#105 - We're Bringing Back Downloads NOW!
#105 - We're Bringing Back Downloads NOW!
When we started delivering HD downloads back in 2008, we thought it was a good idea to have a different name for our downloads store. Mainly, because other labels wanted to sell their music in high resolution audio that we didn't record to DSD. We called the store Downloads NOW! and we sold singles and albums. As a reminder, we were the first people to sell 9624 WAV files and later the first to offer DSD downloads in this fashion - direct to you by download.
Back in 2008, there was no Spotify streaming, CDs were still be made and all the talk was about iTunes where you could download singles to your iPod. Vinyl was just beginning it's resurgence and the iPhone hadn't yet exploded on the scene. It wasn't that long ago, but it feels like a lifetime away.
My intention for Downloads NOW! was to be a Bandcamp for high resolution audio. If Bandcamp handled 9624 or DSD, we would have just used their services for releasing Blue Coast Records - but they didn't. And the demand for more of our live acoustic music we recorded was greater than we could afford to create SACDs. It happened almost immediately after our SACD release of the Blue Coast Collection.
The positive reviews were coming in like wildfire. I was talking to people throughout the world on forums about the album. One day, I was on a French forum using a google translator where they thought I was a man. I thought, "wouldn't it be fun to surprise them?" hahaha.. so I did. I responded to all the lovely comments about the first album and sent a photo. Immediately, the sound of shock was in their writing along with numerous apologies. I thought it was funny and we all got a good laugh.
But one thing was very evident... they wanted MORE music quicker. The release of Art Lande's "While She Sleeps" was months away due to production lags. So I asked Patrick, "Can you build a download site?" He said, "I don't know, but I'll try". Remember, this was also before HDtracks had launched, CDBaby didn't offer download releases except through iTunes.
Within a week, we had a download site. When I announced it to the French forum (who were prodding me to do this) the site almost collapsed because of the download sales for Art Lande's album. Then they wanted MORE! So we created Blue Coast Collection 2. Patrick and I decided to focus on recording new music rather than trying to make CDs which was the 'normal' route at the time.
When we ran out of Blue Coast Records recordings, we asked other small indie labels we had recorded if they wanted us to put up downloads. Eventually, we were approached by labels who we didn't record to release their music. Keeping Downloads NOW! seemed to make sense. We could clearly separate what we were doing with our label and with our download store.
I always loved those dedicated pages. Colorful and unique with LOTS of information, photos and graphics when we had them. But over the years, we noticed most of our customers bought albums not singles. Building these Downloads NOW! pages was tedious. Many other HD stores came into being with managed accounts. Outside labels wanted more association with Blue Coast. So BLUE COAST MUSIC was born.... without singles or dedicated pages we had store that seemed more "normal" to what people wanted.
About a year ago, we decided to turn off Downloads NOW! But we never took it down. Last week somehow, someone bought an album from one of the pages. I'm still not sure how.... it was one of those mystery kick in the pants moments.
At the same time, I was doing a little research on this album of Garett Brennan's called Little Cottonwood. We had recorded it in the mountains of Utah.. live in a cabin.. river moving loudly on the right, thunder storm passing through on track 9. Garett is one of the original Blue Coast Artists. Low and behold, I discovered that this album sold a LOT of singles.
So here you have it.... singles and all....
Little Cottonwood - Back on Downloads NOW!
If we get enough positive response, we'll start opening up the other Downloads NOW! pages.
Maybe it's time to get off the playlist binging of other people's choices and bad internet connections that continue to drop the signal no matter how great you think 5G might be.
Have a great week and enjoy the Holidays!