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Former bandmate's music is free... and no one downloads it.


niceguy

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I had a lot of disagreements with a former bandmate, which is only part of the reason I work alone these days. But one of the disagreements centered on the concept of "free music."

 

I worked my ass off when it came to producing, engineering, and recording our demos; in contrast, he'd play drums and leave it at that.

 

And so, he would insist that we give our music away for free. I saw it differently. See, we all hear so much about "people just steal music; they don't buy it." And that may be true, but I believe that the ONLY reason that independent/DIY bands don't make sales is if their music sucks.

 

(Disclaimer: I'm writing this thread to encourage everyone to sell their music and not give it away for free! I'm NOT saying that everyone sucks).

 

So, my ex-bandmate formed a new band, they recorded an EP, and it's available for free download. No signup, no donations, nothing---just hit the download link. As it happens, they're using Soundcloud, where anyone can see their downloads.

 

After months of having their music out for free, they have a grand total of 2 downloads---and I'm 100% sure those downloads are from their friends or wives. And yes, their music is atrocious. It's almost comically bad, but they're being serious, so it's just sad.

 

My point is that I really do think those of us in the DIY/independent crowd should not have our music for free download. If it's {censored}ty music, then it'll never catch on, whether it's free or $1000. If it's good, then you stand to make some money and have value attached to your work, so please don't just give it away!

 

No one scoffs at Steve Jobs and says "What an idiot. He should give the iPad away for free. It's great marketing! It's great EXPOSURE!" It galls me to see musicians themselves try to devalue their own work in such a fashion.

 

:p

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I personally don't download anything (except occasionally to learn certain songs) , especially free stuff. If I like an unknown band, chances are they are selling CD's. If I REALLY like them, I'll buy one. If an unknown band hands me something and says, "it's free," but I've never heard of the band, or wasn't that interested in their show, it gets deposited into my pile of unknown bands stuff, which I never listen to. :idk: Just saying...

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I personally don't download anything (except occasionally to learn certain songs) , especially free stuff. If I like an unknown band, chances are they are selling CD's. If I REALLY like them, I'll buy one. If an unknown band hands me something and says, "it's free," but I've never heard of the band, or wasn't that interested in their show, it gets deposited into my pile of unknown bands stuff, which I never listen to.
:idk:
Just saying...

 

They shouldn't have been handing them out without gauging your interest. You make the CD available, they take it if they want it, and they can see if it's a quality product or not. For every person who doesn't want a free album there are ten who aren't going to pay for one.

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Woohoo the sales == quality argument again


Clearly Britney Spears is a way better musician than Frank Zappa, he's hardly sold any records in comparison.

 

 

I don't think that is the point...in fact, if you got that from the OP then you should try grade 4 and up all over again.

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I believe that the ONLY reason that independent/DIY bands don't make sales is if their music sucks.

 

 

Clear message is clear. Music quality is the only factor in sales. Unless you're assigning some arbitrary cutoff number of sales after which sales are no longer determined solely by quality?

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Clear message is clear. Music quality is the only factor in sales. Unless you're assigning some arbitrary cutoff number of sales after which sales are no longer determined solely by quality?

 

 

I truly don't understand what you're getting at.

 

My point is that people shouldn't psych themselves out of trying to sell their music. I know many, MANY musicians who have this defeatist attitude of "no one buys music, so I'll just put everything up for free download." When in reality, if people aren't buying the music, then it's likely that the music isn't good.

 

I believe a lot of independent musicians (including on this board) create some great music, and that they should sell it, not give it away.

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Umm - maybe i'm naiive - but if nobody is downloading their music.......nobody knows if they suck or not. Assuming you have to download it to listen to it.

For example....at this point in time - i have no clue what they sound like. For me to find out...i'd have to download their tracks. If i hate it - well - i delete it - but it still adds a "1" onto their tally - if you know what i mean.

 

My perspective would be that most people simply dont know about them and so cant download their tracks. The internet is a big place.....it's tough to "stumble" across something sometimes.

 

I respect your viewpoint....i'm just not sure i agree with your logic. :)

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Umm - maybe i'm naiive - but if nobody is downloading their music.......nobody knows if they suck or not. Assuming you have to download it to listen to it.

For example....at this point in time - i have no clue what they sound like. For me to find out...i'd have to download their tracks. If i hate it - well - i delete it - but it still adds a "1" onto their tally - if you know what i mean.


My perspective would be that most people simply dont know about them and so cant download their tracks. The internet is a big place.....it's tough to "stumble" across something sometimes.


I respect your viewpoint....i'm just not sure i agree with your logic.
:)

 

Whoops, I should mention---their music IS streaming. It's not a case of being unable to hear the music; it's a case of people listening to it and not downloading it, even though it's totally free.

 

Anyway, it's just a minor example :thu:

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Whoops, I should mention---their music IS streaming. It's not a case of being unable to hear the music; it's a case of people listening to it and not downloading it, even though it's totally free.


Anyway, it's just a minor example
:thu:

 

Well - nobody is going to pay for it anyways. So it's a moot point.

But i see your argument.

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Whoops, I should mention---their music IS streaming. It's not a case of being unable to hear the music; it's a case of people listening to it and not downloading it, even though it's totally free.


Anyway, it's just a minor example
:thu:

 

So crappy music is tough to move. I don't see how this creates an argument that selling it would work better. Best I can figure is that this argument is little more than a thinly veiled excuse to gloat about your old bandmate's failings.

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