Should you guarantee your music?

GuaranteedMany products these days come with a money back guarantee of some sort. Jason Feinberg at the Music Business Blog suggests that maybe artists should consider offering a guarantee when a consumer purchases their music. It’s an interesting idea that I’ve been pondering for a few days now.

Here’s a thought – so many retail products (and often services) offer a money back guarantee. Very few artists have ever tried this with music.

Very few? I don’t know of any artists that have tried this. The idea intrigues me though, because I think it might really encourage people to buy your music online. If someone comes to your website and hasn’t heard you perform live, or at least perform this music live, a guarantee might encourage them to give it a try. If you are a member of a band and have solo projects, the fans may have heard the band play, but does that guarantee they’ll like your solo CD? Just how confident are you?

The obvious objection to the idea is that you may run into a loser or two who will buy the music, copy the CD, or just use the download, and then say they didn’t like it and want their money back. That’s ok, give it back to them. They’re the type that would steal it anyway. Most bluegrass fans actively support the artists they love and offering them a guarantee is only likely to encourage that spirit.

It’s a risk, not doubt about that. As every good business man knows though, the amount of risk you take is directly related to amount of potential upside. Playing it safe, isn’t always the safest thing to do.