Why Give Music Away For Free?

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I've had a lot of people ask me recently why The Bleeder Blog and Thorny Bleeder Records would give away music for free. As I approached bands for our Get Thorny free album download, you can imagine what some of the reactions were.

Needless to say there was some strategical thinking that needed to be done for some bands. Although it
was a lot easier to persuade people to take part in a free giveaway in 2008 than what it would have been two years ago. The digital landscape has definitely changed and evolved hasn't it?

There's many different digital strategies out there for artists to explore and the past couple of years have seen many forward thinking artists explore the world of "
Digital Freemiums".

From the groundbreaking Radiohead experiment with their "In Rainbows" album to Nine Inch Nails selling their release at a pick-you-own-price model.

On the other side of the fence you have AC/DC and Kid Rock refusing to even
sell their albums digitally, let alone give them away.

I recently read an article on the
New Music Strategies website that explains the Free Music approach perfectly. So rather than trying to re-word it, here it is directly from them:

1) You’re not giving away music, you’re giving away RECORDINGS of your music;
2) Don’t try to make money from your music, make money BECAUSE of your music;
3) Economics works differently for
bits than it does for atoms.

This is a business
strategy, not a business model. Giving stuff away for free is NOT a business model. You’ll find it very hard to make money if all you do is give things away. But equally it’s very hard to make money UNLESS you give things away.

So...what's your digital strategy?

-posted by Brian Thompson





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