Pricing Changes at SSD

after some soul-searching, it's time to make a change...

28 May 2014

So I tend to mainly write about my day job (and occasional hobby too) of programming/software engineering on here, but, seeing as I can’t be bothered to resurrect the label Wordpress to write this blog, it will have to serve as the best place to express some thoughts on the future of the label I run, Superstar Destroyer Records.

We’re about to release Droids, the awesome second album by Alpha Male Tea Party, and after some discussion with the dudes in the band we’ve decided to step away from our mantra of ‘pay-what-you-feel’ downloads for this release cycle.

There’s no saying that we definitely won’t go back to it at some stage, but there are a few factors at play here:

  1. All of our releases appear instantly on Torrent sites
  2. As PWYL downloads, one in ten people pay, and the average pay per download is a bit under 50p
  3. We’re seeing more and more plays from streaming sites

The logic here has always been that we get as many people as possible going through our site and downloading things, but the more money we invest in emerging bands, the more pressure there is to actually break even in order to y’know, keep being a label.

The maths is simple. 50p a download equals over 1400 downloads before we’ve say, paid off the first run of manufactured CDs for a record - and that’s by no means the only cost we have. If, instead, 200 people pay £4 and the other one-thousand-two-hundred torrent it, then we’ve still covered our costs for at least part of the release.

So, with that in mind, our new plan is that this album (and subsequent albums, if the release cycle goes well) will be a paid download, and EPs/singles will remain pay-what-you-like.

It feels important that we explain our motives as like most small labels we depend on the goodwill of the fans of our bands. This isn’t something we’re committed to forever, but we have to try it, if not for ourselves then for the bands. Another simple fact is that 50% of nothing is, well, nothing; we need to break even before the bands get paid or we can reinvest the money in our next release.

Hopefully nobody begrudges us trying this out, but if you’ve got some ideas or thoughts you want to share on this, then get in touch via our Facebook page, or contact me directly on Twitter.

Remember, you can still get all of our old releases for free, or pay-what-you-like!

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