Saul Williams download numbers
Saul's previous record was released in 2004 and has sold 33,897 copies.
As of 1/2/08, 154,449 people chose to download Saul's new record. 28,322 of those people chose to pay $5 for it, meaning: 18.3% chose to pay.
Of those paying,
3220 chose 192kbps MP3 19,764 chose 320kbps MP3 5338 chose FLAC
- 28,322 * $5 = $141,610 which for a solo artist and zero marketing investment seems pretty decent. Of course partnering with a super famous established artist like Trent helps.
- With 154,449 downloads and earnings of $141,610 that works out to earning $0.92 per download which vastly exceeds all bandwidth costs.
- 154,449 seems like an extremely low number of downloads. The hype for this album was primarily in nerd-centric venues so I'm assuming the majority skipped the ecommerce shit and went straight to torrents for their downloads.
- This isn't counting other digital sales avenues -- did they put it on iTunes? That's where most people are buying their digital music these days, not going direct to the artist's website.
- I think putting such a low limit on what people could pay was a dopey idea. If we're going to be dealing in intangible value, why not let consumers decide for themselves?
- Are there really that many FLAC users out there?
All in all I think it was a success even if they feel disheartened. Trent admits that he spent too much on the record. I'd be interested to know what the costs amounted to. I can't even conceive of spending $40,000 on a record let's say and having $100,000 left over would keep me in beer and guitar strings for another year or two.