So this blog entry isn't about any particular new music but rather about the way many bands, perhaps unknowingly, treat their fans. The specific issue I'm concerned about has to do with what happens in preparation for a new album release.
An open letter to bands/musicians,
As a fan of a particular band, I am much more likely to "pre-order" an album than the average listener. I am on the band's email list and get reminder after reminder to "go pre-order the new cd!" So here are a few scenarios which are just frustrating!
1. I pre-order the CD which is priced comparable to the digital price (approx. $10) and then, because I am such a dedicated fan and want a physical copy of the CD, I pay another few dollars ($2-4) for shipping. But this doesn't get my "express" shipping - just regular. And I don't see the point in spending $7-9 for express shipping. But I feel good because I'm directly supporting the band by ordering from their website!
So what happens, the album is released, it's all over every digital store (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) and I eagerly arrive home to check the mail for my copy. But it doesn't arrive that day, or the next or the next - and finally on Saturday - 5 days later - after I've spent days with friends posting on facebook about how amazing the album is - does it arrive in my mail.
2. I go to pre-order the CD which is priced at the same $10 - but then when I get to checkout and enter my address it adds in the shipping which is nearly $6! I've mailed a lot of CDs to people and there is no way it should cost this much to mail a CD. And again, why should I pay almost as much for mailing of a CD as I am for the music itself, and again it will arrive days after it has been released.
3. Finally, I go to the trouble of pre-ordering, etc. etc. and then, on the day of the album release, not only is it cheaper on iTunes, or Amazon but they have included special "iTunes only" exclusive tracks! Some of these I may be able to download individually and pay the extra .99 but sometimes they are listed as "album only" which means to get 1 song I don't already have I have to buy the entire album.
So bands - please think about this stuff when you are sending your emails out to your best customers, your fans, about your new album. Let us know ahead of time what our options are. Don't save exclusive tracks for digital sites if you want us to buy the album from you! Include those as digital downloads for us too! And don't ask us to pay $10 for a CD AND another $5 for shipping when the CD will be $8.99 on Amazon on Tuesday - and even more so if you can't get it to us on the release date.
We are your fans and we want to buy your music and support you as much and as directly as we can. Please help us do that in a way that doesn't make us feel like we're the idiot for throwing away money simply because we love your music.