Giving Your Music Away For Free

Posted: July 17, 2009 in News, Views
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s a debate a lot of artists have with themselves and sometimes among each other.  After all the time, effort, and money spent in making your album, why would you give it away for free?  Doesn’t it defeat the purpose of being in the music “business” if you’re not making a profit?  The opinions vary, and the answer probably depends on your goals as an artist.

As an independent artist with over 20 self-produced, self-released albums under my belt, I’ve ended up giving a lot of music out for free.  I don’t always want to, but it always seems to happen.  But even when I am not making any immediate money, I am gaining exposure; with the internet, it is global.  And something more important: I make connections with other people.  Giving out your music shows a generosity that enhances the relationship between you and the receiver.  I don’t just have fans, I have people who are down for the cause and quick to help me spread the word when I have a new release out.  I don’t just collaborate with other artists, I make meaningful music with like-minded friends.  If I was never willing to give my music out, I don’t think I would have these kinds of connections.

Besides, there are still ways to make money, even if you give out your entire album for free.  Read this from the Nine Inch Nails forum, advice for indie artists from Trent Reznor himself.  His words on how to give your music more value while giving it away for less are inspiring.  We at Sykophunk Productions are turning a few of his ideas into a new business model experiment for our next release, A Collage of Clairaudience: Part One from Dostah Shialilee.  We’ll keep you posted on how it worked out for us.


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