I first heard Trifonic’s music in 2008 through Ourstage, a site which facilities an internet-wide battle of the bands. I had my own music up there at the time (please don’t look for it), and while browsing through the various genres I stumbled on Trifonic’s Parks on Fire. It really caught my ear, so much so that high school me recorded the track from their Myspace onto a cassette via a 3.5mm cable (I ended up buying the track on iTunes).
Some background on the group: Trifonic is a duo made up of the two brothers, Brian and Lawrence Trifon. The indie electronic act is based out of San Francisco, and have had their music featured in TV shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS) and 90210 (CW). Trifonic has been on Topspin since 2008, and in November of 2012 they released their 2nd LP, Ninth Wave. I spoke to Lawrence and he was excited to share the story behind the release. Below are his words:
"For the release of Ninth Wave, we decide to offer the typical assortment of direct-to-fan packages on our website via Topspin: A standard digital download ($6), a physical CD ($11), t-shirts ($20), and hoodies ($50).
Additionally, we wanted to offer a “Producer’s Edition” of the album which, along with the album tracks, included downloads of full audio stems for each track (for creating remixes), video tutorials about how each song was made, and virtual instrument sample kits (for fans to use in their own tracks). We priced the Producer’s Edition at $30 for digital only and $35 including a CD.
The Producer’s Edition bonus content ended up being over 10GB worth of files, which is way too large to offer as one download file. Therefore, we couldn’t just create a standard Topspin Digital Package for the Producer’s Edition. We needed to figure out a way to deliver the Producer’s Edition content in multiple segments.
David Widaman of the Topspin Support Team helped us figure out a great solution for our unique challenge.
First, we found this technical workaround for delivering large download files in segments, which involves splitting your download into separate pieces and configuring the Offer as if it were a pre-order. The only problem with this technique was that we could only split the download into a max of 3 segments. We needed to split our Producer’s Edition content into at least 10 segments to make the download manageable for purchasers.
When we emailed David about our challenge, he had a brilliant, simple solution: Make the 3rd segment a PDF file containing a list of Download Links for the rest of the content! That’s exactly what we did. We delivered the Producer’s Edition offer in the following segments:
- Segment 1: Album tracks
- Segment 2: Virtual instrument kits
- Segment 3: A PDF containing download links for the tutorial videos (split into 2 zip files) and track audio stems (1 zip file for each track)
The extra work we put in to deliver the Producer’s Edition has certainly paid off:
- 35% of Ninth Wave purchases have been for the Producer’s Edition.
- Average revenue per transaction has been just over $17, which is 2-3x greater than we’d expect from just selling standard digital downloads and CDs.
- On a revenue basis, the Producer’s Edition has accounted for over 60% of Ninth Wave sales.
Any way you look at it, the Producer’s Edition has been a great success for Trifonic. The flexibility of Topspin’s platform allowed us to deliver a unique premium offer to our fans that ultimately drove the financial success of our direct-to-fan campaign. I’m not sure how we would have delivered the Producer’s Edition without Topspin - it certainly would have required a lot more time, work, and cost to find an alternative solution.” - @ltrifon