5 years after moving out, and countless requests from my parents, I finally got around to going through the boxes and boxes of my old stuff in their garage yesterday. In amongst the thousands of empty jewel cases, hundreds of video tapes, random clutter and a mouldy tennis racket were loads of copies of old(ish) BSM releases. Things I thought I'd seen the back of were there to haunt me. With the spare room, hallway and part of the living room in my flat already filled with box after box of CDs, space has never felt so precious. This leads me to two points:
1) We're definitely having a sale. Look out for that later this week. And...
2) Thank God for MP3s
Don't get me wrong, I love CDs and am a strong believer that the format is far from dead, but when running a record label with close-to 100 releases from a small, city centre flat, there's only so many coffee tables, mattresses and bookends you can make from plastic discs. The digital age, for all it's pirate-happy downsides, certainly has a friend when it comes to space-saving. There's no need for dusty shelves and heaving wardrobes when MP3s come to town.
This weekend marked the end of our first month selling MP3s directly via www.bsmrocks.com/shop. It's something I'd been meaning to do for a while - initially holding off until our new website was completed - and has been an interesting few weeks of learning. Unfortunately, until said new site is finished, our sales are still very much a manual process, meaning I'm emailing download links and passwords out in response to order receipts. This is fine 16 hours a day when I have a ready and willing internet connection, but shy of adopting 24/7 shifts, there's little to be done whilst sleeping. The system, however, seems to be working ok and will shortly be automated, providing the perfect service for one and all.
However, as a music consuming fan I still opt to purchase physical products and have, to date, only ever bought one MP3; and that was a song I released anyway! So this is a question I really need to turn over to you...
What do you want from me?
When you buy MP3s, what's important? Do you want them in the highest quality possible? Would you like a choice of file formats? What about artwork; should that come in the package and if so, in what format? What else would you like with the music? Links to websites, videos and other added content? How about discount vouchers to be used against the corresponding physical release?
Our digital store is going to be an ongoing project with consistent, small improvements made right through until the end of the year. It's going to take a while to reach perfection but I would love to know what will help us get their faster for you.
As ever, comments on the blog are much appreciated (you don't need to have a Blogger account, by the way), as are messages via email, Twitter or Facebook. I read everything and always do my best to respond.
I'm off to play Tetris with a few hundred CDs. Wish me luck!