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Targeted Delivery to Non-US Markets? DJ Controllers
Old 25th November 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Empty Planet's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Targeted Delivery to Non-US Markets?

Hey Gents,

Yes, it's the internet, and anyone with access can most likely download music from your sites, but do any of you make specific efforts to target non-US markets with your music? Surely there are popular non-US music-sharing websites, companies, and/or digital delivery systems. This is a vast audience, I'm just curious how each of you go about addressing it. Granted, the enormous task of marketing to various countries is the artist's problem, but do you offer any kind of assistance targeting specific countries, rather than simply access?

Thanks!



Cheers.

Old 25th November 2007
  #2
Founder CD Baby
 
Derek Sivers's Avatar
 

Smile translation is an important first step

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Planet View Post
do any of you make specific efforts to target non-US markets with your music?
Definitely!
30% of our CD Baby sales are outside the U.S.
80% of our biggest-spending customers are outside the U.S.!

In a poll of our musician clients, the #1 "favorite thing about CD Baby" was voted "selling to foreign strangers". So it's definitely a focus.

This is a pet subject for me. I grew up in US, UK, Sicily, Madrid, Paris, and my wife's from Sweden. Worked in Japan many times (and did a report on the indie music scene in Japan, here). I've always keep the whole world in mind when marketing, very aware the US is just one of many countries.

Even in site design, I think it's very important to keep all the English phrases on your site nice and simple, so that anyone with 1-2 years of basic high-school English can clearly understand.

You might have noticed that cdbaby.net is in 10 languages, but now I'm about to show you gear slutz something that not even my co-workers have seen yet:

Click here to try CD Baby in 9 languages

It's not launched yet because we're working with the translators to provide customer support in all 9 languages. But that's launching soon.

Then the last translation step is to make our members login area multi-lingual so than a musician in Brazil could sign up to CD Baby entirely in Portuguese, then be selling to someone in Korea the next day who's browsing the site entirely in Korean. I love how much that will spur the discovery and sale of independent music around the world!

Anyway, language is only part of it, but it's a big step. Next step is setting up offices and representatives around the world, and that's what I'm working on next.
Old 25th November 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Empty Planet's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Very cool.

Thanks





Old 26th November 2007
  #4
Peter Wells, SVP Operations, Customer Advocate - Tunecore
 
PeterTuneCore's Avatar
 

Absolutely, Empty Planet. TuneCore has been international from inception. I felt one of the most exciting parts of our business was the factt that it's all online--no need to mail anything. It's a big deal when someone from Italy or Japan or New Zealand has to box up a bunch of discs and trust them to International mail or some expensive delivery service. I think it accounts for why so many of our customers are from beyond the U.S.

And those customers want to be seen and heard not just in U.S. markets. That's why we reach out globally wherever possible, including informing folks about how placement in international stores works. Just one example: iTunes Latino.

Did you know you have to have at least one of your two genres set to "Latin" to be included in iTunes Latino? Did you know that if you set both of them to "Latin" the album is eligible for feature on iTunes Latino, but NOT if you only select the second one? The more we can inform our customers and the entire music-producing world how the "selling end" is evolving, the better for all.

--Peter
peter@tunecore.com
Old 26th November 2007
  #5
Gear addict
 
timmcallister's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Sivers View Post
Definitely!
30% of our CD Baby sales are outside the U.S.
80% of our biggest-spending customers are outside the U.S.!

In a poll of our musician clients, the #1 "favorite thing about CD Baby" was voted "selling to foreign strangers". So it's definitely a focus.
My personal experience... Most of the CDs I sell on CDBaby are to Europe. I'd guess maybe 3 to 1. But then again, we get way more press and attention in Europe than the US.

CD Baby: PAPA SALTY: Swing it Big!
CD Baby: PORTLAND BLUES: Portlands Best Unsigned Blues Bands

being in Portland, I drop my CDs off in person, so I get to peek inside that wonderful CDBaby place once in a while.

THANKS DEREK!!!
Old 26th November 2007
  #6
Founder CD Baby
 
Derek Sivers's Avatar
 

Smile R&B / Soul artists sell the most in Japan

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmcallister View Post
Most of the CDs I sell on CDBaby are to Europe.
Heh... that's cool. R&B / Soul artists sell the most in Japan.

I got an email from an artist in Atlanta yesterday saying, "I think something with your site is broken. Only Japan is able to buy my CD."

I looked at her sales history, and sho'nuff, she had about 35 sales and 34 of them were to Japan. (There was 1 to Germany. The site was not broken. Though it was cute that she thought so.)

She has no connections to Japan at all, doing no promotion there, but her kind of music (classic 70's style R&B soul) is very popular there, and word had gotten around.

I love this internet thing, man. heh
Old 26th November 2007
  #7
Peter Wells, SVP Operations, Customer Advocate - Tunecore
 
PeterTuneCore's Avatar
 

That's one of the odd things about worldwide digital distribution--sales are unpredictable. It's so inexpensive to put music all over the world, you get to "fly it up" a million flagpoles and, surprise, you get salutes you never dreamed of.

I've had customers come back to us and say, "What did you do for us in Finland? We're doing great in Finland!" and I haven't the slightest answer.

We've got even more targeted reporting on the way, it's tremendously exciting.

--Peter
peter@tunecore.com
Old 27th November 2007
  #8
Gear addict
 
recky's Avatar
 

I would like to turn this thread on its head, if I may.

I must admit that I have yet to look into your services more deeply, although I have bought a CD through CDBaby in the past.

Being based in Germany, I am a German-language singer-songwriter who has just started playing his arse off, touring the length and breadth of Germany, Austria and the German-language part of Switzerland. My solo debut CD is almost finished (in the true gearslutz spirit of doing everything in my own studio) and will be released early next year.

Let's consider the situation here in Germany: The vast majority of people do not own credit cards; everybody pays through the nationwide EFTPOS system using their banking cards. Personally, I only have a VISA card because I buy a lot over the Internet. Furthermore, a lot of people in this country past their early thirties (my audience) are somewhat Internet-shy; typically, you can tell by their Yahoo or GMX address - they check their emails once a week if that. These are the people who would much prefer browsing the shelves in a good CD store, but unfortunately, there are no good CD stores any more. So these people will not purchase ANY CDs (other than from the merch table) and will swap pirated collections of stuff they like.

It's been said that CDBaby, for instance, is available in a multitude of languages, making access to its sales structure easy for those with only very little English. But as far as I'm concerned, language is not the only problem, at least for my "market". It's getting people to accept an alternative system and finding a convenient way of paying for my product that seems to be a major hurdle in this country. As a producer and mix engineer I work for other independent artists and labels, and they all seem to face this same problem.

So, to round this up: Given my situation, i.e. being limited to a relatively regional market (albeit with more than 100 million people) and my audience's Internet shyness, is there any point in me going the CDBaby and iTunes route? What will your organisations bring to the table for me and thousands of other "regional" artists with country-specific problems? Since learning about CDBaby a few years ago I have been thinking that someone (not me, I've got plenty of other things on my plate...!!!) should open a German CDBaby that addresses the needs of homegrown artists whose music is inherently limited to a regional audience, and a company which accepts direct debit off people's banking cards.

I hope I have been able to convey where I'm coming from.

Thanks for being here,

Recky
Old 27th November 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Empty Planet's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Wow, thanks very much for that, Recky! This rings very true for me, though I'm sure it's different for every country. I've only visited Germany a couple of times (I have to confess I adore Berlin -- vastly more energetic and creative at the moment than my current hometown, New York City), but there is definitely a very cool audience there I'd like to reach.

It's hard to imagine non-web-based solutions for the less internet-savvy, it sounds expensive and difficult. Definitely a lot to think about here.


Cheers.

Old 27th November 2007
  #10
Peter Wells, SVP Operations, Customer Advocate - Tunecore
 
PeterTuneCore's Avatar
 

Recky, the answer lies in your question: the Internet will give you resources to reach out BEYOND your region. If as you say your main constiuents are Internet-shy and do not have credit cards, it's going to be tough for a paperless transaction, Internet-based set of companies like CD Baby, TuneCore and Nimbit to reach them in those areas.

But for the hundreds of millions of German speaking potential fans who are Internet savvy and have the means, a company like TuneCore is able to help tremendously, at almost no expense, without you having to tour the length and breadth of all of them. And if you do tour or promote in those areas, your "store" is already set up globally.

Your point about other payment systems is a good one. EFTPOS, text billing over cell phones, extending the reach of direct bank transfers to multiple international networks of financial institutions--these are priorities. Stay tuned.

--Peter
peter@tunecore.com
Old 30th November 2007
  #11
Gear addict
 
recky's Avatar
 

Another aspect from an international point of view:

I know that CDBaby works, and I have bought through you guys before, but I'm wondering how it CAN work on a global scale taking into account the expenses incurred by having to ship physical CDs. The postage for a single CD from the CDBaby warehouse to my door (in Germany) is $ 11, that's nearly the retail price of the CD itself. I have spent a total of $ 25 on a single CD before because I REALLY wanted that CD and there was no other way of getting hold of it. It's hardly going to be an impulse purchase like that, though, is it?

So, let's assume for a minute that physical CD sales will be around for some time to come - Europeans my age certainly value the possession of a physical product - does it make any sense for us Euro artists to sell through CDBaby? Wouldn't it make more sense for us to somehow get our product onto Amazon Germany/UK/whatever, simply because shipping is far cheaper? I would love to see the benefit in going the CDBaby route, so please give me a clue or two.

Cheers,

Recky
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