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Should I sell my band's demos or give them away fo

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Hello, I'm in this band called "Infirmity"



We are planning on releasing a three track demo.

It will cost us roughly around $1,000 to produce 1000 hard copies.

But we can decide if we should give them away for free or charge $2.00 for each demo and make back our money.

Here is some pros and cons I came up with for both positions, what do you think we should do?

Chrage Money? or give em out for FREE?




Pros of selling demos

-make money back (w/possibility of profit)

-Money can be re-used for future merch

-adds value of demo to the consumer


Cons of selling demos

-Less exposure

-Will take longer to get rid of demos

-More people gravitate for FREE stuff then merchandise they must buy

-Demos can only be obtained via in-person contact (Example: A Show)


Pros of giving away demos for FREE

-Everyone loves FREE stuff

-More exposure

-Fast exposure

-more exposure=more fans=more chance of selling merch in future (can't sell merch without fans)

-Anybody including people who don't know us can obtain demos without hassle or money

-Demos can be obtained without in-person contact with band (Example: Can have a stack of FREE demos at local record store for strangers to pick up)


Cons of giving away demos for FREE

-loss of money


-may de-value demo to consumers since it's FREE

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I think you should not charge for the demos if you're trying to attract the attention of people. Another option could be playing live and then, after begin catching the interest of people, selling some tracks. That's at least my opinion.

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I see no problem with charging a couple of dollars for a demo. If they are too cheap to pay two lousy bucks for a demo they can f*ck off. Everyone wants all the music for free these days.


Screw that.

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Mr. Scratch

Put them on iTunes maybe?

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Bandcamp and other internet outlets for musicians is a good place to go with demos. Maybe charge at a pay-your-own-price rate with digital media and charge the $2.00 for the physical copies. Best of both worlds, fans get to decide if they want to pay but you also get fast exposure and love from people who might not otherwise listen.

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Do you have a bandcamp page? They allow you to do things called "pay what you want" sort of like a donation or something.


What my band has done is have digital copies of our demo available for free download, and do that, and then sell physical copies at shows for a few bucks. Once you've created enough buzz, people will definitely be willing to buy a full album at full price.


Also, I want to say 1000 copies is pretty damn ambitious, and you're likely to have boxes of those demos in your house for years. 500 or even 300 is a better number.

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What Moonshield said. Bandcamp is pretty much the best vendor for music right now. Offering your music for free or "pay what you want" at first can really work to your advantage. Like you said, your music is going to spread more easily if more people can download it. This is the kind of strategy a lot of artists and bands adopted and they seemed to benefit from it.

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I'd say give demos for free, if you build up a bit of a name for yourself in your community then start charging.

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Rockstar Cake

Put up an "exclusive promotional limited edition issue" of the demo; have a "demo reissue" somewhere down the road. Give the demos away for free now, get people interested. In a few years, sell the oldies demo and make some hard cash with the classics.

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I would give them away for free because sometimes having to pay may result in less purchases (because people dislike spending money lol.gif ). I would do as Moonshield said and open up a page that allows donations, I'm sure you will get a bit of money

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