Culture

by Mike Masnick




Bands Promoting Free MP3s Online

from the good-for-them dept

Sometimes it's good to be reminded that there are still musicians who can see through all the rhetoric and realize that it might be beneficial to them to offer their music online for free. Bands are coming to terms with the fact that free MP3s work as a promotional tool that brings people out to concerts - which is where they make their money anyway. The rest of the article includes typical quotes from the RIAA, including their favorite line: "you can't compete with free." Of course, that's a lie. You absolutely can compete with free - but you have to offer something worthwhile above what people can get for free, and that's what the industry keeps missing. Besides, the issue isn't really about "competing" with free - but using the free reproduction and distribution of the internet to your advantage. That's what the profiled band ("Q and not U") did. If an up-and-coming band can see that, why can't the industry association?

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  • identicon
    LongTimeLurker, 12 Nov 2003 @ 5:05am

    Granddaddy of MP3 Sharing

    The RIAA is nuts, plain and simple. I know my average of buying albums has dropped off since they began the Spanish Inquisition concerning file sharing. Because I want to support some artists without really supporting the RIAA (and Cardinal Fang), I've resorted to old methods of finding music.

    About two and half years ago,I stumbled on a site called "Internet Underground Music Association" or IUMA (www.iuma.com). These are all bands and music artists outside of the corporate loop, and they've been pushing their own material on the Internet for a long time. The business model does work, and a good majority of the bands on the site say they have survived purely through the exposure they get through the Internet.

    It is mainly because of the IUMA and other similar sites that I know the RIAA has their skullcaps screwed on too tight. The business model at IUMA is as follows: Share the files - Generate the buzz - Use word-of-mouth - Watch the sales mount - Survive to make better music - Share the files... and so on. Not real hard to figure out. That is, of course, not true if your are wearing a long red dress, a silly hat, hate your customers, and think litigation is a great marketing tool. The Spanish Inquisition would be proud.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      thecaptain, 12 Nov 2003 @ 6:39am

      Re: Granddaddy of MP3 Sharing

      I concur heartily, I discovered IUMA a few months ago from an online discussion and decided to explore. So far I've found that I like about 2 out of 10 mp3s I download and find the rest are crap (to my ear anyway)...but that's a whole lot higher success rate than anything the RIAA puts out these days (which is sitting right now at ZERO percent).

      There's extremely little avenue for me to explore new music right now, the 4 rock stations around here are ALL owned by the same company, so they play the same damn songs over and over, and forget about buying CDs at random. I've downloaded a quite a few MP3, but usually stuff I have on old audiotapes I don't want to buy CDs for...frankly IUMA is helping me find new stuff to listen to.

      Does anyone know of a site like that but with a feature that I saw somewhere (I don't remember where tho) that compared these bands to existing bands? (ie: If you like Aerosmith you might like *unknown band*) Those were pretty good when I wanted to look up a band with a certain sound without having to wade through tons of faux rappers or nirvana grunge wannabees.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Tatum, 12 Nov 2003 @ 10:38am

        Re: Granddaddy of MP3 Sharing

        "Does anyone know of a site like that but with a feature that I saw somewhere (I don't remember where tho) that compared these bands to existing bands? (ie: If you like Aerosmith you might like *unknown band*)"
        The best site for that kind of discovery is http://www.allmusic.com In fact, a lot of their traffic comes from people who are typing in their favorite bands/albums to find new music.

        There is still the need for new channels of music discovery. One of the features I liked most about Napster was viewing other peoples collections. If you combined the ability to find new music through viewing other people's collections and getting editorial recommendations, I think it would be extremely useful for core music lovers.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2003 @ 7:00am

    No Subject Given

    Only problem with the sound byte they got from the band, is that most groups/singers don't want to tour 100 days out of the year. A 20 city tour is usually a 'big' event these days. Numerous singers/acts are pretty much normal folks with normal families who want time to enjoy their time. Touring is generally for the young and hungry ... and these are the ones who will benefit most by offering the music for free.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 12 Nov 2003 @ 8:48am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Only problem with the sound byte they got from the band, is that most groups/singers don't want to tour 100 days out of the year.

      Yeah, well, I'm sure plenty of people don't want to go into work 240 days of the year either, but they do... because that's how they get paid.

      You generally have to put in some work to get paid.

      Sure, it would be great if I could work 5 days a month, but there aren't many jobs that let you get away with that, so I work much more than that. So, the world is changing now, and if bands want to make money, touring is one possible way. Sitting back and letting the money roll in, is less viable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2003 @ 8:46am

    Who ever heard of these bands?

    These bands are small independants who probably couldn't get distribution through a record company, so distributing via MP3 is easy/cheap.

    It's not non-name bands we need sharing MP3s, it's big names like Britney etc.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Precision Blogger, 12 Nov 2003 @ 12:00pm

    A special kind of music to offer for Free

    Rock Bands might want to consider what the classical pianist Dmitrious Sgouros has done. He has made many performances available FREE online in mp3 format, performances that are usually terrific and very exciting, but were recorded under less than perfect conditions. These performances are worth listening to for their excitement and musicality, but if you like them, you'll want to buy his professional quality recordings.

    - The Precision Blogger
    http://precision-blogging.blogspot.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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