Ok, a shortish diary this week I think.  Time for some post-launch analysis – although not too much just yet.  We’ve got a few things to wait for – hopefully a print review, maybe a couple of other bits and bobs – which should buoy downloads a touch.
So, as I mentioned, we had a lot of blog articles and such in the week or 2 leading up to the launch of the album, and then quite a lot more on the first couple of days of it being available.  This worked well in getting a lot of attention for the launch date, but, perhaps predictably, has led to something of a falling-off in demand since then.  I suppose that’s the natural order of things – as you know, we haven’t done this kind of thing before so it’s hard to judge – but it makes you wonder whether that was the best way of handling it all.  Is there a way we could have had demand sustained a bit?  I can’t see an obvious one – people with blogs want to post things that are new and exciting; although it’s not like demand slowed after a month, it was within about 96 hours that it really started to drop away, while everything was still fresh.  Damn, things move quick these days!
Anyway, bandcamp is pretty cool and has loads of statistics options:  you can see how many people visit your page, where they come from, who has embedded your players and where, which tracks get played the most, which tracks people listen all the way through or skip, and (perhaps most importantly!) how many times your stuff has been downloaded and/or purchased.
It also offers you graphs on all this.  The graphs for plays, visits and downloads all look broadly the same:  here is the graph for downloads –
..the tailing off at the very end is partly because this is an unfinished day – we’re only halfway through Friday as I took that, so I’m expecting it to level off a bit.  Still though, you can clearly see the ‘long tail’ effect – it drops off very rapidly from the initial spike.
So what can I tell you so far, 11 days into the release?  Well, in descending order then, we are comfortably into 5 figures for visits to the site.  Which is quite encouraging, I think – we certainly managed to get a lot of exposure from blogs and stuff, and it looks like a lot of that translated into hits.  Of those people, they played on average one track each on the player.  It’s strange – the numbers for plays are almost exactly the same as visitors.
Of the people who visited (and played their one track, mostly the first one ‘Backfoot’) about one in six then went on to download something.  The vast majority of people downloaded the whole album – 80% of downloads were for the full album.
Money?  Well, it’s been interesting!  This is something I’ll go into detail on at another juncture, but I can say so far that almost exactly 10% of the people who chose to download the album, also chose to make a donation, while the ratio is about 5% for people who just had a single track.  Donations for the album have ranged from £1 to £10.  The average donation for the whole album is £3.32.  Donations for single tracks range from £0.01 to £2, and the average here is £0.76.
There’s a discussion to be had on what may have affected or changed this, which, as I said, I’ll get into another day, but as an early assessment, does this look to be a way forwards for indie labels?  Well, if we were to keep the money instead of giving it to charity, we wouldn’t be able to live off it.  Indeed, it’s not really enough for one person to live off for a month – but on the other hand, it would have covered mastering costs and even a small run of CDs without making a loss – so I guess there’s potential there.  As to the other aspects – ‘make money from touring’ and blah blah – we’re going to have to wait and see how this affects our bookings, or other offers of work.  There’s always a lag on stuff like this and 11 days is certainly too short to be able to see anything on that front.
One definitely positive thing we can say is that we didn’t expect we’d be giving so much to Dove House.  So, a massive thanks to everyone who’s donated so far, it’s much appreciated and really quite gratifying to see!
Next plans?  How are we going to work this from here?  Well, we do have plans, which I’ll announce next week – but for now, please keep spreading the word and helping us on our adventure….