Last time, we looked at four reasons why fans are file-sharing an artist’s music—that they can change. These are simple solutions that any artist can act on and ensure that their fans aren’t motivated to file-share their music for reasons such as being unaware of alternative and legal options to consume their music or unable to hear the entire album before they buy it. Furthermore, new fans may not trust the artist because they don’t have enough name recognition or the artist has since changed their sound. Lastly, there may simply be too many “hoops” or clicks to jump through before fans can download or buy their album, so they resort of file-sharing it because it’s a proven, effective, and easy to use interface that works every time and is only a few clicks away; it’s also habitual.
These are all causes of file-sharing that artists can acknowledge and take steps toward preventing. In some cases, it’s simple solutions that matter. Educate your fans on the ways they can legally access your music, for free; allow them to stream albums before they buy them; build trust with your current audience and potential fans; and ensure that buying your music from your website or iTunes is the most quick and easiest way to access paying for music. If these general needs aren’t met, it could lead fans to download music that they may not have otherwise. Trouble is, these aren’t the only reasons why fans file-share. Here’s the four reasons fans file-share that artists can’t change: