10 thoughts on “5 Reasons You Should Give Away Your Comedy Album Instead Of Selling It

  1. Hey, I just read your article and you have some very great points. I did not think of the ones that you put out there. It was so ironic because I sat down this morning to put the finishing touches on my CD to get it ready to be produced.

    I admit that most of us “Road Comics” that do sell our “Merch”, often do it to help cover traveling cost. With gas prices the way that they are, sometimes it is a little difficult to make a buck when you are putting so much of it into your gas tank.

  2. Jim Young says:

    I’d be curious to hear what people who are selling albums, or giving them away for that matter, feel about how Louis CK’s new distribution model has effected their strategy. I would think it would make it harder for a lesser known comicto sell an album when you can pay $5 and get a CK or Gaffigan ‘DVD’.

  3. Scott Wood says:

    While giving a few away here and there might help promote you and your events I have to say that with the comedy channels on XM and Sirius as well as 24/7 comedy radio the listening and buying public is getting plenty of free laughs. I sell a lot of product after a killer show and the radio clips helped to put butts in the seat. Sure, give away a few to agents and the like but in today’s economy meltdown extra income is always a plus. How about offering something free with the purchase of a comedy DVD or CD? say a T-shirt or comp tix’s to your next comedy gig? Lots of ideas! I make a package deal out of my DVD and CD. Sell both for a lower price while still making a profit. Also when I do charity or fundraising events I give back a portion of my sales to that charity. (Making it known to my audience before l leave the stage) Killer show equals killer sales!

  4. Phil Johnson says:

    Good ideas Josh… The music community has been doing this for decades. Comedians don’t do it nearly enough.

    A couple of variations… Film and release (and sell) a DVD and give away just the audio version for an email. Or,what I do, is give away a selection of tracks from my last few releases as a sampler of all my albums.

    Freebie downloads can also be used in joint promotions with other comedians and their email lists. I’ve been doing it with music artists, but I’d love to find other comedians with lists and free downloads to trade promotions with.

  5. This is so true. What better way to be heard than to give away your stuff. If you’ve completed a first hour then why not give it away and maybe then add your website in the book (if there is one) or print it on the cd. Most people don’t care for audio sets of comedy. They’d rather see you live. At least if you get your name out there and they’ve heard of you maybe they’ll come.

  6. Giving it away for free 2 risk.

    #1. You can devalue yourself in the mind of your audience. This is why you have to let your audience know this free album is a gift, a valuable gift.

    #2. You can fool yourself into thinking you don’t have to promote it because it’s free. Free things need to be marketed, just like things for pay. Costing nothing is not enough to bring people in the door.

  7. An targeted and engaged email list is gold. I have been building mine for 4 years and it is a profit center – my products, affiliate products, keeping them informed on what they signed up to learn/enjoy/talk about.

    Selling a few CDs or DVDs is fine… drive home with a couple hundred bucks in cash… whoopie. Automatic payments each month is way better! Build the list, keep in touch, let them into your world.

  8. Paul Breau says:

    Interesting idea. Give it away and see if the fans will market it for you. Definitely a great way to get your name out there.

  9. Paul Breau says:

    Interesting idea. Get the fans to do the marketing.

  10. Heath James, Sr. says:

    I think you can work clubs in one region to get your start while you sell a couple live albums from some of the better shows, but take your third album or so and give it away just before going multiregional with your act so potential clubs and promoters can hear it once you get a little buzz behind it.

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