What does a download mean to us?

We know that you get hit from every direction these days by all of us wanna be musicians, who have found a way to put our greatest hits on iTunes and the like, asking you to head out to iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, or wherever and buy our music. Why the urgency? Why the push? Who cares?

It's one of those things where us musicians really do little to tell you how much that $.99 (or less) download means to us. After all, if we know the importance of it surely the listener does! Or not. Here's a few reasons we beg so hard for downloads and these are not in any particular order of importance.

- For NEELY the total cost of our recording project, at the end of 2009, when we finally have a 10 song CD in hand ready to sell...it will have cost us somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 - $20,000 to produce. A side note...this is inexpensive for the level of recording we are doing! The bottom line is most album budgets run from $5,000 (for those just starting out with a tight budget) all the way up to $75,000 (for those with great sponsors who can afford the big name producers). Granted, a $.99 download doesn't go a long way especially since any way you skin it an Independent Artists receives at best 91% of that but most likely it's around 66%.

- Every download or stream is tracked by Sound Scan. OK, so there's more to it than what I'm going to say here but the gist is this: Record labels want to "hire" (give a recording contract to) people that are making money. Gone are the days when they develop a talented person, who has the look and potential to become something big. They want someone who's already out there doing it. One who has a following, one who is making money in this business. Sound Scan provides information that helps them to find these people. If an Independent Artist is out there getting as many downloads as Nickleback per week...better bet a Record Company, a Booking Company, Radio, Publisher...these guys are going to want in on this and capitalize because they have the machine in place to do so!

- Spreading the news. OK, this one is risky but we're living testimony of this and here's an example. Recently our friend sent out a notification that her boyfriend's band, The Rust, just released their album on iTunes. Because we are friends with Nick James, the boyfriend and leader of The rust, we downloaded the album. Wow! It was awesome and we told everyone about it. Actually we are STILL telling people about it! However, if we would not have taken the chance we would have never known and neither would anyone else. Don't just download something blindly, listen to the clips or listen to the full length stream (Rhapsody and others offer this service)...this still makes the artist money by the way).

Yeah these points were dumbed down a bit. Partially because there is nearly 10 years of stuff floating in my head and I could never get it all out but also because this business is so complex there are things I still don't grasp (actually a lot of things!). Just know that listening and downloading our songs means the world to us and we are SO appreciative. If not for the 3 points above, just because you cared enough about us to go out and do it. After all we are bearing our soul in our music and everyone likes to be accepted!

Thanks again to all of you that make two small town kid's dreams come true on a daily basis! Y'all ROCK!!

Jeremy & Kaci

P.S. - shameless plug. Here are links to NEELY's debut album "Everything I Am". Enjoy!

iTunes - http://ax.itunes.apple.com/us/album/everything-i-am/id335881398

AmazonMP3.com - http://www.amazon.com/Everything-I-Am/dp/B00WWQCGK/ref=sr_shvl_album_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1270484211&sr=301-5

Rhapsody - http://www.rhapsody.com/neely/everything-i-am