Not in my (Radio)Head

[az]B000002UAX[/az]A link at Scott Andrew’s site (see ‘Walkingbirds‘) led to an article about Radiohead’s new album and those who did (or did not) choose to pay for the digital version of the album.

First, the good stuff. This is an extremely underrated marketing concept:

 When choosing between a pricey option and (potentially) free digital album, most people are going to pick the cheaper of the two. What if there was a middle option, something far cheaper than the deluxe package but of more value than the digital album? Many consumers would opt for the second-cheapest option. More revenue for the band, more satisfaction for consumers.

It’s easy to make the mistake of offering two choices, one absolutely tip-top, with a price to match, and one dirt cheap, that’s, shall we say, lesser in quality? But when you’re marketing a ‘want’, that’s dead wrong.

Most people, when faced with a decision like that, have a ‘default’ setting; the easy choice. And, as you might guess, humans tend to be economical creatures.

Offer a third choice: better quality than the least expensive, less expensive than the tippy-top model. Now, people can reward themselves, showing their discerning taste, without being extravagant. Well, that’s how they’ll rationalize it; in the end, virtually all our decisions are made on emotion and rationalized afterwards, but that’s another story.

It also works if only the middle choice is you; the others can be your competitors, Ms. Top O’TheLine and Mr. Economy Model.

But, farther down, this apparent misconception:

 Are people ready for the kind of lower quality recordings that tend to come from do-it-yourself projects?

Um, ‘ready’ for it? People are clamoring for cheap music, and as far as I’ve been able to tell in my 45 years of listening (I’m not counting the years when I couldn’t speak yet) I’ve come to the conclusion that the average listener couldn’t care less about quality recording, or, in fact, about quality performance. They care about snappy tunes that touch them emotionally, which they can hum later and sing along with after a few listens.

It’s a classic mistake musicians make: garage bands playing clubs will invariably include long blazing guitar solos, at least one drum solo, some fancy bass work—hey, let’s show off our musicianship.

Nobody cares.

Nobody but other musicians, and they’re 1) a smaller demographic than ‘everyone’ and 2) usually in the lower ranges of your economic target (what’s the difference between a guitar player and a medium pizza? The medium pizza can feed a family of four.)

So, if you’re obsessing about quality on your recordings, unless you’re recording exclusively for other musicians, you’re wasting your time. No, I’m not saying you shouldn’t care. Just applying some Voltaire something-or-other about good enough versus perfect.

Oh; and as a web designer, I was apalled to find non-linking text underlined twice. Underlined text is a hyperlink. Emphasize with bold, italics, color, size—but not a semblance of a broken link. Please.

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