By Jason Epstein
Not everyone wants to go to a show and buy a CD that they’ll have to carry around for the rest of the night, so modern technology has swooped in again to provide music download cards. These have quickly become a great new way to sell a physical tangible item that represents a digital download. As a new digital download card purveyor, Zankme works on a subscription basis for artists, offering unlimited functionality for a fixed price as opposed to Card Included’s rate-based service.
Zankme’s self-service take on digital download cards allows artists to add their own special touch for music, videos, PDFs, or printable concert tickets. Bands can choose to hand these out for free, for cash, or in exchange for a fan’s email address.
Zankme’s digital download card service allows musicians to upload music, videos, or photos and print custom download cards right with real-time customization. Fans can redeem these cards, while artists can gather information on their fans including email addresses and location, helping them to pinpoint solid target markets for future tour plans.
“We understand the value of growing a list of interested fans,” says Zankme creator Zank Bennett, who is a musician himself, “and we’ve seen bands and authors add thousands of names to their email lists from giving out these cards.”
Zankme’s self-service website generates codes on PDFs that musicians can use for fliers, mini-cards, business cards, stickers, and more. As fans redeem their cards, Zankme’s dashboard displays information such as demographics and email addresses for improved focus on marketing and event promotions.
Zankme developers are currently working on future features to roll out such as social sharing contests and more robust customization options.
“My vision is to empower all independent musicians to print their own download cards and distribute and sell their own music with just a few clicks,” Bennett says. “Our growing list of bands are connecting with new fans every day and letting me know they really love what we’re doing.”
It sounds like an interesting venture, yet one whose functionality seems to necessitates a degree of user technical skill to accomplish without frustration. Take for example this answer from Zankme’s download card creation tutorial/FAQ:
Question: “You recommend 300dpi art. How do I make my art 300 dpi so it doesn’t look pixelated or blurry?
Answer: Here’s how to do it in Photoshop. Let’s say you’re making a batch of the Mini Cards. It should be similar in other programs:
Open a new file (File > New…)
Set Width = 2.5, Height = 1 and select ‘inches’, not pixels
Set Resolution = 300 and be sure the units are pixels/inch
Create your art
Choose File > Save For Web And Devices…
Export using these (default) settings
Upload to ZANKME and you’re done!
Also, Zankme doesn’t clearly mention what happens to a user’s campaign analytics after the campaign is over.
Zankme can be accessed for a free trial with 10 MB of storage, 50 codes and one campaign lasting one month. Their basic account is $10/month, includes 50MB of storage, unlimited codes, 5 simultaneous campaigns and a max campaign length of 3 months. Their professional account is $20 and includes 100MB of storage, unlimited codes, 50 simultaneous campaigns and a max campaign length of 12 months.
For more information about Zankme, check out their official website.