Saturday, June 5, 2010

Vector Calculations

It's been an interesting experience making RBN tracks, and I'd like to do it again, especially my own. However, it's hard to get a band interested due to the industry standard being at around $1000. Sure, you keep the royalties (at least all the good ones let the bands keep the profits), but if you're a small band looking for a way to get to millions of people, what are you to do? And what about us track makers who spend hours hammering out everything? We did the work, compensation is expected.

Therein lies the problem when you have a band that can't afford the up front costs. If you are one of the "biggies" of the RBN Authoring world, you can either find someone who can pay or break a deal.

One deal I was thinking about, and I'm posting here so we can have a debate on the ethics of the situation, is similar to that of Vector Marketing, or CutCo, to anyone who can do five seconds of research.

Yes, that scam we've all heard about and seen on college bulletin boards. Basically, here's the rundown:
1. Gullible student takes number from poster, calls it, breezes through interview, and gets hired as an "independent contractor".
2. Pays $150 for a "sample" set.
3. Is asked to bug friends and family to sell overpriced knives.
4. ???
5. PROFIT, but only if you're a douche to loved ones.

It's all commission based, and as you sell more, you get more commission. The logic behind that is, since first, you'll be selling to family and friends who'll take pity on your sorry ass, and be more likely to sell, that's when most of your money goes to the higher-ups. Fewer people sell a shitton, so obviously, the system works. There's more info on that at the links I've embedded.

Now, why do I propose a Vector Marketing/Cutco style system? Am I a scummy asshole too? No, I'm just good at math. The plan works the same way: Sell more songs, get more royalties. But, there are a couple distinct advantages:
1. A RBN song is only $1-2, not $900 like some Cutco products.
2. It's digital, so technically it can be purchased a lot of times simulataneously.

All that crap aside, here's how I break it down: If you pay a company that authors a song for a flat fee and lets you keep all the royalties, you begin in the hole. The authors get their compensation, but the focus here is on the artists. To make that initial, let's say $1000 back, you'll need to sell 3500 tracks. You might make that up in merch sales, you might not. With my system, you pay nothing, and by the time you reach that 3500 sales mark, it's about 60-40. Not exactly fair, but better than it was.

Let's take a look at the Vector system, vs. a flat fee (assuming .30 profit on a $1 song):
Up to 500th Download (90% goes to author)
Normal- Artist down $850
Vector- Author makes $135, Artist ahead $15

501-1000th Download (80% to author)
Normal- Artist down $700
Vector- Author up $255, Artist ahead $45

1001-1500th Download (70%)
Normal-Artist down $550
Vector- Author up $360, Artist ahead $90

1500-2000th Download (60%)
Normal- Artist down $400
Vector- Author up $450, Artist ahead $150

2001-2500th Download (50%)
Normal- Artist down $250
Vector- Author up $525, Artist ahead $225

2501-3000th Download (40%)
Normal- Artist down $100
Vector- Author up $585, Artist ahead $315

3001-3500th download (30%)
Normal- Artist ahead $50
Vector- Author up $630, artist ahead $420

Now, all of these numbers are adjustable, and I want feedback from other authors before I deem this legit.

It's only one possibility. I'm not springing it on anybody, and for a fan work (like Akira the Don) I'm going to be more apt to do it on their terms, because, hey, I like them, I like Rock Band and I want to see them succeed.

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