Rich Juzwiak wants to buy a song by Elle Varner — but can’t.
Right now the single is only available on SoundCloud until some future date when, presumably, the full album will be released on iTunes, Amazon, etc.
Rich is pissed. He thinks Elle is behaving according to an antiquated “anticipation business model.” He believes…
Actually, Rich says it best, so here it is:
This new song exists only on Soundcloud. It is not available on iTunes. Why? Why can’t I have this song now? I want it now. I would buy it now. When it is officially available, I will likely have already downloaded an illegal rip of it or ripped it myself or forgotten about it all together. What is this stupid anticipation business model the music industry is still trying to make happen? Haven’t we proven that if we want something, we’ll take it regardless of the legality? Hasn’t that collapsed the business of selling music? Will they ever learn?
A commenter then asked why, if the music is that important to him, Rich wouldn’t want to just remind himself to buy it later when it’s officially released. Here’s his response:
These are fast times, man.
I will undoubtedly own this album in some capacity, as I do Elle Varner’s debut. But maybe I’ll die before it comes out and not get to purchase it. Maybe I’ll go deaf. Maybe my fingers will break off. Maybe my brain will stop working. Maybe Elle Varner will say something that pisses me the fuck off. However, if this were available now, Elle Varner and her record label could have my money regardless of whatever befalls me.
That’s the point right there: if it were available NOW, the artist could have his money right NOW.
If you release a song online without full distribution behind it (meaning it’s available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, etc.), chances are good that you’re losing out on both download and streaming money.
Singles are great; they DO build anticipation for EP or full-length releases — but if you release a single, make damn sure it’s available for sale online! Otherwise, as Rich warns, your fans’ brains might stop working by the time they have the opportunity to pay you for your music.
What do you think? Are there benefits to delaying availability? Let us know in the comments below.
Chris Robley is the Editor of CD Baby’s DIY Musician Blog. I write Beatlesque indie-pop songs that’ve been praised by No Depression, KCRW, The LA Times, & others. My poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, Prairie Schooner, The Poetry Review, & more. I live in Maine and like peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, a little too much.