Band Recognizes Free, Unencumbered Downloads Are Part Of A Publicity Campaign
from the another-one dept
We’ve had plenty of stories recently about how, despite the rhetoric from the RIAA, plenty of actual musicians recognize that giving away their music for free is good for business. The latest is the band Harvey Danger, as submitted by Michael. The band has a nice explanation on its website, which highlights that the band members recognize that free, unencumbered downloads are simply a part of any promotional campaign:
“We’re not streaming, or offering 30-second song samples, or annoying you with digital rights management software; we’re putting up the whole record, for free, forever. Full stop. Please help yourself; if you like it, please share with friends.
Of course, the CD will also be for sale on the site, as well as in fine independent record stores across the country, in a deluxe package that includes a 30-minute bonus disc that serves as a companion piece to the record proper (retail price for the package is $11.99).
We embark on this experiment with both enthusiasm and curiosity — and, ok, maybe a twinge of anxiety. Why are we doing this? The short answer is simply that we want a lot of people to hear the record.
However, it’s important that people understand the free download concept isn’t a frivolous act. It’s a key part of our promotional campaign, along with radio and press promotion, live shows, and videos. It’s a bet that the resources of the Internet can make possible a new way for musicians to find their audience — and forge a meaningful artistic career built on support from cooperative, not adversarial, relationships.
We realize that digital files are the primary means by which a huge segment of the population is exposed to new music; we also believe that plenty of music lovers in the world will buy a record once they’ve heard it — whether via radio or computer.”
There are two interesting points here. First, the band members recognize that giving away music is part of a promotional campaign… but, more importantly, they recognize that it needs to be a promotional campaign for something else. In this case, the band has decided that it should be the actual CD — and to make it worthwhile, it’s including a special bonus CD. The band also clearly recognizes that not everyone who downloads will buy the CD, but that’s not the point. The point is to convince more people to buy the CD than would have otherwise. Of course, for a less well-known band, just doing this is something of a publicity stunt. The real change won’t happen until this becomes a standard operating procedure. Update: As a few people noted, this is an old decision by the band. As we noted in the post, it was submitted by a reader, and we (mistakenly) assumed it was new. Apologies for posting the old news.