The return of the graph.  There’s got to be a way of doing a straight line in this paint program, but I haven’t really bothered to read the help file.  And, you know, maybe my cack-handedness lends it a certain cretinous charm.
So anyway, straight in with the bottom line, and this time I’ve added some download figures to give you an idea of what kind of numbers we’re doing.  Clearly, the first few days were the best, with a bit of a bump after the first weekend (which is reflected in the figures for this blog in general – it would appear that people who like bass music actually spend their weekends out dancing and stuff) and then a general tail-off.  As you can see, none of the other things we’ve done have dramatically added to the rate of downloads, although it looks like they may perhaps have stemmed the decline.  It’s still getting some notice – the Fact Mix today from Simbad features one of the tracks from the album, for instance – so I imagine it’ll probably piffle onwards for a while, doing a hundred or two each week:
So, some total figures as they stand, at April 2.  Note that the figures in the graph above are ‘total downloads’ – i.e. the number of downloads for the whole album plus all the individual track downloads (which are in the minority):
Page visits:  21,324
Track plays:  22,724
Total downloads:  3,476
Full Album downloads: 2,760
Number of donations: 287
I’m going to leave the total amount of donations for now, as I think it deserves a bit of analysis on its own – is this a viable model for musicians, etc.  Still though, I think those figures are fairly tidy.  We should hit 3,000 full downloads in the next couple of weeks which is some good exposure, the tracks are still being played out in clubs, we still have people coming up to us in clubs telling us how much they enjoyed it.  So that’s quite satisfying.  There’s certainly room for improvement, though.  I was just looking at this dude’s soundcloud last night.  Notice how most of his tunes get a few hundred plays over several months, but his latest appears to have gone mental on Hype Machine and has racked up 27,000 plays in 4 days.  How does that work?  How can we harness exposure like that?  OK, it’s a bootleg of a popular track, which Hype Machine does kind of specialise in – but that’s still pretty handy.  Will have to look into it a bit more this weekend.
Last week someone asked why we didn’t do a launch party – or several – and suggested we’d missed a trick there.  I think he’s right, we did miss a trick.  There are a few reasons we didn’t go for it.  First, we’ve never really been that engaged with promoting before – me & Baobinga did promote a night in Manchester back in 2002, but it was a hell of a lot of work, especially when the end result was that you were basically DJing to your mates, who had all paid to get in, and you were losing money yourself.  So we knocked that on the head, and it put us off promoting for a long while.  Then there was the issue that for much of the run-in to the release of this album, Baobinga was out of the country, and I was doing everything myself; I was pretty busy and wouldn’t really have had time to promote a night aswell.  Then there was the timescale – from the time we finally got all the tracks together to release date was only about 6 weeks.  Fine for online promotion, but doesn’t give you a lot of leeway to find a venue, design flyers and so on.  Also, this album was done on a total shoestring budget; putting on parties will usually cost you two or three hundred quid upfront just in flyers and venue hire, which we simply didn’t have.
The more shrewd, experienced, promoting types will have quickly spotted a solution there – get someone else to do it!  Approach a promoter, get them to do room 2 of their large event as your album launch, or even get them to do a full one-off party.  Tell them they can keep all the profit in return for doing the legwork.  The advantage, of course, is that now you’ve got someone going round the city telling everyone about your album launch, which they may well not have known about if they’re not up on blogs and online media.  They might not give a flying one, but at least they know now.   But, we just didn’t come to this solution in time.  Should’ve done, dropped the ball a bit there I think, definitely would/will for the next one!
Incidentally, last night Bandcamp announced a whole load of new features to make your site with them look cooler, integrate better with your homepage, work more smoothly, and so on.  It’s really becoming quite a useful tool, and it’s even still free.  Read about them here, if you’re interested: