In simple business sense, when you bring a new album or song to the free market, the market will decide what it’s worth.
The labels did set the price point once upon a time and people paid. Then came greed and the people started to revolt against paying for a full price CD with a few good songs. There is no greater demonstration of this revolt than Napster.
Napster showed the recording business how much people love music and how they like to trade music. And this bothered the recording business and the acts because to share music meant the labels didn’t get paid.
But it’s different these days. That power has shifted to the consumers and to the acts. Consumers know decide what price they would like to pay for recorded music via the different distribution methods and price points and the acts set the price points for tickets to the show.
Just because you spent months creating your masterpiece, along with your blood, sweat and tears, (as most artists like to say) it doesn’t mean you are entitled to be paid. The truth is you are not special. And even if you had some success before, it doesn’t mean your new music will have the same success.
If you don’t want to be treated like dirt, then you need to have a think about the path you are on, because the current path of “write an album and release album” is not working.
Then again if their is no artist and fan connection, then nothing will work.
Fans will always pay extra for something because it’s limited or rare or one its kind.
It was the reason why Pledge and Indiegogo and other fan funded websites took off. The artists offered something limited and unique.
But the record labels came in with their artists and made it basically the same rubbish that every marketplace has. Instead of buying a used drum snare skin from a certain gig on a certain date, you now have 100 used snare skins to buy from which could have come from the recording session or normal rehearsals.
Instead of buying the proper hand written lyrics, you get the chance to buy 250 copies of the lyrics written out by hand after the fact. It’s bullshit and the fans have seen its bullshit.
By the way, Pledge is not even paying the artists. When you run a business like a Ponzo scheme, expect the house of cards to fall down.
As an artist, do you want to create value or profit?
For a fan, that TDK cassette which had a copy of Crue’s “Shout At The Devil” on Side 1 and a copy of Maiden’s “The Number Of Beast” on Side 2 and was handed down for free is more valuable than something they paid for.
Create value first. Profit will come after.