Let's face it, musicians don't like the idea of giving Music away for FREE.
Just because it's a trend doesn't mean we have to like it, but of course we have to adopt and find new ways for revenue streams.
So what's the big deal about getting your music for FREE anyway?
Just think about this for a moment; unless you were born rich, you probably have a job to earn a living. You get paid for your services (like you should). Either you have a boss or you are your own boss. What if people used your services without paying you? Hmmmm....have fun paying your bills with love and appreciation!
Making music is a Business. It takes time, money and dedication to make a song, to write and produce an album. Just like any business, there are a lot of costs involved, from recording equipment, instruments, a home studio, producer, someone who'll mix the songs, mastering to duplication; and it doesn't stop there. Without promotion the best music in the world can and often will go unnoticed.
An indie record can easily cost anywhere btw $10,000 and $35,000.[A major label spends easily $50,000 and up; and those costs don't include Marketing, PR, Radio Promotion, Touring for either)
Is paying $0.99 for a song from an artist you love and believe in really break your bank? Or even $10-$15 bucks for a full length album?
An unsigned band goes on tour; guess what? It costs money to tour; getting a reliable vehicle, trailer, gas, food, personal bills like rent and phone bills, making merchandise to sell merchandise. Indie bands often play a lot of "big rock shows" in very small clubs with a crowd between 5-20 people. Now that doesn't cover much of the costs.
While bands have to find a way to make it happen, (and there are a lot of ways to make things happen)a huge part of a bands success is the fanbase. The fans are the ones who can really help make it happen.
Imagine you would've been The One who actually helped break "Linkin Park", "MGMT" or "The Muse"? That's a pretty huge accomplishment that could lead to a lot of great opportunities for you, personally and professionally.
Music lovers often think they are "just" music lovers when in reality, they are A&R people, they are PR people, they are radio people, they are VIP's! ;)
So why not turn your passion (listening to great music, finding new great bands, going to shows) into a part time or even full time profession or just a cool hobby?
While you enjoy the FREE music why not "give back" just a little to help your favorite unsigned artists to "Stay in Business"!
Here are a few things you can do to help! It's a win/win situation!
1. Represent!Be the A&R guy/girl!
Spread the word! Become a PR machine! Promote a list of songs, albums and merch with available tools like a widget from Ilike or Reverbnation on your social networking sites or message boards. Create your own banners.
2. Make your own Rules and Be a Trend Setter!
Start your own online radioshow! Star a player in Ilike, Facebook, Myspace, LastFM, Reverbnation. Make a playlist of your favorite songs and artists and provide links to their pages and music. Get your listeners involed, have them vote, request songs and suggest new artists! You'll promote awesome music and discover new music, creating a cool network of like-minded people.
3. Start your own Music Magazine Online!
Write about what you'd love to read about, get other writers involved! How fun! You can even generate income by putting google ads on your blog or website.
4. Be a Street Team Captain/Leader.
Create a fanpage on facebook or myspace, promote the bands pages and music, help promote shows, encourage others to spread the word.
5. Make a "Scene"
Create your own scene by putting on a show in your local area. Book 3 or 4 bands, get sponsors involved, get your friends involved. Get your local radio station and magazines involved. Charge an Admission fee to be able to pay the bands some money. Make a deal with the club, venue, bar. (What you're really doing is booking your own personal show, how cool is that?)
Get all the music for FREE and donate a little cash gift to your favorite band. Start your own donation campaign or encourage your band to put a donation button on their page so you can help them get some support for the tour and/or recordings.
7. Join the family
Be in contact with the band, I bet you'll be on their guest list for every single show, probably get free merchandise, get invited to all the cool parties and events they attend, you'll be part of the family, now imagine your band "breaks"? Guess what? You'll get to meet all the big shots, big bands, the "untouchables", you'll be backstage at the huge festivals, arena concerts. It happens all the time.
Not only will you be surrounded by what you love and are passionate about, who knows, maybe you'll end up being the next big Manager, A&R, Label or Radio Promoter. Either way, you'll have a great time and enjoy life!
While music is available for free, we don't want to see the quality of music go down, we don't want to hear less from our favorite bands because they don't have the budget to make another record or are too busy at their day job, we don't want to see bands stay home because they can't afford to tour.
I'm not stating nor do I believe in "starving artists" mentality, I believe that by bringing fans and music together, we can make waves, create our own scene and make things happen!
Support what you are passionate about and help make a difference. Now; that makes giving music away for FREE quite fun and a complete win/win situation for everyone involved.
Don't you think?