By Athena Butler
When it comes to recorded music, today’s consumers enjoy a free ride and seem to have all the answers. Song sharing is there for the taking and, in any case, the old music sales model is archaic. But if out with the old and in with the new is stylish in music, the same is not true of music recordings.
For the business, it seems, free is good. However, the decline of recorded music sales has been catastrophic since 2001, when piracy became rampant and the single song Apple economy banished the album. Now, hope for the sector requires a giant leap of faith. In the meantime, the tough job of finding new ways to compensate for this loss of profits falls to the record companies. It may appear that artists are gaining more exposure as music changes hands often and easily. But is the moneymaking of old within the reach of the business?
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Entries in How To Make Money From Free Music (5)
By Athena Butler
- Kelland Drumgoole | How Stuff Spreads – Gangnam Style vs. Harlem Shake
I released my most recent album called “Tea for Tyrants” under the following three guidelines: 1) Music is free 2) Music is everywhere and 3) Music needs context. The price tag of free makes it unrealistic to expect strangers will pay to consume my music through standard channels - iTunes, bandcamp, etc. Similarly, the ubiquity of music reduces the likelihood that my music will attract large audiences at live events to generate significant revenue.
I’ve lost count of the number of articles I’ve read that insist bands and artists should give their music away for free. Personally I believe, unless you have the benefit of on-going PR support or are reaching mass audiences through radio airplay, giving away your core product might just be a mistake you’ll never recover from. Here’s why…
Giving away your music might be a prudent strategy for artists like Prince that have successfully established, genuine, alternative income streams (EG tours) to sustain a living. However, for the average DIY, or unsigned musician who barely covers costs when they play live, is it really a smart strategy to remove your most obvious and immediate income stream?
Hakim Callier writes about the art of recording vocals. He talks about different aspects of recording from the perspectives of an audio engineer and a vocalist. The producer or engineer usually wants the vocalist to be comfortable to get the best recording. Read on for more details on the art of recording.
“This is important because in a musical production, the human voice not only tells the story of the song, by communicating the emotions and sentiment through language and other expressions, but it naturally wants to be heard above all else because of its frequency range.” (Read On)
Google Music Shuts Out Independent Artists
Noe Pacheco posts details about Google’s plans for a music service which outlines ways to help major artists, but doesn’t mention independent artists. The proposed plan is for a cloud-based service where consumers keep their music in a locker for $25 a year and can be streamed or downloaded. Google’s music service poses as an iTunes competitor. However, many major online music retailers are still leaving out indie artists that may be worthy of the service.
“Today, “quality” indie music is being made and is available for purchase. It would just be great for the music to be sold on such a large platform.” (Read On)
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(Updated Feb 25, 2014)