Music Marketing Model

Twenty, hell, FIVE years ago, musicians tended to keep their music hidden until it was on a CD and had a pricetag attached to it. See – don’t wanna give away the cow if you can make money from the milk – or something.

And then the internet allowed you to post links to tracks. And some musicians I know would post 30-second samplers (like iTUNES does) so you could get a taste and then click the BUY button.

But those days are gone. You can easily hear an entire album now just by searching on youtube. A (wedding cough cough) DJ friend of mine pointed out that when somebody requests a song that he doesn’t have and can’t find on iTunes, he ALWAYS finds it on YouTube. Think about that for a minute. It’s now easier to find and stream a VIDEO file than it is to purchase the mp3 through the legit channels.

Of course a long-running point made in every “So You Want To Release Your Own Record” book (every one that I’ve read) points out that every major label artist makes their money NOT from record sales but from live performances. Well. Until you hit J-Lo Beiber Gaga levels of popularity, and then, shit, you could put out your own fragrance and make fat ass cash from that.

I think about that. A lot. Because I don’t tour. I play once a month if I’m really humping it. And record sales? I think I’ve made more in online sales through iTunes, Rhapsody, etc, than I ever made in physical sales. I gave away my last physical copy of UNH! about a month ago. I’m proud of that record and the time (and cost) it took to make that, but if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that I don’t have the effort/force/energy to really hump a record into becoming a money-making machine.

So what about giving it away for free? Totally for that. I love my songs and want other people to enjoy them. If somehow that generates money through attendance or online purchases, that’s just great but that’s not why I’m making the music.

I’m certainly not making it because I’m a tortured artist and must create to quiet the voices; it’s something in between those two. I crave attention. That’s it. Sure. Why not.

Here. Have a song. It’ll make it better.