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Always Be Available

Nearly everyone has accepted the new normal today - if you don’t let your fans buy it, they will steal it. Even the major labels (the last people to any progressive idea these days) have gotten the message and have started to release singles on iTunes the second they go to radio. The memo is spreading across the music business fast - Always Be Available (ABA) or lose the chance to make a sale and earn a fan. 

The fact is, you should never be giving your fans permission to support you. If a fan has the ability to obtain your music through illegal means, you need to give them the chance to get it through sanctioned means. Whether this is selling your music or at least getting a Email, Like or Tweet for your music. In the past I wrote about how Man Overboard handled their leak and because we immediately made it available to our fans we earned the respect and devotion of our fans. It is a win-win situation when you make your record available the second it leaks and do not present your fans who want to support you with the tough choice of getting your music immediately by stealing it, or waiting to pay you for it. This dilemma never works out for the band and is a position you should never put your fans in.

You should also be available in any way someone may want to consume you. This means if your fans like to buy from Rhapsody as opposed to iTunes your music should be there. If your fans are discriminate listeners and prefer FLACs, you should make sure they can purchase them from places that carry them. Having your music on iTunes is not true for many fans who prefer high quality digital downloads, consuming music through subscription services (Rdio, Spotify, Rhapsody) or for a reduced direct-to-fan price. Make sure you are available in any way a potential fan may want to discover and consume your music.

This doesn’t just go for your music. When a fan wants to buy a T-shirt you should always be on top of your inventory. Not having a piece of merch in a size or design can lose a sale. Not only is this a chance to make some money, but you also lost out on having a fan be a walking advertisement for your group. If you are out of CDs/LPs at a show, you lost the chance to convert a fan into a die-hard listener who may spread the word to other potential fans.

Are there exceptions? Yes, there is a place for limited edition. If you have die hard fans and want to drive sales be making something limited that is a fantastic method and can greatly increase sales. With that said, limited items should always be items that are special cause they are hard to produce in a great quantity or truly offer nice liking. If your item has true mass appeal, it should be a constant fixture or you are selling yourself short.

Always Be Available.

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