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A thought occured to me just now and maybe it’s worthy of being shared so here goes…..

These days I very rarely part with cash for music due to being able to legally stream music to listen to.  It’s been like this for a few years now.  Previous to that I’d buy half a dozen CDs every month or two.  So I figure I’ve put about £5k into the record industry over the years - that’s more than I’ve paid for my TV licence since I’ve been paying it.

I’ve also spent tens of thousands of hours producing music in my lifetime, some of which has been recorded and - other people tell me - is actually enjoyable to listen to. 

At gigs I used to offer a swap to other artists on the bill if I enjoyed there music - your CD for mine - and it was always accepted with a big smile and good vibes.

There are loads of people like me - talented, determined, creative, original - making good music and making it available for free on the ‘net.  I figure that this is a fair return for my effort.

These days I’m trying to be content with making music that I want to hear then popping it on the ‘net for free.  I can’t afford to buy music anymore and I can’t sell recorded music easily so I figure that my reward for my efforts is everyone else’s music for free. 

That’s my contribution and I can look forward to keeping the £5k I might have spent on CDs for other things in the coming decade.

If you’re curious then click here for a link to the last project I completed and maybe swap a link to your free music in the comments.

The point of this post is not to get you all to listen to my music - honestly - it’s to see what you think about this idea that if you are a musician then the minimum reward you can expect for putting your music out there is access to lots of free music for you to listen to.  It takes a massive investment in time to record music that is truly engaging and worthy of attention because we’re all massively over-exposed to and saturated by music, but maybe if you look things from this perspective your efforts are rewarded in kind by having easy access to everyone else’s efforts.

Sorry if I’ve not been very articulate - I try, but hope you get the gist of this post anyway.

George is a regular bloke who resides in Gloucester, UK.  His work involves community music projects and strategic music development projects in the South West region and he also does a day a week as learning mentor for young people too.  In the past he’s worked in a London mastering studio, a prison, as a secretary and spent a couple of fun years running his own commercial recording studio and as an unknown producer of unsigned singer songwriters and over 100 local young bands.

Reader Comments (6)

This is one of the points My Space never understood - that other artists would actually want to support other bands and didn't view them as "competition."

I was more than willing to post other bands music on my own My Space "band" site - but it wasn't allowed by My Space themselves - idiots!! Instead, I, and others were forced to use embed codes from YouTube, ReverbNation, OurStage, etc. And, they wonder why no one is there anymore.

My music received more plays due to the widgets installed on other's pages. I never had to send out bulletins (that no one ever read anyway) to ask people to come listen to the new song.

In this day and age, who would buy a CD or download without hearing the music first? That's why what George has suggested is one way of getting others to hear your music - if they like it, they will keep coming back - and that is a good starting point for trying to engage a new fan.

January 6 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Shaw

Sorry, don't buy it.

Perhaps because I buy the music I want. The music I don't want I couldn't care less about.

If you all understood marketing and specifically Search Engine Optimization i think we would see each other as competition..

January 8 | Unregistered CommenterMartinT


fair play - that's the way it used to be for the majority - not anymore though

interesting to think about why we desire to own music - what influences our personal taste - how significant a force is marketing - whether mainstream or diy?

most of my all time favourite music took a bit of patience to appreciate - now I'm a little suspicious of music that is immediately engaging or pleasing - immediate gratification from the listening experience often leads to disappointment on repeated listens

@ Martin

not really - I enjoy finding music without using a search engine
what do you type into a search engine anyway to find the music you want to hear?
what are we supposed to be competing for? peoples' attention?

my point was more about me contributing in kind than paying out money and observing that numbers of people with music consumption preferences like me are growing as legit streaming develops

January 9 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

I noted your point and too have similar trains of thought for business plans within a band that just split, a month before our EP release D; We were releasing our debut EP free across all download types, filesharing sites, torrent, newsgroups, IRC etc

Your forgetting that search engines are not just; Google; Lycos; Yahoo; Bing...

And to answer your question i just went to and clicked on radio and put in the tag 'british'... So i just used a 'Search Engine'. I make my point because how we use these services and view them as not just a front to promote your music is a free skill to take advantage off.

January 10 | Unregistered CommenterMartinT

Without knowing SEO you will lose out on what the world wide web calls 'Organic' listeners/viewers etc. As i searched British, those bands who know how it works and are british can legitimately put british as a tag for their band and thus i find them...

I can give many other examples in regards to how bands/artists can optimize engines of which used for search across many services.

January 10 | Unregistered CommenterMartinT

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