Sick Of Sarah Manager Talks About BitTorrent Deal

This post is by Don "Wicked D" Harrison of the blog Network or Die.

Sick-of-Sarah-2205You’ve probably heard of Sick of Sarah by now. The Minnesota based, all girl, indie outfit recently made the news by releasing the band’s current album, 2205, through BitTorrent’s Artists Pilot Program. Furthermore, this was done with the full support of their label, Adamant Records. Read the blog post Sick of Sarah – First Label Backed Band Release To Be Marketed To Fans via BitTorrent.

The album was released directly to the BitTorrent community, and promoted on the BitTorrent.com and uTorrent.com homepages. It was offered to new users during the installation of the BitTorrent Mainline and µTorrent software, as well as offered for free download in the company’s new App Studio.

I had a chance to speak with the band’s general manager, Evan Peters, who honestly stated, “The true impact to the band’s touring base, and LP Sales have not been completely felt yet. I assume we’ll be assessing this in the months to come as the band continues to tour in the US and UK.

When I first contacted Evan, I touched upon the fact that some within the industry have looked at this in a negative manner. Some even claiming that since the album was packaged with the software, no one even listened to the music.

He replied, “Hey Don, my attitude is that whenever you make any news, or a band picks up a little steam, there will be naysayers that come along. Many people have expressed support of this campaign, and have claimed that they discovered the band through BitTorrent, and support the method in which this album was released, both in the US and abroad. Much of the support has been expressed in languages other than English.

He goes on to say, We have been able to track people who discovered the band via BitTorrent through Facebook and Twitter.

Further pointing out that, “We knew that not everyone downloading BT would be hearing the album, but the number is so massive that even a small percentage makes a dent with us.

I totally agree with that statement. A second press release, Sick of Sarah Album Surpasses One Million Downloads via BitTorrent, reported that as of March 15, 2011, the album had registered 1,365,453 completed downloads. Hell, if only 1/2% of those downloads were heard, the group has reached more potential fans than have many indie bands utilizing a massive, PAID, marketing campaign!

When asked about the financials, Evan assured me that, “Specifically, in regards to this promotion with BitTorrent, there were no expenditures involved. Sick of Sarah/Adamant Records does work with the marketing company FILTER, who brought this partnership together, but this BitTorrent partnership was not a campaign that was ‘purchased’.

Evan has agreed to get back with me in a few months for a follow up.

I sincerely hope to hear that the band’s fan base has skyrocketed, and that ticket and merch sales were through the roof! Either way, I applaud him and the members of Sick of Sarah for their pioneering marketing efforts.

To the naysayers:

Please remember there is no single business model that works for every artist.

Don’t criticize a band for innovation, just because they may have stepped outside of what you typically consider your own comfort zone!


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