September 30


Adding A Donate Button

By Keith Livingston

September 30, 2016

music income, music marketing

Recently, a Facebook friend of mine (I don’t know her personally, she’s a friend of a friend) posted that her new album was available for download, for free. I was a bit shocked, as I know she spent good money recording it. Now, this is a seriously talented songwriter and singer — really talented. And it’s no hack record. It’s well produced.

Head on over and listen to River and the Rain, and see how talented she is. Kate Lynne Logan — Echoes

I couldn’t pass up the chance to get the record, for free. So, I followed the link.

Set Your Price

When I went to download the record, and there was a ‘set your own price’ option. It was set to $7, but you could change it to $0, or $20, or whatever you want. I had a thought. “If I want this record, that means it’s worth something to me. If I’m not willing to pay anything, I guess I don’t really want it.”

Now, from following her on Facebook, I know some of the struggles she’s been through. In spite of her abundant talent, a supportive husband, and opening shows for some big name artists, she’s had struggles. She’s been honest about what she’s gone through. I’ve heard about her frustrations, and triumphs.

People Want A Chance To Support You

So, I paid for the record. It was my chance to offer a small bit of support. I know what it’s like to see money in your account (even just a little), and know that someone out there thought your music was worth paying for. And I feel I got really good value for my money. It’s unfair, really. She invested lots of time and money in making it.

My guess is that she got some people downloading for free, some paying the $7, and some who chose to donate $20, or more.

And that’s a modern music donating strategy, in a nutshell. Draw people into your world — involve them. Then give them a chance to contribute.


PS: The only thing I didn’t like about the process is that it was handled through Noisetrade, and Noisetrade forced me to sign up for an account before I was able to download. I’m sure that significantly decreases responses.


Keith Livingston

About the author

Keith Livingston started recording his own music in the late '70s, on a 4-track. He worked his way into live sound and studio work as an engineer -- mixing in arenas, working on projects in many major studios as a producer/engineer, and working in conjunction with an independent label.

He taught audio engineering at the Art Institute of Seattle, from 1990-1993, and in '96, contributing to authoring several college-level courses there.

He was General Manager of Радио один (Radio 1) in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Now he spends his time recording his own songs wherever he roams, and teaching others to do the same.

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