Author Topic: Should artists distribute their tracks for free?  (Read 30823 times)

snappingturtle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
    • Listen here:
Re: Should artists distribute their tracks for free?
« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2009, 04:19:52 AM »
  New labels like Savage Yank can be all 'punk' from their position of relative ease, but I wonder if they would be brave enough, and believe in their releases enough to charge for them.  No?  I thought not.

New labels like Savage Yank can be all 'punk' from their position of relative ease, but I wonder if they would be brave enough, and believe in their releases enough to charge for them.  No?  I thought not.

I would never give our music away for free.  In fact, I feel you'd have to be a fool to do so.  (no offense to the people I previously defended)  Which is why, as what's his name stated, some other what's his name could not download my music for free on Myspace and complained about it. So if anybody cares, I will clarify my previous posting in a more detailed way, since really, I was just exercising my brain by defending a position contrary to my own in my first post.
My position is based in my theories of the Circular Art Economy, but I will keep it brief.  The Art Economy should be circular, in that Art as a whole (in this case music) should always provide a pathway for the less fortunate to become the fortunate.  However, for this circular economy to work (as best exemplified in Hip Hop Business Models), each musician that reaches the top must understand it is their social responsibility to step out of the way to make room for the next Artist on the ladder.
This circular economy fails when Artists at the top, cling to the top, usually because of mishandled personal investments or a general lack of belief in their own capacity to move on to something new, like from musician to producer, or producer to enterpreneur.  (See new Van Halen tour and GNR album)  But like a restaurant failing, the blame is absolutely never the employees fault, but a lack of skilled and decisive management, because the entire structure of human society is based on leadership.  If the ladder comes down, the responsibility must be assumed by those who made it wobble.  If a Circular Art Economy is functional, artists would not have reason to object to begin with, securely knowing that they will all reach the same destination, whether music is free or not.  Simply because its what we believe.  On the other hand, if the Circular Art Economy is malfunctioning, the process of toppling the ladder becomes more appealing and those who choose to walk that path cannot be blamed taking it, since they are but the employees.
I believe the key in the current clilmate is learning to navigate the middle road, for example, our "free cd" was not really free but exchanged for labor- 20 emails to friends and only for a limited time.  To make up for  expected low CD sales, we sell companion visual Art to go along with the music.  So as I stated, this has forced a higher level of creativity.  Any environment can only cause evolution in all aspects: those causing the ladder to wobble can begin to get off of the ladder or those on the bottom can begin to push harder since the ladder is broken. 
So to finish: If the top of the ladder continues to wobble, then I feel Artists should distribute their tracks for free and topple every center of music you can imagine.  On the other hand, if the Circular Art Economy begins to function properly, then every Artist would be successful regardless and should simply wait for cues from management as to what they should be doing right now.
As far as my music goes, I already know inside that I'm the best so whether my music is free or not is irrelevant- if music is worth money then start giving me money for it, if music isn't worth money then lets make it official so I can start making dramatic changes in my lifestyle.

bunkdata

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Should artists distribute their tracks for free?
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2009, 02:58:19 PM »
Funny that this topic is still kicking up some dust!  ;D 

Not too much to add that I've haven't said here before, but personally, I think it's still worthwhile to release a combination of free/paid releases.  This allows the listener (especailly new ones) to take a chance on your works by downloading free releases and if they enjoy your works, they are more inclined to make a purchase on other releases.

In the market/ecomony we are in right now there is no right/wrong way to 'make it' as an artist.  Everyone wants to be validated and of course receive income for services provided (in this case physical releases).  The real trick nowdays is to find a creative solution to making that happen.  If you are looking for monetary gains to prove your worth as an artist, you are in the wrong genre, SnappingTurtle...  Personally, I'd rather have 500 people download my release than 20 people pay $10 for a release that I will only see $40 profit on (at $2 a release which is good from an artist perspective).  At least I 'know' people have listened to my music that way!  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to change those 500 downloads into full paying listeners, but I'm not going to hold my breath.  I'm just going to continue releasing a mixture of both free and paid releases and see what happens.

My suggestion would be to increase your promotional efforts and get more people interested in your music in other ways be it free downloads, live shows or something else if you want to seriously consider making a living (or decent profit) on music sales.

Just my 2 cents.

Best,
Nathan
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 03:14:11 PM by bunkdata »

modulator_esp

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
  • the lost tribe of Em
    • View Profile
    • Modulator ESP
Re: Should artists distribute their tracks for free?
« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2009, 04:37:24 PM »
I give most of my stuff away for free because music is something I do for fun.

I just like to share my stuff with my friends and anyone else who is interested.

I do make my stuff available on CDR for people who like a physical copy with artwork and to sell at gigs, but I don't really try to sell lots as that makes it too much  like work.

snappingturtle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
    • Listen here:
Re: Should artists distribute their tracks for free?
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2009, 10:03:49 PM »
Funny that this topic is still kicking up some dust!  ;D 

In the market/ecomony we are in right now there is no right/wrong way to 'make it' as an artist.  Everyone wants to be validated and of course receive income for services provided (in this case physical releases).  The real trick nowdays is to find a creative solution to making that happen. 

My suggestion would be to increase your promotional efforts and get more people interested in your music in other ways be it free downloads, live shows or something else if you want to seriously consider making a living (or decent profit) on music sales.

Just my 2 cents.

Best,
Nathan

Some great ideas Nathan.  I hadn't really considered the forum a place to kick around business ideas before.  But I'm glad I'm getting into it now.

Do you find that you get more interest in your music directly after live shows with a physical audience, or do you find you can generate more interest by increasing your web advertising?


snappingturtle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
    • Listen here:
Re: Should artists distribute their tracks for free?
« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2009, 10:07:06 PM »
I give most of my stuff away for free because music is something I do for fun.

I just like to share my stuff with my friends and anyone else who is interested.

I do make my stuff available on CDR for people who like a physical copy with artwork and to sell at gigs, but I don't really try to sell lots as that makes it too much  like work.

Hey Modulator,

Thanks for the input, it is really sound advice to keep it "fun." 

bunkdata

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Should artists distribute their tracks for free?
« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2009, 08:05:52 AM »
Funny that this topic is still kicking up some dust!  ;D 

In the market/ecomony we are in right now there is no right/wrong way to 'make it' as an artist.  Everyone wants to be validated and of course receive income for services provided (in this case physical releases).  The real trick nowdays is to find a creative solution to making that happen. 

My suggestion would be to increase your promotional efforts and get more people interested in your music in other ways be it free downloads, live shows or something else if you want to seriously consider making a living (or decent profit) on music sales.

Just my 2 cents.

Best,
Nathan

Some great ideas Nathan.  I hadn't really considered the forum a place to kick around business ideas before.  But I'm glad I'm getting into it now.

Do you find that you get more interest in your music directly after live shows with a physical audience, or do you find you can generate more interest by increasing your web advertising?



I don't do a lot of live shows and the ones I do are mostly underground so the expsoure is pretty minimal there.  I spend most of my time focused on the web as it has an international scope and can reach the most people with the least amount of effort. 

I'm in the same boat as Modulator, for me, it's a labor of love and I like to have fun with music first and foremost.  It all depends on how much you are willing to invest and how much you are expecting in return.  Now days, the music industry is a hard business everywhere you go!  That doesn't mean there isn't money to be made, it just means you  might have to work harder for it.  For me, I'm just looking to have some fun making and releasing tunes - be it free or for purchase.  If I make a few dollars, kick ass!  If I don't, who cares! 

So, in the end as an artist, I'm going to continue to make music regardless so I'd rather see my music get released 'somewhere' rather than 'nowhere' simply because I require money before I will make it publically available.  That's where I don't get some artists who won't release a few albums for free....

Best,
Nathan