Thursday, February 19, 2009

Taking pay to play to a new level: band offer to pay fans

Officer Roseland came up with a neat idea - offering to pay fans a dollar to listen to their new album. It wasn't really about paying fans, of course, it was about generating acres of cheap publicity. And it's worked.

Providing you don't mind the complaints - some people feel the band have devalued themselves. Or possibly music. Or maybe even the whole of creation. So now the band have tried again to explain the whole idea:

Our initial intention was to see what the general public would do if given the choice of "Give or Take" for their $1.00 stimulus payment for downloading our album. A sociological experiment of sorts. Is it gimmicky? Sure. This being our 4th release, we've learned (often, the hard way) some lessons about music and marketing. Our main objective is to gain new listeners and to help a worthy cause. Obviously, the timing of this release could NOT have been better and truthfully, this idea was spawned soon after people were receiving their initial stimulus payments from G.W. Bush, LONG before the Obama stimulus plan was even a thought!

For the "Take" portion (where the fan actually gets paid) the band will be pay $1.00 through paypal. We are funding that through our own (the bands) money. However, because no one in the band is independently wealthy, we are most likely putting a cap on the limit of "take" dollars that we pay, and from then on, the album will be FREE For life.

The "Give" portion is (hopefully) being funded by sponsors who are helping us with this cause. We do have some sponsors already, but not nearly enough to fund the entire program (At this time).

It made sense, in several ways, to contribute to a music based charity and the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation was interested in what we were doing.

(The charity will get any cash which comes from people paying to buy the record.)

So will the band end up out of pocket? Possibly. Has it been worth it? That's the wrong question - the question really is 'had you heard of Office Roseland before'?