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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Letter from Dave Lundy - Music Purchasing

Hey Bjorn,

Longtime fan here. I've gotten every one of your albums since Hobbits, way back when. I actually still have my old MOD music files from back in the day. Brings back memories...

Anyhow, I'm wanting to purchase "Undercover" and future albums, but I want to help you out as much as I can. While I love having physical CDs to listen to, I understand that you've got a high overhead on making them. What would be the most beneficial (for you) way to purchase your music? I want to keep you in business, bro. You're a great talent and I'd hate to see that go away.

Thanks again for the great tunes! Take care...


Answer from Bjorn:

Hi David,

Thank you so much for your email and for your support. I appreciate it -- not only that you want to buy my music, but also for thinking about me and how much I get out of each type of sale.

My answer is that really, the amounts I get from different types of sales, don't really differ that much from each other.

If you buy my physical CD at I get $12.99 (CDbaby takes $4), minus the approx. $2 it cost me to have the CD made, and about $0.50 it cost me to send the CD to CDBaby. So I guess a profit of about $10.

If you buy it as a download from iTunes, then iTunes pays CDBaby about $6.30 or so, and CDBaby only takes 9% of this, so after Paypal fees (when CDBaby pays me by Paypal) I'm left with about $5.50 or so.

If you buy it as a physical CD from my own personal CD-shop , you pay $16.99 for the CD and $7.90 for postage. Some feel that the $7.90 I take in postage is a little bit too much, but postage out of Norway is very expensive, and in actual fact, the true postage cost for me to send one CD from Norway to USA is about $11. So I actually lose a little bit over $3 in postage, even when I take $7.90 in postage from the customer. So in this case, I take $16.99 for the CD, out of which Paypal takes about 4%, minus the $3 I lose on shipping, minus the approx. $2 it cost me to have the CD made, minus the $1 approx it cost me to have the CD shipped to me from the place where it was made -- leaving me perhaps with a profit of about $10 or so.

If you buy the CD as a downloadable CD from my own personal download-shop ( then you pay $11.99 and you pay through who takes 5.5% plus they "skim" about 2% on the currency exchange rate when they pay the monthly payment to me -- so I'm left with a profit of around $11.

So, as you can see from all this, really there are several ways to buy my CD's that more or less work out at just about the same profit for me. Frankly, if it's a matter of a dollar or two, I'd rather my customers actually have the physical CD if that is what they prefer. :-)

The bottom line is, whatever way you choose to buy my music, I very much appreciate it, and for me it's more important that you buy it in the way that gives you the most pleasure, even if I should make a couple of dollars or less, one way or the other. :-)

Thanks again!

- Bjorn

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Anonymous DaveL said...

Dave: great question.

Bjone: thanks for sharing all this detail with us. I quickly get two conclusions from this: (1) sales through iTunes yield you the lowest return, and (2) at least for U.S. customers, CD Baby seems, hands down, to be the way to go, given that your return on sales there is high, their service is outstanding, and the shipping costs are vastly less than from Norway.

Besides, the more you can offload the mechanics of shipping CDs to someone else, the more time you have to make more of the music we love!


July 25, 2007  

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