The following is an excerpt from the LA Times Business section:
The 10-track "Fantasies" has sold 24,000 digital downloads since its release March 31. With direct access to iTunes, as well as sales via the band's website, Metric has already brought in more gross revenue than it did on 2005's "Live It Out," which sold more than 45,000 copies.
According to Mathieu Drouin, the band's co-manager, "without any intermediary, we're making 77 cents on the dollar for every record we sell" on iTunes. Under a label deal, based on Drouin's estimate, Metric would have earned closer to 22 cents.
Metric also took a page from album rollouts employed by much bigger artists such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails. Fans could purchase the album directly from Metric's own site (www.ilovemetric.com), which sold "Fantasies" at five price points, ranging from an $8.99 album download -- with an extra track not available on iTunes -- to a $64.99 "deluxe" package that included autographs, artwork and invitations to exclusive performances.
Metric sold out of an initial allotment of 500 deluxe packages in 48 hours, said Drouin, who estimated a profit of $13 to $15 per unit. "We can never offer a fan that much value at that price if we had to go through a record company, distributor and a retailer."
Without the upfront marketing dollars of a label, Metric took additional chances. The band made "Fantasies" available for streaming a month before its release, allowing fans to embed the entire album on their own websites.
"The band was unsure about it," Drouin said. "They didn't want to minimize the impact of the record. But my belief is that without the marketing dollars of the label, we could not engineer a huge impact. We had to give it more time for the world to have a chance to hear the music and get excited about it."