I was accused earlier of “exploiting” a musician. I paid a small amount for their discography on Bandcamp - it was small for 2 reasons:
They had their discography on offer for a very low price - I paid that price
I don't have a lot of money at the moment
I don't feel the need to justify what I paid. I spend a lot of money every month on independent music and I'm comfortable with that, I enjoy listening of course and like to support the artists. I even buy a lot of the music I get sent for free for the podcast. In truth I honestly couldn’t afford to buy every single piece of music I hear and enjoy as much as I would like to.
I always chip in a few quid when a download on Bandcamp is ‘Name Your Price’ to add it to my collection and support the artists. I also buy a lot of CDs, T-Shirts, Vinyl, and Tapes. I’m more of an album / EP guy but and I do also buy some Singles and have bought a number of discographies when they are on offer to dip into a bands catalogue a bit deeper. Often I could stream these, but I prefer to buy them where I can.
Obviously I support music in loads of other ways as most of you know, including the podcast, across my social feeds, through putting on and attending live gigs and festivals (in normal times) where bands get paid, and so on. I’m not saying all of this so you can all be there thinking I’m some sort of superstar. I’m not. I just enjoy music, I like owning stuff, and as an artist I also believe in supporting artists.
So back to this idea that I am “exploiting” a musician. All of their stuff was on ‘Name your price’ apparently. But to be honest I didn’t see that I only saw the discography offer. As an artist you can choose to switch these off or on by the way and you can choose what percentage to take off.
I could have dropped £1 on this persons latest single. Looking at their Bandcamp profile I would have been the only person to have done that since it was released just over a month ago. But I saw the discography offer and thought I’d dip into their catalogue instead. Looking again this morning I can see that the discography was on for 65p - ridiculously cheap - I paid £1.30. An absolute bargain, not gonna lie. But listen, it's the end of the month and I had to spend £200 on new glasses this month so I’m poor and I need my music fix.
So although a small amount, and although I’m a bit brassic this month I still paid double for this discography, and honestly it’s great. I listened to a few singles last night and a bit more this morning. Until I got this email.
Now it's not really rude, it's a bit passive aggressive maybe but either way it DID surprise me. In my Bandcamp collection I have over 2,000 releases I’ve paid for and I’ve never received an email like that! Then I logged onto Twitter and saw they’d also publicly posted their disgust at how much I had paid for this discography… This guy set the price and I paid double!
Now this I think is unfair. There are people worse off than me who can’t spend what I spend on music but still want to support it. It’s not really fair to call people out for spending some money when it's above what you’re asking for. It’s a bit elitist at best.
The sad thing is that I like this persons music and I had clocked this morning that they had 2 CDs available, I probably would have bought both on pay day but it seems unlikely I will now...
I’m pleased to say I got a really nice message from the person who’s discog I bought cheap the other day. Turns out the offer wasn’t really supposed to be there at all so just a misunderstanding really and no hard feelings either way. I guess I'll add those CDs back to my payday wishlist... This is why I always keep posts about experiences with people anonymous despite calls to ‘name and shame’!