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View Full Version : Does a free download equal a lost sale?


MacBytes
Nov 22, 2004, 11:45 AM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Does a free download equal a lost sale? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20041122124549)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Fender2112
Nov 22, 2004, 01:10 PM
I tend to agree with basis of this idea. I often download the weekly freebie from iTunes. To the artist, it's not a lost because I had no intention to purchase the song. However, it does introduce me to new music. If I like the song I will most likely purchase other songs from the artist.

This is probablly the attitude that most file swappers have. They never intended to purchase the the music so it's not a lost sale. But if it's free, why not give it a shot.

yoak
Nov 22, 2004, 01:26 PM
I will say I only download songs I would never buy. Like 80īs stuff for nostalgic reasons etc. To me the quality of the mp3 is not something I would spend money on, I also like to have a physical evidence of what I bought.

Wonder Boy
Nov 22, 2004, 04:55 PM
i like the idea of the free song. it's like a razor company giving you the razor but gouging you to by the blades. just a little taste and if it works, you are a fan/customer for life.

nagromme
Nov 22, 2004, 11:42 PM
Yes, a free song is a lost sale. Because now you KNOW how bad the music is :D

(I know, you can find some to like... but somebody had to say it :D )

Santaduck
Nov 23, 2004, 02:49 AM
to extend what Fender said, remember that the market is not just the repeat-buyers. The larger proportion is composed of people who have never bought anything from the iTMS, and others who have never bought downloadable music (DRM) online, and others who have never bought physical music or even nonmusic products online.

A free system continually grows the market, at little overall cost. The explosive growth of the market and of iTMS's marketshare are immediate validations of this strategy. If either of these markers start to weaken, then you might re-evaluate the strategy.

wdlove
Nov 23, 2004, 09:05 AM
Yes, the free download is essentially a lost sale. I have been downloading the free songs since the beginning. So far none of them have inspired me to purchase a song. I realize that it just show how dated I have become.

iMeowbot
Nov 23, 2004, 09:22 AM
Apple did manage to lure me into buying one album on the strength of a freebie track, and I do like the whole thing. I would think that this kind of promo would be offering some decent quality stats. With radio and MTV they simply don't get that kind of direct feedback that the buyer and listener is the same person.

Santaduck
Nov 23, 2004, 12:21 PM
Yes, the free download is essentially a lost sale. I have been downloading the free songs since the beginning. So far none of them have inspired me to purchase a song. I realize that it just show how dated I have become.


but what about the larger market, in other words what about the 90% that don't have iTunes installed on their PC's?

Once they install iTunes, their foot is in the door to the customer. Leechers like yourself aren't part of this equation, and are an acceptable price for Apple. Profit isn't part of the reason for actual sales anyways at the 99 cent price point, and we know that as well, so why would they worry about profits lost on a promotion?

shamino
Nov 23, 2004, 02:32 PM
Apple did manage to lure me into buying one album on the strength of a freebie track, and I do like the whole thing.
Out of curiosity, did you purchase the album on CD or via iTMS?

musicpyrite
Nov 23, 2004, 02:36 PM
Just remember the drug dealer's mantra: the first one is free.

iMeowbot
Nov 23, 2004, 06:29 PM
Out of curiosity, did you purchase the album on CD or via iTMS?
Both. iTMS tracks are notoriously difficult to get signed :D

(and musicpyrite, you're absolutely right! iTMS is picking up what radio mostly abandoned, exposing people to music they haven't heard before.)

Santaduck
Nov 24, 2004, 10:57 PM
Both. iTMS tracks are notoriously difficult to get signed :D

(and musicpyrite, you're absolutely right! iTMS is picking up what radio mostly abandoned, exposing people to music they haven't heard before.)


hmmmm true true. The legacy of the 45rpm B-side is finally falling away.

Ugg
Nov 25, 2004, 10:25 AM
Yes, the free download is essentially a lost sale. I have been downloading the free songs since the beginning. So far none of them have inspired me to purchase a song. I realize that it just show how dated I have become.

I used to download all the freebies automatically, now I just listen to the 30 second sample and have probably only downloaded 2 of the freebies in the last 3 months. I'm on the other side of 40 myself so find a lot of the current stuff to be insipid and although I've bought close to 150 songs, about half are current whereas the other half are pre 90s.

I like the free downloads because it exposes me to music I might never hear otherwise and I have bought a few songs because of the freebies so I would have to say that it is a worthwhile marketing tool especially when it comes to unknown or little known musicians.

Fender2112
Nov 27, 2004, 08:15 AM
Yes, the free download is essentially a lost sale. I have been downloading the free songs since the beginning. So far none of them have inspired me to purchase a song. I realize that it just show how dated I have become.

But the argument is this: If the song was not free, would you buy it? If your answer is 'No' then it's not a lost sale because you had no intention of paying for it. If your answer is 'Yes' then the freebie might persuade you to buy a song or two or possible a whole album.

In retail these are called "Lost Leaders".