The old, failed, music test

So, last year I did a little bit of an experiment – what price my music? I dabble in recording, mostly using whatever tools I have to hand. I don’t claim to be professional in any way but, after running out an EP using 4Track on my iPad I thought – would people pay for this? I’d been fiddling with Soundcloud and Audiofarm for a couple of months, uploading material to accounts there. Then I found BandCamp, a site you can use to (try to) monetise your tracks. You put up your music on anything from a fixed price to a “Pay what you want” scale and the site takes a (substantial) cut of any revenue you take. I thought “Why not, let’s see what happens…”

So, last March, I uploaded the Waves EP by Mystery Beer Can (it’s what I call myself when I release a song) for £1 and let it run. I promoted it a little on here and on a separate blog, as well as on Twitter. To say the results are underwhelming is an understatement. Most people didn’t listen beyond the second track and I made zero sales.

So what can I take away from this? I guess the people that found it didn’t like it. Or at least, not enough to warrant a purchase. I also didn’t really promote the music enough, and I think that’s the biggest realisation – I just don’t have time. I really like writing and recording songs, I like letting people listen to them and tell me what they think. But I just don’t have the time to be a performer. It’s not my bread and butter and it’s not what I really want to do long term.

So I’ve abandoned the idea of BandCamp for the moment and turned my attention back to SoundCloud where I can try and get a larger community listening to my tracks. Yesterday I added the second MBC EP, Darkest of Days. You can listen to it below or head to SoundCloud here. If you want, you can also download the tracks for nowt (either individually from SoundCloud or all together from this here .zip file) – they’re under creative commons so feel free to share them with your friends and family, mix them, whatever; just make sure you credit me ;)

And there’s another interesting outcome from this; in the 24 hours or so since I uploaded it, for free, I’ve had five plays and one download. It’s the one download that interests me; apart from wanting to know who liked the song enough to download it, I wonder if it would still have been downloaded if there was a cost?

Anyway, here’s the tunes – feel free to comment here or on SoundCloud.

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About Andrew Beeken

I make films (shortcutfilms.co.uk), sometimes music (stageofhistory.co.uk) and build websites for people. Check out my personal site (andrewbeeken.co.uk) for random ramblings...

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