More Musicians Realize Free Can Be Profitable

from the understanding-promotional-value dept

Here’s yet another article in a mainstream news source (USA Today) noting that many musicians realize that file sharing has helped them build a fan base who come out to concerts and who feel much more involved with the band. The article includes some quotes from RIAA chief Mitch Bainwol stating the standard line about how the artists can do what they want, but where will that leave the folks at the record labels? Of course, he’s basically taking the position that the recording industry is owed their rightful profit, rather than realizing that business models and markets change – and if his constituents can’t keep up and come up with new business models, they don’t deserve to be in business. The market for horse and buggies dried up when automobiles came about – and no one today would say that we need to artificially prop up the horse and buggy market, like he wants to make sure the recording industry is artificially propped up. If he was really there to help the industry, he’d be telling them that it was time to adjust already and not try to hold back what’s inevitable in the industry. Instead, he tries to claim that the record labels are like VCs – a comparison that has been made many times over the years – but which is wrong. At least VCs have (mostly) learned to adjust to market changes over time. The recording industry execs seem to think that markets never change at all.

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Comments on “More Musicians Realize Free Can Be Profitable”

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tom (profile) says:

free music is profitable

we’ve been offering our music for free since 1998 with various mp3 sites and from our own site since 2002. We currently have about 1000 attempted downloads a month, about 700mbs downloaded a month. Its difficult to say how many full tracks that is. We don’t sell much but who cares? It doesn’t cost much to host the site and it is great having people downloading your music which otherwise they would never hear.
The sooner the music business goes bankrupt the sooner we will be left with musicians who make music because they have to rather than for the money.
Maybe after a few years they will start making enough money to live on.
in the mean time: work less, earn less, spend less, and do more.
And well done to George Michael for saying he’s earned enough and will now give his music away for free.
Apologies, a bit rabid.

pheloxi says:

when artists unite...

when artists unite against record companies, because the record companies are keeping their end of the deal.

40% of copies is illegal (mp3 and counterfeit). I think that record companies lost their eyes of suple and demand: the current prices are too high. so downloading is good alternative.

new releases prices are high, but within 3 months go down. more people wait to buy it cheaper so in mean while downloading is again good alternative, but will buy it when it is cheaper? a few might.

before broadband comes even popular they should lower the prices with at least 30%.

the profits are in concerts so CDs should be showcase for fans and concertgoers to go to concert.

steps off the soapbox.
murmurs when will some one realy listen, because suing fans is like freeing serial killer.

Mark says:

Re: No Subject Given

You are correct until the industry “got to them” and reversed their opinion. I find it totally funny that in the liner notes to one of their cds, James H explains that Lars, the loud mouth of the band, use to come over and make copies of all his albums because he didn’t have the money to buy them.
Another great example, and probably the best one, is the Dead. I’m not a big fan, but you cannot deny the fan base they created by allowing people to tape their shows and then to trade them.

Chris (user link) says:


There’s a man named Justin R. Durban who has been allowing anyone to download most of his music from his website (the stuff copyrighted by him). I personally enjoy his music and advise others to support him as well.

Take a listen:
or, to skip to the music:

He seems to be doing very well. This is just one, real life example of someone providing a free service (aesthetic to boot) for the benefit of others.

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