Today, Trent provided the following update about Saul Williams' latest, The Rise and Inevitable Liberation of Niggy Tardust:
"Saul's previous record was released in 2004 and has sold 33,897 copies.
As of 1/2/08,
154,449 people chose to download Saul's new record.
28,322 of those people chose to pay $5 for it, meaning
18.3% chose to pay."
Given that the entire album was a mere $5, which is about half the price you'd pay for it on itunes and maybe even 1/3 of the price you'd pay for it at Target or Best Buy or other music stores, I find this most depressing.
Artists, especially up-and-coming artists like Saul Williams, need money, folks. That cat with an eyepatch isn't going to pay for his own Meow Mix. I know that not everyone has a lot of expendable cash these days, but $5...that's a single trip to Starbucks for most of us. That's less than 2 gallons of gas. And I think if you can afford the fancy-schmancy ipod to put the music on, you can afford to throw Saul Williams $5 for his work, his livelihood. I understand that some people may have wanted to "try it out first," and perhaps they weren't sure if they were going to like it, and they saw that it could be free, so they thought, what the hell?
Maybe that's just the state of affairs these days, and people simply will not pay for albums. I certainly hope that if those people liked the album (and there's no reason why they shouldn't have), that they intend to support Saul on his upcoming tours. Or buy his merch. Or SOMETHING.
Music shouldn't be expensive, but it's not WORTHLESS. Support your artists, kids.
**The more you know.