Friday, August 3, 2012

Good News, Bad News, Interesting News

I was surprised to learn a recent music brand of mine had apparently made more money than I spent on it.

So, that's the good news. Yay...

The bad news is that it took a year and a half to get to this point. The return was through product sales, downloads, royalties, and live appearances and sales.

The interesting news is that in research from CDBaby (which also collects all monies from iTunes, Amazon, etc), digital sales (meaning downloads) made up almost 60% of the sales. Meaning for the first time, I made more selling downloads online than I did selling CDs.

Now, I do not count this as the death knell of CD sales (see this blog...), but it does show that download sales are not a little thing we do along with our physical product sales anymore. (Although adding in live CD sales at shows, CDs still win out as the main money maker. Live is still where CDs are king).

So, if you are wondering how specifically I accomplished making back the money I spent, the first answer is: I didn't spend alot. I was lucky to trade out most of the costs of making these products. I did spring for one moderately successful radio promotion, but after judging the first return from royalties, that will not come close to paying for itself. The single made the top 30 of Billboard, and got decent spins, but not hit status (top 10).

While I haven't done an enormous amount of marketing, I did pay for a Facebook Ad that grew the Facebook page into the thousands (over 5.000 now). I'm not exactly how many of those people bought the CD, or even follow the page.

I also have been doing and marketing to those listeners every month. I can add those folks to my email list if they give me their email address. Jango is very cool! Plus it's just nice to know people are listening and liking.

I have also been very careful to put up a free download at Reverbnation each month and grow my email list that way.

Now, I will also say with no modesty or braggadocio that the music brand is very good, and very well done on all fronts. It sounds amazing, was mixed by a Grammy-winning engineer, played by the top session players in Nashville, and the photos and design are top notch. So quality-wise, like I preach alot, it stands up to the competition of the industry.

Frankly, I think all brand campaigns are a hazy mystery to why some things sell, and why others don't. All I know is I followed this strategy: Make a great product, make sure as many people knew about it and how to buy it, and keep working it.

I could work it more and have more success, but the first goal is to make back what you spent on it, and we are there.

Thought you might like to see the results and how it happened.

Eric Copeland is a music producer, and sometimes, yes Virginia, a music artist in his own right. His contemporary jazz music brand Player A released an EP "On the Side", and a full national CD called "Our Own Devices" in 2011 to rave reviews and apparently some success. Find out more at or

1 comment:

Jeannette Petkau said...

This is very encouraging to hear as I am stepping out in Faith after recording a CD. I would love to see the blessings returned and know that there's work ahead!