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Blog: Exiting Amazon

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Last week I received an email from the lovely people at Proper Music Distribution, to say that they're ending the "Proper Access" scheme which we've been a part of, which means that pretty soon our CDs will be no longer be listed on Amazon.

The idea of "Proper Access" was to allow smaller independent acts like us the chance to get our Physical Product listed and sold on Amazon (and other websites, but mostly Amazon) without having to get into big complicated deals. Proper would keep a small stock of CDs in their warehouse and sell via online stores and shops if anybody ordered them, but they wouldn't actively try to get shops to stock it. This was GRATE for us - over the years I've been involved with various distribution companies who basically did this anyway but claimed they were ringing round record shops asking them to stock us and then charging us for the privilege, even when nothing was sold, so I was VERY happy to enter an agreement that was a) HONEST about what would happed and b) MUCH cheaper. Also it meant our CDs were on Amazon, so if anybody was too SHY to buy them direct from us they always had another option!

To start with we did quite well, but it tailed RIGHT off in later years so, at time of writing, only approx 4% of our overall sales came from that direction (for comparison 22% were from sales at gigs and a whopping 53% were direct via this very website, with the rest in various forms of online sales and, DELIGHTFULLY, a single percentage point's worth of POSTAL SALES from back in the 1800s when people used to send CHEQUES). It's amazing to see how much this sort of thing has changed since I set off on The Road Of ROCK - when I first started, shop distribution was CRUCIAL as, apart from the aforementioned postal orders (which tended to come in via fanzines or, occasionally, the very early interweb) and GIGS that was the only way to get your stuff out to people. To be honest I always disliked shop distribution, not least because we were never cool enough for lots of stores to take our records and, even when they did, it always seemed to end up costing us more to send them to the distributors and, inevitably, to get them sent back some months later, than we ever made from Actual Sales!

It also always seemed WEIRD that it was so HAPHAZARD - a random smattering of shops around the country would each have a single copy of one of our CDs in the vague hope that somebody who wanted a copy would just so happen to wander in and manage to find it. I MUCH prefer sales online, even though selling stuff on Amazon meant I had to shell out for BARCODES for everything. It never made us much CA$H but still, it was nice to know it was available.

Nowadays, as far as I understand it, Physical Product is on the way out and everybody is buying DOWNLOADS instead, which is fine by me as downloads are PEASY to do. For historical reasons some of our DIGITAL CONTENT is distributed through CD Baby with the newer stuff through emubands, both of whom are very simple, straightforward, and ACE. You just need to click a few buttons, pay a small fee, and within a couple of days your music is available ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE. It's like MAGIC!

For all these reasons I'm not too upset about our leaving of Amazon, though I remain very GRATEFUL to Proper for having us for so long. I'm just hoping that they DUST our box of CDs before they take it off the shelf and post it back!

posted 7/6/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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I believe that digital music takes up less storage space in the spare bedroom too.
posted 7/6/2017 by Gareth

posted 7/6/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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