OK son.  We’ve delayed this long enough.  Let’s talk about money.  Always an awkward subject, even more so when you’re doing music like this; nobody likes to discuss sales figures in case people think you’re bragging, or worse, a bit of a failure.  Only sold a thousand?  Loo-serr!  Sold five thousand?  Corporate bastards!  Pirate them immediately, they won’t notice!  Etc etc.  You get the picture.  Add to that our natural English distaste for acknowledging that money even exists in the first place, and it gets rather tense indeed.  Anyway, let’s just have a quick glance at the graph of overall sales, and note that although we’ve spent another week bouncing along the bottom, on the plus side downloads haven’t dropped off completely:


ep, nothing we’ve really done since the launch of the album has had any great effect at rejuvenating download figures.  But they may have sustained them.  And what are these figures, now?
Track plays:  24862
Page visits:  22517
Full album downloads:  2862
Single track downloads:  586
Total donations:  303
Average donation:  £2.95
Total income from donations:  £892.35
Wow.  That’s much more than we expected, and even allowing for Paypal’s cut, we’re still well clear of £800.  Which is great, we’re chuffed that we’re going to be able to give so much to the Hospice (who, as I mentioned the other week, have already noticed the traffic coming from here to their site).  It does raise a few questions and points of interest though.  Firstly, would we have raised as much as this, if the money hadn’t been going to charity?  Would people have been less likely to donate if the money was just going to us?  My entirely unfounded guess is that yeah, I imagine the charity aspect probably did help – although I don’t have any figures for this.  In fact I quoted this dude in a rant some months back after he had done a donation album; notice he claims that 40% of downloaders also donated; significantly better than we managed.  Perhaps, instead of being more likely to donate, people felt that if their money wasn’t going directly to the artist then they wouldn’t bother?  Hard to know.
On the flip, 800 quid between two people is not an awful lot for an album.  Ten tracks written, mixed down, tested out in the clubs, mixed down again, mastered, many hours of promotion, burning CD’s, emailing blogs and journalists:  that’s a good month’s work, so we’re well below minimum wage here.  It’s not going to pay the rent on its own.  Still though, as I mentioned way back at the start, the last time we released an album the distributor went bankrupt, and we certainly didn’t get 800 quid then.  So this is an improvement over that!
The accepted wisdom these days is that you make your money from the gigs and tours, and most other stuff is a bonus.  I think that remains the case; certainly with a one-in-ten donation rate it’s clear that the majority of people expect to be able to take music for free (the album has also been torrented, so the true donation ratio will be less).  As to whether this generates more gigs and other offers of work, well, that’s going to be an ongoing thing but it’s something I’ll come to in one of the next diaries.
Anyway, speaking of gigs I’m off to play at Bass Kitchen in Bristol tonight (see flyer on the left) so I’d better wrap this up.  More thrilling analysis next week…