As a fan, do you appreciate free music?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by regodus, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. regodus

    regodus New Member

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    I was curious what you all thought. Does it seem desperate for a band to give away their music or do you see it as a band that is changing with the times? My band gives our music away for free download, the entire thing. We make our money doing merch sales and garauntees from live shows. Our logic is to get our music into as many ipods as possible in return for better attendance at shows....your opinions as fans or bands please...
     
  2. ZeroS1gnol

    ZeroS1gnol SS.org Regular

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    My band follows your exact logic.

    Times are changing, yes, it's a fact. Nowadays there aren't many hurdles for people to get a new fix in music. Digital age makes it easier for bands to publish, digital distribution and piracy enables consumers to have a huge library of music at their fingertips.

    To sell music, you'll need fans to begin with. If you start out, ask a price, you're only competing with the established bands...and that competition you have lost to begin with. They are there, people like them no matter what. So give away your music, thus lowering the threshold for new potential fans is probably the best thing you can do.

    I do feel like there should be a 'reward' for your music, be it in money. First step getting there is giving away your music.

    As for merchandise and physical music carriers, nowadays more people buy them to show support to a band...so better start sowing by giving away your music.
     
  3. Stealthdjentstic

    Stealthdjentstic Banned

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    You guys should do a pay what you want/free. I usually will do that if I have the option.
     
  4. Zombie13

    Zombie13 Guitartist

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    As a musician, I still don't really grasp the concept of "You don't know me, but I made this song last night, took me 13 hours, now pay me if you want to hear it"

    Music is art, (most) artists who want to showcase their work display their art for free (to begin with) with enough exposure, fans will (hopefully) pay to see your future performance/display in-person and support your art.

    This! an idea I've always liked.
     
  5. MartinMTL

    MartinMTL SS.org Regular

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    I do appreciate free music very much, but I feel that i appreciate it much more if i buy it. There is nothing better than cracking open a new CD, or sliding out a new vinyl and appreciating all of the artwork. That is kind of getting into the digital vs. physical copy debate, but I think that the same concept still applies to an extent.
     
  6. iRaiseTheDead

    iRaiseTheDead Ashes Of Rebirth

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    I'll have to agree with the OP
     
  7. Ill-Gotten James

    Ill-Gotten James SS.org Regular

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    I definitely love free things, music included; however, if there is a band who comes to town and I happen to really enjoy their music, I will buy a copy of their album, or some form of their merch at the show, especially if I have a copy of one their albums that I have obtained for free. Supporting a band, does not just mean listening to their music in my opinion.

    Free music is always a plus though, especially if the band is giving out their music for free.
     
  8. EndOfWill

    EndOfWill SS.org Regular

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    Well, someone who is actually a fan of a band will obviously appreciate free music.
    And it depends on what kind of band.
    If its a band that is exclusively playing it's local scene, than sure it's great.
    If you're just trying to get enough attention to get signed, again, sure it's great.
    If you're trying to make money, it might not work.
    Where you live and how many people live around you are all factors on what the best method is.

    Now, if you're already popular nationally/internationally, then sell your music, fans will buy it. Or give away a couple songs in order to get them interested in your sound and then charge for the rest.
     
  9. Alimination

    Alimination Space Adventurer

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    Granted.. this is big dudes guys like guthrie or tony macalpine..

    but I kind of liked how they did their "sign up for our mailing list and we'll give you a couple of our songs!" kind of thing. I pretty much got their albums after a few listens.

    If you are new to the scene, I highly doubt people would want a whole album from you to begin with. A song or two wouldn't hurt though. The Mailing list idea is a good idea too because now there is another way to get in touch with your fans and link them to your other social media pages.
     
  10. themike

    themike Chug Life

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    My :2c: is fairly simple. My band was signed to a label, but at the end of the day we knew people were going to get it however they wanted so as long as they enjoyed it, I could careless how they were going to get it. The shows got bigger, the comments on facebook got more appreciative and it meant more than a check. I think if you put yourselves out there as approachable to your fans, they will WANT to support you. Like Misha does on here - he has been a huge contributor on here, answers fans, and is just an all around nice guy.

    In return, I would like think that a large majority of us support him as if he was a close friend of ours. It also doesn't hurt to have a day job because coming to that conclusion while hungry doesn't work well :lol:

    Maybe put your music on youtube and hope you get big enough where you can make a little bit from the collective ad revenue?
     
  11. Rev2010

    Rev2010 SS Contributor

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    I for one am 50/50 with this whole thing. For one, I've been a musician for 20+ years and I've seen the whole world of music change in so many ways. Additionally, I'm an IT Technician, and I also write, record, mix, and master all my music - in my electronic industrial project it's just me and my singer (he does all the lyrics and singing).

    I for one am not for "Hey, download my free album!!!!!". Firstly, no matter how you paint it it does denigrate your music. You come across as an at home musician noob that probably doesn't know how to record well and uses all cheapo gear. Even if you used the most pricey gear and have years of experience that is often what people initially think. And if that is what a large amount of people will initially think it also means a large amount of people won't waste any of their time even giving it a shot, and that was the whole point no?

    People also place value on things they buy. I can give a quick simple example here, though some may object to my comparison the fact is it's true. People take better care of shit they buy and value it higher because of their own personal vestment in it, even if it's only a $10 CD. At my job people treat firm laptops that cost $1200 like shit and their own $799 laptops like gold. They value their cell phones and treat them far better than the firm provided blackberry. It's no wonder they always lose/break the firm model but never lose or break their own. I've downloaded free music that was rather good, including some free music released experiementally by some of my favorite artists. Even NIN did it, although I only liked two songs a lot on their album the Slip. I don't hold anywhere near as much value on those as I do as a Type O Negative CD I bought for $8.99 on Amazon.

    In addition to making you look desperate, it also does not get your music out there any more than releasing one free track with a link to buy the album. Or, you can release 2 minute clips of each song with a link to the album purchase. It's better than those bullshit 30 second clips, which do absolutely nothing to sink a buyer. Another option, what I do with my electronic industrial project is put the full album on your website for streaming, but not download. This way people can hear the full thing but would need to buy or capture a shitty lower quality stream to own the full thing.

    One last thing... due to regular life interruptions and delays our next album is taking longer than planned to release. We wanted to do 13 tracks but I talked with my singer and we may release the album as a 10-12 track album and simply offer the additionally intented tracks for free download after it's released. So, in some regards I think if done correctly some free music is definitely wise and beneficial. However, I still don't believe releasing full albums for free is wise nor beneficial and only cheapens your image in the long run. Music cost a SHITLOAD of time and money to create and record. No shame whatsoever thinking it's worth a fucking paltry $10-$15 for someone to spend their money on. Fucking people are complaining about gas prices hitting $4 a gallon and it makes me laugh because these very same people are willing to plop down $8 for a pint of beer here in Manhattan. Why would anyone complain about paying the average price for a CD online that they will enjoy possibly for many years but are fine with spending 5x that for an evening in a bar or restaurant.... or for a video game that will be beaten in 14 hours?

    *EDIT - crap, one thing I forgot to mention as I went off a bit on a tangent. I used to give away my songs for free when they were just instrumental, before I had my singer as I knew I would eventually have vocals over them. This garnered a good amount of attention for my music, especially on the European gothic/industrial boards. I used to also give away free homemade CD's of those tracks in clubs when my wife and I traveled to Europe, which used to be often. Once I got my singer and recorded the vocals and the tracks were full we then sold them. So I am for giving away for free depending on how it's done, I think it needs to be done right not to devalue one's music.


    Rev.
     
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  12. ShadowFactoryX

    ShadowFactoryX OMNIHILITY

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    I make my music for my enjoyment first.
    All other things come after that.

    I work a normal job to pay my bills, and I play or write music, either by myself or with others for my enjoyment, because its a passion, and hobby that I love.

    I've sold less than a handful of albums over the years since I've started messing around with music, and I havent lost any sleep of that at all, thats for sure.
    But its to each individual "musician".

    To me, being under pressure, and having to perform, write, and practice for a paycheck sounds like the most god awful thing ever. I'd rather give up music than be under some scrutiny that would hinder me in any way.
    I write when compelled to, not because someone is holding money to it.
    I've seen too many bands or musicians that I really like fall victim to that, one for example is Arsis, I remember talking to James after a show one time, shortly after United In Regret came out, and he said he was really disappointed in it because he was under too much pressure from the label.

    Where's the fun in that? :shrug:

    Most of my stuff is overlooked and ignored, but if you're one of the few that actually likes it, It's free to you, and I hope you get the same satisfaction out of it that I get when listening to it.

    I try to support any band I enjoy that comes to town or with their merch, I know that gives them some monetary gain back to them, but I think most of them enjoy the support of being a fan most.
     
  13. elrrek

    elrrek SS Contributor

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    Pardon me if I am jumping in before you fully explain yourself with regard to the "future performance/display in-person" thing but I don't understand this stance at all. If an artist produces something for public consumption and feels that they should be compensated for the time, effort, skill and thought put into the produciton of that art why is that wrong?

    As for the OP: if you want to give your music away for free as a marketing device then feel free to do so, I don't see it as a desperate move and there are many other bands doing it. I think as other people have mentioned you should use the "pay-what-you-want" model though as this WILL get you money if people are into your music. I often surf bandcamp in genres I like and just see where I end up and regularly drop anything between $5 and $10 for a digital download.
     
  14. Dan_Vacant

    Dan_Vacant Hi I'm Dan.

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    I like the idea and have taken advantage of it like when Dez from The Safety Fire gave the sections ep for free and Misha's sound click.
     
  15. regodus

    regodus New Member

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    Thanks for all of the insight everyone! We have toured and profited from merch and physical CD sales. We do not plan on continuing to offer our music for free but our debut album is up for grabs. We came up with this rationale after talking to Century Media about a deal. They gave us the idea to get a huge buzz with the younger crowd but I wanted insight from the fans perspective as well. Thanks for your responses please continue to talk about this I think this will aid many smaller bands.
     
  16. linchpin

    linchpin Specter

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    I always wished and wanted free music since well before the internet but then suddenly recently bands have been giving away free downloads of their newest albums... it felt... unsatisfying... like they were giving away a demo of a sort... that's when i realised it just wasn't the same anymore and i wanted that band to release it as a cd so there is this sense of value again.... i don't know... it wasn't a glorious day for me that's for sure.

    I will always buy great music.
     
  17. Rook

    Rook Electrifying

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    I think as a few people have stated here, I love making music, absolutely love it. I also have a job and I don't rely on music for anything other than enjoyment.

    I also am very aware that the internet particularly is saturated with bands of every type, loads of genres, sub genres, sub sub genres, hemi demi semi sub genres and so on, and an awful lot of people are getting off their ass, getting the gear, putting in the time and making their own recordings.

    To that end, the only ways you're ever going to get noticed (if that's what you want) is by making it as easy as possible for people to listen to your music. Or a better phrase, as easy as possible for people to hear your music. Excessive production frills are losing their importance when you're getting music for free and its good music (the other very important point, the most important to me by far - if you can't write, gtfo lol). Its not enough now to write some average tracks, pay out the ass for a video and a producer you think you've heard of and get 'the look'.

    I don't know that I'll ever sell my music as long as I'm doing it for myself. Sithu Aye is a good example of someone I found because they give it away (and he's a nice dude, and British to boot hahaha). If I ever get anywhere with it, get any recognition I'll consider it but I won't be putting my albums on the shelves of HMV for £18.

    I don't particularly want a record deal either (as in its not on my list of goals) but I understand it's incredibly important for getting the gigs so that's cool. I'm sure I don't know enough about it to make a statement like that with conviction.


    tl;dr: My music will be free as long as people aren't looking for it and I'm producing it myself for free (minus the initial investment in my gear haha). It's how you get ahead these days and will do great things for your 'popularity'. I'd consider it if I got somewhere with music but I'd still be reluctant to make it particularly expensive.
     
  18. Asrial

    Asrial Whisper into nose

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    I'm going to sort of join the horde here.

    Music, in general, should be free or cheap. I understand that there is some payments that has to be done, regarding distribution, additional staff and rent gear. Pushing that aside, IMO an album is what shows what the band is all about, and should be of the highest quality the band can muster. It's like a snapshot of the bands endeavors, a keepsake.

    Paying for a physical album includes some extra goodies, for example credits, artists' thanks, lyrics and artwork, where if you just download the album, all you get is the songs, maybe cover artwork.

    I work at a chocolate workshop, where we prepare wares for shipping and to the courses. At those courses, tons of materials are bought and wasted, and people are after that redirected to the webshop. Even after the course is over, they potentially sign up for another one, because the quality of the content was really really high, even though it's more expensive than just buying the materials and then make it at home. It might seem like an odd thing to compare music to chocolate, but now, it isn't.
    People pay for good experiences, but take information for free.
    That's why cinemas are still afloat, because it's a good experience, and miles better than watching the same movie for free 1 year later at home on your 30".

    I have no qualms about paying for indie music, because they can't go out, host concerts and hoard money that way. Same goes for quality musicians that put out cheap albums (IE Dream theater; most of their albums costs 7€). Free music is fine too, my standard is lowered since it's free, but bad music is still bad, and deserves a delete.
    BUT! When a mediocre band in my eyes puts out an album for flippin' 20€+, that's where I draw the line.

    TL;DR:
    Yes, I like free music, but it should still be of a respectable quality, else I'll stop following the artist.
     
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  19. BadBovineNickel

    BadBovineNickel SS.org Regular

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    As a professional musician for many years, this is the kind of statement that really saddens me. Should we not equate physical property and intellectual property? If I work at building a (insert your object here), I have to cover cost of materials, but don't you also pay for the labor time and in some cases the artistry behind it? Just because it's tangible, doesn't mean it's worth more.

    A lot of music is free now because people began STEALING it online years ago. There was no way to compete and therefore, people began going with the flow, offering up stuff just to get it in the hands. There isn't another way now...that's the reality. (Pay want you want seems good IMHO)

    Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to stand up for the record companies that usually kept most of the profit anyway, but I get REALLY uncomfortable when people start seeing art as a "free hobby" that shouldn't be worth as much.

    I also agree that if it doesn't cost anything, people tend to think it isn't worth anything.
     
  20. Asrial

    Asrial Whisper into nose

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    Don't get me wrong, piracy is still a crappy business.
    But when dealing with the pricing of physical and intellectual property, there's a difference.
    The CD comes with artwork (artist/photographer) and needs to be distributed to stores (record labels most of the time); all that costs money, which isn't needed when dealing with online sales, hence why iTunes is cheaper than brick-and-mortar.
    Personally, I love to hold a good CD in it's physical form, just read the lyrics while the music plays, so you know where I stand right now. It's sort of therapeutic. :lol:

    When I say cheap, I refer to american pricing.
    Lets take Soulfly as an example:
    Their albums costs 12$ USD if I was to buy them from their online merch store at roadrunner records.
    If I wanted to pay for the same album right here right now at my local distributer, I'd have to pay around 30$ USD.
    :scratch:
     

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