, Steve Tilston , even fewer by Stan Rogers. Pete Morton,

9 on penquin eggs - Nic Jones for the uninitiated

To quote Steve T, when I requested more songs from him at a live gig at our club 'You can have a surfeit'

The 'sympathy' card is no excuse

I agree its very difficult to get a job at 52 yet alone 57, but I landed one for 2 years at 61! then got sacked, but didnt worry , just returned to the music !!


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 09:50 AM

Vin charged £10 a CD last night at Faldingworth

Pete Coe at Faldingworth on valaentines night Feb 14th 2009


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 10:17 AM

Breezy ,I like to give value for money,so my cds[nautical and :concertinas and] are 65 mins long.
I dont know what your twaddle about sympathy is about,I am just giving you the facts.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: LesB
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 11:13 AM

Anahata, are you therefore saying that you don't give any discount at gigs? If not, then do you not think that a little incentive to buy might just tip the balance when someone is undecided? I don't necessarily mean this on a personal level, just in general.
Cheers
Les (The pround owner of a couple of your's & Mary's C.D.s ) :-)


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Skivee
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 11:14 AM

Breezey, sorry for the delay. I was sleeping in after a late night gigue.
The sales are great...for a regional folk band.
We are nearly the second pressing of 1,000 1 1/4 years after the debut. Reviews were great, fan response to the quality of production has been very gratifying.
We are pleased that our patrons can hear the difference that improved production provides.
A large part of the improved sound can be layed at the feet of the recording studio's excellent production staff.
That being said, we are hardly big minnows. We are just a regionally known shanty group with a gimmick that we and our fans enjoy.
Folks like Beonce, P Diddy, Justin Timberlake, the American/British Idol winner of the month, or the pre-superfreak Michael Jackson have had more money spent on their green room catering than we have amassed from our CD sales in 15 years of selling our 5 albums.
Our total number of units in hands of customers is about 17,000. This modest production level isn't too shabby by our folkie standards, but would be a career ending disaster for any of the big minnows mentioned above.
My point is that a few bucks nibbled off the cost of a CD might well be satisfying in a "gee, I really bargained that sucker down at that yardsale, heehee" mentality for the purchaser; but it adds up to real loss to the performer.
We put a value on the hard work we put into our CDs, and our customers do as well. We also value our fan-base. Without them, we would just be a bunch of drunk folks singing in the woods while wearing funny clothes.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Skivee
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 11:16 AM

Sorry:
"We are nearly through the second pressing of 1,000"...etc.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 11:23 AM

Breezy,let me repeat,what artists decide to sell their cds for is their own prerogative,likewise the amount of playing time,they decide to record.
the 4 cds available on my website,contain 21 tracks, 19 tracks 17 tracks,and 28 tracks,respectively,I reckon thats value for money.
whether I decide to discount for bulk buying is also my prerogative,I sometimes do.,but that is my decision.
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: treewind
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 11:39 AM

"Anahata, are you therefore saying that you don't give any discount at gigs"
Actually, we do. See my first posting in the thread. In particular,
- £12 vs. WG "RRP" of £13
- £10 per CD if you buy more than 1
- £10 for "Sharp Practice" since we paid for a re-pressing and the cost (to us) per CD is much lower.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 05:27 PM

Ahoy Capn

The sympathy jibe/taunt/winde up was prompted by you mentioning age and [lack of] employment openings, which we have in common.

Please, no offence intended though it could be taken

65 mins is still a long time.

Thank you for your contribution to this and numerous other threads.

must come and catch you in the act sometime, are you ever near Watford herts?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 05:40 PM

hello capn, - in his sea boots

hey , great trailing leg action , but how did you manage to remove the hurdle from the picture, and to be that supple at your age is to be comm mate.ended, good on ya

to me the S W of over there is Limerick, so have you met Terry Wogan yet?

how have the natives taken to you? cos theres alot of em over here from over there to be sure.

purile jokes, been up all day


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Skivee
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:05 PM

Wow, Breezy. I've never, ever heard anyone complain about getting an album that is too long. I could see thinking that movies, plays, hyperconservative reactionary overly capitalistic administrations might be going on too long; but it's easy enough to stop a CD and go back to it later, right?
Penquin Eggs, as wonderful as it was, always struck me as being short. On the other hand, the original version was an LP. The maximum length for LPs was around 40 minutes.
The increased capacity of CD prompted us to do at least 15 cuts per album. The latest album, BlackJack, has 21. This may be viewed as making 6 extra cuts to our fans than the 'standard" for just $3 more than our earlier albums.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 04:36 AM

If there is a case of 'over=feeding' and 'folk obesity' then I've just found it!

its quality rather than quantity in my H O

so the 'discount' is in the form of extra tracks?

What about splitting 20 into 2 CDs,- best if you had 24 tracks - it would reduce some costs and generate more income and a possible 'Double Album'

just something to dwell on

Big swell coming in across the Atlantic, 7 metre waves from europe to North Africa, so it may sod up the surfing for my son in Morocco

Rugby this afternoon.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: treewind
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 04:41 AM

Doug Bailey at WildGoose aims for 55 minutes.
An album can be too long - if you can't listen to it all at one sitting it's too long, and usually an hour is starting to be too much, however good the music.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Skivee
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 11:47 AM

Isn't that a bit like saying that a magazine is too big if you can't read the whole thing in one sitting; or telling your bank that you are getting too much interst on your accounts?
It's not like you are forced to listen in one fell swoop.
My recordings have varied from 35 minutes to 69 minutes. Most come in at just under 1 hour.
I look at including more tracks as giving the patron a good value for their money rather than encumbering them with too much music.
Can there BE too much music???
The concept makes my brain squishy. I thought the whole point to performing and recording was to present music to our fans.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 11:57 AM

Interesting concept Ahahata, and not one I'd given any thought to. The problem for me is that I always have more material than I can fit onto a CD, because if it's in my set then I really want it on record, in case people want to take that particular song home - so saving it till next year doesn't occur to me. Also I try to structure my CDs like a set, with a good flow from quicker to slower, sadder to happier etc, plus there's keys and topics and themes to consider, (and cardiac space after a 'heartstopper).' I'd find it much easier to make Cds if they could be 2 hours long.

Maybe this is where I've been going wrong! (I wonder if anyone's actually listened to any of the last tracks on my CDs )

T


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 12:18 PM

Hi Tom, cant say I have

O K I really only listened to the three I mentioned earlier

Because I dont play these CDs as 'background' music as a rule.

You would surely be doing yourself a disservice to put'em all on one

I record for posterity! for the family, for my kids for when I'm gone, I want to haunt em, like I do to some folk already! etc

If you put it 'all down' at once then its a hell of a gap to the next one and the idea is to generate repeat orders is it not, like repeat gigs, so far over a 20 year period, I've put down nearly 22 volumes, consisting of 250 songs , it saves on paper too. it reflects the direction I've travelled.

They are not for sale,I do not plug 'my' Cds at gigs, though it infuriates me when somebody else does and I'm the main attraction, - cheek, sod off, get yer own gig, show respek, - I like to give the audience a break but the practice of planning ,recording etc has been similar I'm sure. My last one contains 11 songs. I hope they would pass the T Bliss standard of 'contrast' as he has made a valid point.
listening to 20 shanties is for the 'Die hards', and Ive got those cds in my collection, deep down underneath the pile at the bottom of the drawer/locker

We won the rugby, me 12 year old scored, beat Watford Grammar 24pts - O

Its the old adage
'Leave em wanting more'


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 12:44 PM

God Speed Snow Goose

Very prissy [joke]

Lovely song, great feel.

whats it about?

Oh yes a Goose

we got lots of them in Verulam Park, you have to mind where you walk, especially at night in the rain, going to the November firework display, and if you slip over, well its not worth thinking about.

farewell


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: pavane
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 07:05 AM

In Trier at Christmas, the buskers were charging Eu15. That seemed to me a bit too much, especially as the pound was so low, and I didn't buy. I might have paid eu10, but if that is below the production cost, then I suppose there is no incentive to sell.

Mrs Pavane's CDs sell for £5 but they are on home-burned CDR. I do print a nice insert too, but we still make a profit (I hope).


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 08:27 AM

Just think Tom, if you only did 45 minutes for a CD.
You coukld have a First Half CD £10 and a Second Half CD £10.
When the audience come to buy, you can ask them which half they liked the most and sell them that CD. If they liked both, you can sell the 2 at lets say £18. Sounds good business.
I would rather have a cd with 8/9 very good songs on, than 18/20 where half of them are just filler songs.

As for listening, and as my family are not too enamoured with Folk, I listen to mine in the car, so It doesn't really matter how long the Cd is. However, if its one of those 18/20 ones with half filler songs, then it can get a bit annoying pressing the button to go to the next song.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 09:21 AM

I would rather have a cd with 8/9 very good songs on, than 18/20 where half of them are just filler songs.[quote]
who says that cds, are filled half full with filler songs.
my cds are not,I dont expect Toms are either.
[You coukld have a First Half CD £10 and a Second Half CD £10.]quote]
Villan ,I have never heard anything so hilarious.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 09:23 AM

LOL


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: caitlin rua
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 10:01 AM

Breezy at 4:36 am:
>What about splitting 20 into 2 CDs,- best if you had 24 tracks - it would reduce some costs and generate more income.

I'm still trying to work out how making two CDs reduces ANY costs. The expenses are the expenses, whether they're studio-produced or home made, last 45 minutes or 70 minutes. Anyway, what's the problem with having a long CD? Ever hear of the track-selector button? I bet the person who made the album didn't think any of the tracks were fillers. Most artists have to think what to leave out.

And "generate more income" how, exactly?

It's a wind-up, right?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 11:01 AM

Yes Caitlin :-)


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: caitlin rua
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 11:54 AM

I didn't mean you, Villan. Got that one -


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 12:28 PM

Hmmm... I think I might agree with Breezy and Anahata on this one. Being brought up on albums with two sides that last between 40 - 45 mins between them, I think I am quite thoroughly conditioned into listening to music in chunks that size. After 45 minutes I am ready to put something else on. That means I rarely listen to longer albums in a single sitting unless they are just on as background. It would suit me if people who did 70 minute albums sequenced tracks as two distinct "suites" that could be listened to as two shorter albumettes. I'd be interested to hear how much thought artists put into the order in which they sequence tracks and whether they see albums as discrete, coherent wholes or just a collection of songs. I rather like the idea that you sweat and fret over track listings...

By the by, I'm also puzzled by the concept of 'bonus tracks'. It's on the album or it isn't! If it is, it ought to work with the rest of the tracks rather than stick out like a blind cobbler's thumb.

A friend who is a physics-of-sound boffin reckons there is some science behind the idea that we lose interest in an album after 50 -60 minutes or so. Anyone know anything about this? I'll aks him next time I see him and report back...


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: treewind
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 01:21 PM

"I rather like the idea that you sweat and fret over track listings..."
It's part of the mastering process.
We've just done one, and we had 17 tracks totalling nearly 70 minutes.
We got sent those on a CD, the result of the first mixing.
We decided which tracks to drop (4 of them), and then juggled the remaining tracks into a sensible order. You have to choose especially carefully the fisrt and last tracks, then fill in the rest keeping a reasonable flow of variety so you don't have too many similar tracks next to each other. Also made notes on sound on a handful of tracks where we though it could be improved.

I then made a fresh CD of the chosen tracks in chosen order, and tried to listen to it all in one go without phone calls and other interruptions. We sent the comments and track list back to WildGoose, and Doug is happy with the choice. If he wasn't he'd have suggested alternatives...

So certainly some effort is made.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 02:24 PM

"It's part of the mastering process."

Not for me, it's much more fundamental. I effectively 'compose' my albums - writing and arranging to order, in order. The schedule's decided before I record a note, but it's not set in stone, because sometimes a track goes off on a direction I hadn't planned (it happens during recording sometimes), and then I have to change the sequence and/or the arrangement of the tracks either side. I sweat blood over the sequence - as I do over my set lists and stage intros. Not that I don't change my mind on stage too sometimes - but I do believe that sequencing a gig or CD is a craft worthy of as much attention as singing and playing. Tom


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 03:12 PM

Given the current value of the pound v the euro, we have just dropped our CD prices from 15 to 10 euros when playing in a euro country. And I may say we shifted a fair few at the weekend in Sixmilebridge, Co Clare.
(I expect there's a way of making a euro sign, but I dont know how...anybody know?)


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: treewind
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 03:16 PM

Try this €
Done by the sequence: €


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 03:23 PM

On a MacBook (the white ones anyway) it's Alt then numeral 2: €

Dunno about Mac desktops -


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: treewind
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 04:49 PM

Yes but if your press alt-whatever it generates a character that may not be a euro on everybody's computer, whereas if you spell it out € in the HTML code it's guaranteed to display as a euro symbol on any computer (if the computer has a € in any of its fonts)

Same with £ which sometimes displays and sometimes doesn't if you use the £ symbol on your keyboard.
Again spelling it £ (as I did above) always works.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 05:05 PM

Just for the record (no pun intended)

Susan and I present house concerts at which Performers can sell their CDs. In the same house, I have a business selling CDs. When there's a house concert, I will not sell that performer's CD, as a courtesy to the performer.

Generally, my prices (not at house concerts) are lower than those that the performer charges directly.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 05:08 PM

Alt GR on right hand side of space bar and then 4.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 05:20 PM

From treewind up there earlier today

''You have to choose especially carefully the fisrt and last tracks, then fill in the rest''

'first' 100 rimes please and on my dusk in the mooring

There you go , fillers, in this case 11 of the buggers.

caitlin rua; Of course its not a wind up, how dare you suggest so, say sorry.

Andy cutting , only 10


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 05:25 PM

and can we return to the main point of our discussion and not about £ $ and Euro please.

that would have been a good buy then at 10 sodding Es


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 04:41 AM

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=27ZiixkruCY&feature=relatedhttp://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=27ZiixkruCY&feature=related


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 04:45 AM

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=27ZiixkruCY&feature=related


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 04:46 AM

ignore 10:45


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Cuan Korsten
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 10:46 AM

Hey everybody, greetings from South Africa.

On the subject of price I would just like to offer my 10 cents (or pence) worth. I'm not sure if it will apply to other countries but in my country I've found that the general public are price sensitive. I arrived at this conclusion by experimenting with the price of my cd at gigs. I started out selling at R100 (cd stores here sell at roughly R150) and would sell on average 2 cds per gig. I then halved my price (R50) and called it a gig special thinking that I'd sell more but only succeeded in averaging about 3 per gig. I incorporated various incentives (free t-shirts etc) but that didn't have the desired affect. Finally I pushed my price up to R70 per cd and suddenly I began to average 6 - 10 per gig.

So, make of that what you may, but I've found that price can make a difference. Perception of value perhaps.

Btw, CDBaby has just reported on their sales figures for '08 and CDs are still a viable option for independent artists:

***Excerpt from update***
1,013,478 CDs sold in 2008, compared to 993,175 discs in 2007, a modest 2% increase (but quite a victory in light of 14% sales declines for the industry at large, IMO).

39,100 new album titles added in 2008, up 7% from the prior year, and proof that CDs continue to be a viable sales driver for independent artists
***

Goodluck to all of you,
Cuan

My blog


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 01:26 PM

since when are people from R S A sensitive ! [ joke]

pop corn, chewing gum, peanuts ,bubblegum, ice cream, candy floss and eskimo pie, ag deddy how we miss


perhaps your singing just improved C K


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 10:55 AM

"If i pay £10 admission , or even £8 should not the artiste ask a more inviting price for their CDs e.g £5 as they will already be getting a fee?"

No

Your £10 or even £8 goes to the organiser not the musicians.
Turn it round - If I buy a CD at £10 from the band, shouldn't the organiser give me a discount on my entry fee? - Let me know when you are going to try it, I'd like to be there

WYSIWYG - are you saying that you pirate cd's and justify it by suggesting you are helping the musicians? Might be better to take your friends along to the gig.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JedMarum
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 12:11 PM

I am certain the sale of CDs is not just an issue of cost. I think most CD buyers already have too many CDs.

I play concerts and sell CDs at full price typically ($15), but offer a discount to encourage purchase of multiples ... and that seems to work. I play festivals and often offer the same deal.

When I play pubs - I usually sell CDs at full price. The audience at pubs is less likely to buy many CDs. BUT at pubs people fill the tip jar. It strikes me that every night at pubs, someone or two or three people will throw a $20 in the tip jar. If they'd have taken a CD, I'd have had to give them change!! To me that says, they really appreciate the music, they want to express their appreciation (and it is almost alway anonomous) BUT they don't care to bring home a CD!


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JedMarum
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 12:12 PM

ooops!

I mean anonymous!


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 12:31 PM

I like the American system of giving tips,so if people have enjoyed the night,and ther wish they can give extra money.
this frequently happens tome when I play in Irish pubs,it would be great if it happened in English folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 02:54 PM

>>Your £10 or even £8 goes to the organiser not the musicians.
<<
Rafflesbear that is an absolute load of b*ll*cks.

The money collected at the door pays the musicians and covers the cost of putting the event on.

I as an organiser have never taken a penny for all my efforts and I find your comments offensive.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 03:51 PM

I will second Villan on that

You the artiste have agreed your fee, now the organiser sweats until the fee is collected on the door and if not , which happens frequently, the organiser puts his hand in his own pocket.

often the artiste demands a % of any surplus, nice one, makes it harder to build up 'kitty' but too often they outprice themselves by being greedy

Only Andy Irvine was considerate to ask if we had taken enough to cover his fee.



rafflesbear, you are wrong or maybe just ignorant of what really goes on



J B, organiser Winwdward/Spotlight 5 years experience


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 04:21 PM

I stick by what I wrote and this is why

If the musician negotiates a fee of lets say £150 purely for argument sake and I don't turn up - then the musician receives £150

If I do turn up with two of my mates at £8 a head then between us we pay £24. Does that £24 go to the musician? No - it goes to the organiser and the musician receives £150

What I pay goes to the organiser not to the musician

The musician gets his fee from the organiser and there is nothing wrong with that. - unless of course you operate a system where the musician gets the gate takings and you get your money from the bar?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 04:25 PM

PS - Breezy - I've not heard of musicians taking a % of overs - at what level are we talking here?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 04:31 PM

you are just not on the same planet as Folk club 'organisers' are you?

The fee comes from the door take

a % is the bonus of over above the door take

there are expenses for running a club but then you dont know that do you

according to you the fee appears from thin air, which is where you are

Go forth and organise

or just go mutliply and forth


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 04:41 PM

What a plonker


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 04:45 PM

Sorry Breezy, let's keep it cool but I think you are in danger of contradicting yourself here

In the context of this thread - should the musician give you a discount on their CD because you have paid to get in?

What I am saying is that when you pay your entry fee you are paying it to the organiser and YES the organiser has to get his/her money back because they have the expenses of running a club, hiring premises, paying for publicity and I don't know what else - but whether I go or not makes no difference (on the night) to the musician, and YES I hope that the organiser gets his/her money back because if they don't they will go out of 'business'

The organiser has to look after his/her finances and the musician has to look after his/her finances. If they are confident of selling CDs then they can probably keep their fees down

I ask what level you are describing because myself I am talking about musicians working hard and scraping a living out of it - what happens in the exalted world of the rich and famous is outside my experience and knowlrdge

It is context - should the musician offer a discount on CDs


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: treewind
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 04:49 PM

"I stick by what I wrote and this is why"
You are still wrong. Even if there is a surplus at the end of the evening, the money goes into the club's funds, not the organiser's pocket.

Many club organisers *PAY* their own entrance fee. Into the club funds, from their own pocket.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 04:56 PM

Actually Anahata, they pay it in time and effort :-)


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 04:58 PM

club = organiser = club

I am not suggesting that anyone makes personal profit and absolutely not that organisers are in it for money. Only that the club and the organiser are not the same as the musician

the sums and equations are done out of sight of the audience and a financial arrangement is reached which will hopefully suit both but that is nothing to do with whether the musician owes it to you personally to reduce the price of his CDs because you thought it was worth paying the entry fee to see him/her


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 05:00 PM

Well actaully an organsier can ban the sale of CD's if they so wished. We don't of course.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: treewind
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 05:18 PM

I think the point often is: discount compared with what?
If an artist pays the full cost up front for making a CD and effectively owns his own record label, the "normal" or "usual" sale price is by definition whatever he sells them for at gigs, as that's almost the whole sales channel.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 05:26 PM

Well actaully an organiser can ban the sale of CD's if they so wished. We don't of course.
no they cant,unless it has been previously agreed between the organiser and the artist,in a written contract.
Raffles Bear,is right,the money does go to the organiser.
the organiser ,then pays the artist ,now depending on the contract,they may or may not have agreed 80 percent against the door takings,whichever is the greater,or the artist may be working for a flat fee . I have done both.
what Rafflesbear has not thought about,is that if the artist doesnt draw a big crowd ,he will not get booked again because the organiser has lost money,so it does matter to the artist that he consistently pulls a good crowd .[unless its a club that is subsidised in other ways] three singers nights to every guest night etc.
raffles is right the sale of cds is irrelevant to the performers contract.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 05:27 PM

Well put Anahata

The price charged is usually the going price in the environment of the sale - Full price CDs in a high street at £15, online at £8 but neither of these outlets are available to most grass roots artists

The going price in a pub/folk club seems to be £10 + or -

to discount from the going rate would seem strange


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 05:37 PM

>>no they cant,unless it has been previously agreed between the organiser and the artist,in a written contract.
<<

I could stop a performer selling CD's if I so wished.

You fail to understand, that when you play at a venue, it is the organiser who is in charge. you are being paid to perform. You are employed by them.

As it is, I go out of my way to help performers maximise their profits to my venue. I sometimes pay more than I have agreed to performers becuase I believe they deserve it. That is my decision.

If you don't like my rules, you don't get employed.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 05:47 PM

I appreciate your contribution Cap'n

I do however know only too well that the artist needs to pull in the audience or they won't get booked again. I have followed the career of the relatively young duo Norcsalordie with an extremely strong and very personal interest and through this I am vividly aware that no matter how proficient you are or even how well you go down, if the crowd is not there in the numbers that makes it economical you can kiss goodbye to the rebooking

I have seen packed houses and I have seen pubs where the duo threatened to outnumber the audience. As a supporter of Norcsalordie I have contacted what's on websites and radio etc to promote gigs being held in pubs. I hope to create awareness and to persuade people to listen and to turn up for gigs and to publicise their activities

Did you know that Norcsalordie are appearing at Folkmob in Eltham as a support act for Martin Carthy on March 25th? tickets available from sue@folkmob.com

After three years of trying to get noticed and living every moment of an up and coming band I know only too well the need to bums on seats and to provide value for money - hence the bit of advertising above which I hope will work to the benefit of the club they are playing in

but as you say - it still has nothing to do with the price of their CDs


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JedMarum
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 06:44 PM

The Villan is right on. IF there is a contract that contract will almost always set the rules about CD sales - and if a venues says no CD sales (I can't imagine why any would say that) then there are no CD sales.

Actually I have always found venues to be accommodating with respect to CD sales. They realize it is an important part of a performer's income and normally want to be helpful in that regard.

BUT even if there were no rules established in the contract with respect to CD sales - the venue is the host. Their wishes should be respected by the visiting performer.

If any of these issues are not pleasing to both parties - they won't do business again. There is never a need to get into pissing contests over such things.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 07:09 PM

jed,no,all the contracts I have ever used,and that includes musicians union contracts did not say anything about cd sales.
if an organiser tried to stipulate that I couldnt sell cds I wouldnt do the gig.
you are misinformed .
[BUT even if there were no rules established in the contract with respect to CD sales - the venue is the host. Their wishes should be respected by the visiting performer]quote jed marum.
this is absolute nonsense,legally if cds are not mentioned in a contract,an organiser,can not stop a performer from selling his/ her cds,furthermore it would be extremely bad manners for an organiser,to try and prevent an artist selling cds,without having discussed the matter when the gig was arranged,or without a contract being signed by both parties.
JED check out musicians union contracts,they even stipulate that there should be a safe supply of electricty,but they dont mention[or didnt when I last used one],mention cd sales.
if performers use MU contracts,they THEN have the backing of the M U


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 07:19 PM

If you don't like my rules, you don't get employed.[villan quote]
NO if you want to book an artist,you have to come to an agreement, you pay their fee,and anything else they require as stated in the contract,if they want to stay in a two star hotel [or want to sell cds at your venue] or certain kind of chairs,or whatever,this has been known[was it Maccoll and Seeger?] ,if you want them, you accept their stipulations,or they dont play your venue.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 05:34 AM

Dick

I have never stopped any performer from selling CD's, but please don't make the assumption that you have the right.

If an organiser does not allow sales of Cd's, then they need to make sure it is clearly understood before both sign the contract.

A performer has the right to refuse such an agreement and would then probably not do the gig.

I have turned quite a few performers down, for one reason or another, which is normal (but never sale of CD's). Either the amount they want is too much for me to pay and we can't reach agreement or there is an expected minimum capacity required e.g. 200, when we only have 100 max.

Generally the fee is the first thing I want to know. That way we can stop at that point, if I can't match or even do better.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: treewind
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 05:43 AM

I've never seen it at a folk club, but Sidmouth festival used to discourage artists from selling CDs direct. They wanted you to go though the main music stallholders (who pay the festival for the privilege, of course, and take a cut on the sales). It didn't stop some prominent artists from setting up shop at their concert spots regardless, and you can't turn away empty handed someone who comes up to you asking for a CD so we always carry a handful with us in instrument cases.

Contrast with Wadebridge, where someone set up a stall selling CDs at no profit at all - it was considered a service to artists provided by the festival.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 05:54 AM

yes, I do have a right,to sell my cds,unless I have come to an agreement otherwise.
you organise a club,and you negotiate a fee for the artist to play the club,I would not sign a contractwith an organiser that prevened me from selling cds[in fact you would have to sign an m u contract,before I played your particular club,these contracts do not mention cd sales.therefore legally you cant stop me from selling my cds].
If an organiser does not allow sales of Cd's, then they need to make sure it is clearly understood before both sign the contract.[quote]
exactly what I am saying ,and have said in previous posts.
Villan,legally, you cant dictate to a performer in your club,that he cant sell his cds,you have to have the performers agreement,most performers would not accept that they cant sell cds,or if they accepted it would increase their fee to compensate for potential loss of cd revenue.
you may be an employer,but you cannot dictate terms to performers,it has to be done by mutual consent.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 05:57 AM

Actually, does the landlord have any legal right to a say? Might there be a technical issue with planning or licensing laws? Does anyone know?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 06:20 AM

>>it has to be done by mutual consent<<

Exactly.

Thats the point I have been trying to get over to you in various ways.

The whole thing is mutual consent. If I don't like your terms and you don't like mine, we don't do a deal.

The impression rightly or wrongly from you, was that you have devine rights.

I was disagreeing with you on that.

You have your requirements and if they match mine, then fine, I will try and book you.

I am all for performers selling Cd's


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 06:24 AM

>>Might there be a technical issue with planning or licensing laws? Does anyone know? <<

By that Tom, do you mean the sale of Cd's or soemthing like that?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 06:42 AM

Yes. Might there be legal technicalities which are routinely overlooked?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 07:12 AM

The impression rightly or wrongly from you, was that you have devine rights.[quote villan]
I do have legal rights to sell my cds ,unless I have relinquished those rights in a signed contract with you.
no contract I have ever signed mentions the sale of cds,those contracts deal with fee, plus accomodation.
I dont know where you get the word devine from,but I have legal rights to sell cds,unless I have specifically relinquished those rights.
you said [and we are not talking about imagined impressions here]Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan - PM
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 05:00 PM

Well actaully an organsier can ban the sale of CD's if they so wished. We don't of course ,From: The Villan - PM
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 05:37 PM

>>no they cant,unless it has been previously agreed between the organiser and the artist,in a written contract.
<<

I could stop a performer selling CD's if I so wished.

You fail to understand, that when you play at a venue, it is the organiser who is in charge. you are being paid to perform. You are employed by them.

As it is, I go out of my way to help performers maximise their profits to my venue. I sometimes pay more than I have agreed to performers becuase I believe they deserve it. That is my decision.

If you don't like my rules, you don't get employed.[end of quote]
That does not sound like mutual consent.
LES,Before you make statements which could be misconstrued to be intimidating,check your legal situatuion.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 07:32 AM

I don't have to Dick.

As I said, I don't stop sale of CD's, I encourage it. You will find that bookings at Faldingworth are done correctly with suitable fees and B&B if required and a meal for thsoe that have to travel a long distance. We try to look after the performer as much as possible.

Lets just get back to the question in hand.

I feel that if an artist wants to discount, then it is up to them, not anybody else.

Les


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 07:38 AM

You might have a point there Tom.

So basically are venues allowed to sell CD's etc on a commercial basis. If you have a PEL and are covered for PRS, are you allowed or anybody else to commercially sell propducts to the audience?

There must be somebody out there who can tell us if it is legal.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 09:00 AM

so Capn you are offered a gig, lets say locally, less than an hour or twos travel time, ends at 10.00p.m. you can be home in bed by 1.00

the fee is anything between £100 and £n

but the punters are not allowed to buy your CD

You are not to advertise their existence.

You refuse the gig

You accept the gig


No shit , answer yes or No or your responx se is invalid




Dear Anahata, I hope all the artiste gave the stallholder a freebie in Wadebridge.....

But I could swear I saw you carrying a CD case as you crossed the Platt

Wish it would stop raining then I could go out and play and give everyone some peace and quiet


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: JedMarum
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 09:57 AM

Captain Birdseye - I am not misinformed. I've made my living at performing for the last decade. I play at least 150 year. A significant percentage of those shows are under formal contract, and every one of those shows has at least a letter/email between me and the venue, that details our agreement about the event. I am not Musician's Union member.

Most of the contracts I am offered by the venue and ALL of the contracts that I present to the venue stipulate that I have the right to sell CDs at the concert - if there is an agreed to arrangement for the venue to sell, and/or an agreement for a percentage of sales to be paid to the venue, that is detailed in the contract.

And if there is an agreement signed with NO stipulation as to the sale of CDs, I agree that a performer might feel he or she had the right to sell them - I simply said above that I would choose to abide by the venue's request not to, because I am a "guest in their house" - so to speak. I would simply not return.

AND by the way - all of this is a "tempest in a tea cup" - I have never had a concert venue ask me NOT to sell CDs. My whole point in this conversation is to say they have the right to stipulate that in the contract. I'd probably not sign such a contract, but it's their venue.

There are times where it's inappropriate for me, as an artist to sell CDs. Some of the obvious ones; I cannot sell directly from TV or radios shows (even though I can encourage sales from iTunes or other online sources), I've played some weddings and funerals - I've played memorial and various public services. I've played for classes at universities. I've been hired for big fundraising concert events, some of which allowed me to sell and some did not specify. I chose NOT to sell, but gave them CDs to sell for their fund raising.

The whole issue of CD sales comes down to what is agreeable between the venue and the artist. I have always taken the lead of the venue and I have never been disappointed. But if there came a time when I saw contract stipulations I could not abide by,I would not sign it.

Good fences make good neighbors.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 10:49 AM

>>But if there came a time when I saw contract stipulations I could not abide by,I would not sign it.
<<

Jed

I assume you would get back to the organiser and discuss the issue. If it couldn't be resolved and nobody would give way, then the contract wouldn't be signed by either party. You would go on your way and find other venues. There should be no hard feelings on either side. That's business.

Les


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,JedMarum
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 11:09 AM

Yes, Les. I've never had a non-friendly relationship with a venue. I've one or two, over the years that made me "wipe the dust from my sandals" so to speak, and decide not to return ... but that is extremely rare.

Usually, when there's a bump in the road of contract issues, you discuss those issues and sort out an reasonable answer. For CD sales, since that is what we've been discussing - if I did have a venue that really wanted me to perform and they had a NO SALES policy for some good reason, I would play the event if they were willing to adjust my fee accordingly.

I find that my best interest and the best interest of the venue pretty typically the same. We both need to "win" if the evening is to be successful. If I am profitable and they are not, I cannot feel the evening was a success - if only for the self-interest reason that I know that venue won't continue to operate if they don't meet the financial needs. Now, some venues are OK with a level of loss at each show - but most know exactly what they need to cover an operational and, hopefully a growth model. They know their goals, their needs and their audience. That is why I am most inclined to follow their lead - assuming they offer an attractive package.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: GUEST,JedMarum
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 11:11 AM

So - Yes, I would definitely discuss with a venue any issues I found "abrasive" or troublesome in their contract.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 12:44 PM

I have never had an organiser ,trying to prevent cd sales.
but the fact remains that IN English Folk clubs,in my experience,cd sales do not enter into the contract,between a performer and organiser.
with respect Jed[youhave more experience in America than me],but IN England,I have probably more experience than you.
and as far as I am concerned the only contracts worth signing are Musicians Union contracts,[these do not mention cd sales]because in the event of a dispute ,I would have proper back up.
I certainly would not expect to turn up at a venue and be told on the night,by the organiser that I could not sell cds.
If I signed a contract relinquishing my rights to sell cds,I would expect a higher fee as compensation.
the Villan can say what he likes about him being the employer,but if he wishes to BOOK a performer it has to be agreed mutually.
Villan ,you have made certain statements,such as [ you could stop me selling cds in your venue],legally you cannot unless I have signed a document reliquinshing those rights.
of course this thread is just a BREEZY wind up.everey artist has aright to sell their cds for what they like regardless of what Breezy might think.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 01:09 PM

this thread is most boring now, and the capn is sulking and refuses to answer my questions

he also does repeat himself

Does a parrot come to mind ?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 01:34 PM

>>[ you could stop me selling cds in your venue],legally you cannot unless I have signed a document reliquinshing those rights.
<<

Thats excatly right Dick. It takes 2 to tango. I will sign your contract, if you sign mine. :-)

If I were to ban sales of Cd's, then only performers who agreed to that would be allowed to perform at my venue. So effectively I could stop you, becuase you wouldn't get to play at the venue.

As I have said already, I don't ban sale of CD's or ever have done and never would, unless the law of the land didn't allow it.

This is all very interesting :-)

I think I am going to build into my policies that

"CD's can be sold at Faldingworth Live by the the main guests, without a fee from the organiser. Support acts need to get agreement from the main guest before being allowed to sell their own CD's. In return we expect that the CD's are produced professionally and are sold at a realistic price such as £10 per CD. At the same time we do not expect the main guest to put undue pressure on the audience to buy such CD's"

I honestly think that the organiser can help considerably by setting out the policies that apply to the venue. It saves a performer getting in touch with an organiser, when it is clear that the policies are not in synch, with their requirements.

I do wish acts would just mention at the end of their first set and before the interval, that "CD's are available to purchase at £xx , if you so wish"
Then leave it at that. If people like your music and they can afford to buy a CD, they will. Don't try making them feel guilty. I don't like to lose my audience becuase they feel pressurised to buy CD's

Sometimes it is very cringing to have a performer going on all the time about the CD's.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 01:54 PM

Thats a good point Vill about singers,- I'll avoid 'artiste' -pluggung their prescious CDs between every song.

If you remember, - though it was an age ago now - you asked me at the end of my gig at the F V H if I had any CDs.

if people are interested they will enquire anyway.

I'm still waiting for your check


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 02:07 PM

what cheque?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 05:15 PM

The one for the CD I sent you

and the rest of the gig money, that'll teach me to not have it counted out on my hand.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 05:32 PM

What are you on about Breezy?

I have sent a PM.


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 07:54 AM

"CD's can be sold at Faldingworth Live by the the main guests, without a fee from the organiser. Support acts need to get agreement from the main guest before being allowed to sell their own CD's. In return we expect that the CD's are produced professionally and are sold at a realistic price such as £10 per CD. At the same time we do not expect the main guest to put undue pressure on the audience to buy such CD's"

I honestly think that the organiser can help considerably by setting out the policies that apply to the venue. It saves a performer getting in touch with an organiser, when it is clear that the policies are not in synch, with their requirements.

I do wish acts would just mention at the end of their first set and before the interval, that "CD's are available to purchase at £xx , if you so wish"
Then leave it at that. If people like your music and they can afford to buy a CD, they will. Don't try making them feel guilty. I don't like to lose my audience becuase they feel pressurised to buy CD's

Sometimes it is very cringing to have a performer going on all the time about the CD's.
Go ahead Villan,enjoy yourself,sounds like you might make a good prime minister .
would we all have to watch aston villa play football as well .LOL


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 09:10 AM

>>would we all have to watch aston villa play football as well .LOL <<

Hey what a great idea Dick LOL


Oh by the way Dick, most people could do a better job than the current Prime Minister LOL


The idea was spawned from your comments Dick :-)


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: breezy
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 09:51 AM

Yes stop making us all cringe at the repetitiveness of plugging CDs, if you are good enohg people will ask

I wish to withdraw a previous statement I made about Vill, it is I who owe he, the man is a gentleman of the highest order, but be warned, cross him once and its your loss.

What P M ?

and have you answered my questionaire yet Capn ?
If not , why not?


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Subject: RE: Discount CDs at gigs
From: The Villan
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 09:58 AM

>>the man is a gentleman of the highest order, but be warned, cross him once and its your loss<<

Yes you blaggard. Off with your head. LOL :-)


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