Posts Tagged ‘experiment’

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128 or 320 kbps – can you hear the difference?

March 11, 2009

audacity

Okay, we are going to do a quasi-scientific study here with the z=z community, to see if people can hear the difference between 128 kbps and 320 kbps audio streams. Go to mp3 or not, listen to the two sound samples, decide—or guess—which one is at the higher bitrate, and then post your results in the comments, along with any ancillary information (like whether you used speakers or headphones). I couldn’t tell the two samples apart, at least not on my laptop speakers, but I had a 50-50 shot at getting it right, and I did. Let’s see if we can get enough numbers to exclude (or confirm) randomness.

UPDATE (Friday, 10:23 am PDT): We are up to 6 people who got it right and 5 people who got it wrong. I’d love to get some more datapoints. Please share this link and ask people to comment or to send me an e-mail or a tweet.

UPDATE (Friday, 10:49 am PDT): A poll! This is much easier. If you’ve already responded in the comments, please do not vote in the poll.

[via Music Machinery]

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Experiment: name-your-own-price merch

February 17, 2009

merch-table

Should you let your fans pay what they want for merch? Dave Allen, the original bassist of the Gang of Four, recently made the argument on his music blog that bands can make more money by not posting prices at merch tables and instead letting fans name their own price for merchandise at concerts:

My thinking here is that those fans that really like the band and are leaning towards buying will ask what the price of a CD is. And the answer should be “how much do you want to pay?” I guarantee that the answer will be somewhat along these lines – “I only have $4,” “I’d like to give you $10,” “You guys were great, here’s $20,” “I have no money.” You should sell your CD at those prices to all of those folks and give one to the guy with no money. They will never forget the experience they had and they will tell their friends that you are the coolest band on earth for doing that.

Allen argues that, on average, bands are likely to make more money doing this than by having fixed prices. More importantly, however, this approach either leverages an existing relationship (people who have money are happy to give the band more than the ‘official’ cost of the CD) or it helps develop a relationship. Here at z=z, we recently discussed the role of relationships in differentiating artists in a world where the music itself may be fungible.

While I’m not a musician, I know that a number of artists read this blog – please let us know what you think. And if you decide to try this, please share how it works out!

How bands can make more money by not putting a price on a CD

MP3: Electric Laser People – Move Right, Move Left [buy, CC-licensed download]

Image: From behind the merch table by Flickr user Brett L., reposted here under its Creative Commons license.