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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    James, 26 Feb 2007 @ 3:06pm

    Wha...?

    You've never heard "Flagpole Sitta"? Dude, look it up.. awesome song. I have a million times more respect for them now.

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

  • identicon
    BillDivX, 26 Feb 2007 @ 3:17pm

    Kudos...

    A brilliant move, tastefully executed.

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

  • identicon
    Dale, 26 Feb 2007 @ 3:18pm

    2005

    The latest is the band Harvey Danger? The CD in question has been available for sale and download since 2005.

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

  • identicon
    exalen, 26 Feb 2007 @ 3:21pm

    Buy The CD On Principle

    I would buy the CD from this band just for the fact that they are trying to with their audience rather than against them. RIAA needs to open its mind.

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

    • identicon
      LittleW0lf, 26 Feb 2007 @ 4:33pm

      Re: Buy The CD On Principle



      I bought this CD from them last year, and bought two more for friends. It is an awesome CD, and the *only* reason I bought it was because I listened to the music beforehand, enjoyed what I heard and felt it was well worth the money they were asking for. The fact that the CD came with several stickets was a bonus. I turned around and bought every CD they had come out with and I am waiting for any music they sell in the future. They won me over as a fan because they sold me on their music by offering me a chance to find out that I liked them without having to buy their CD first.

      Of course, a number of bands have done this, including MC Lars and Govt Mule. I don't particularly like Rap or Hip Hop or Emo, but after listeining to MC Lars I bought his music. Publicity is the only way these bands are going to attract me to buy their music, and the only publicity available to me for the most part is eMusic and through friends (since I cannot stand commercial radio, except for the one independent radio station we have here in San Diego, and I don't tend to look for new music in record stores.)

      It is no wonder that of all the CDs I purchased last year, 99% of them were from independent record labels amd via eMusic or CDBaby or other sites.

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

  • identicon
    hmm, 26 Feb 2007 @ 3:41pm

    This is a new idea?

    I heard people with this idea back in the days of KaZaa. Kudos to them for testing it out, though.

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

  • identicon
    Andy, 26 Feb 2007 @ 3:50pm

    Stuck Mojo

    An Atlanta band (Stuck Mojo) has their newest album available for free download on their site. www.stuckmojo.us

    It's nice to see when a band treats their fans as fans and not criminals, and bypass the record labels completely...as Stuck Mojo is doing. I hope more and more bands follow this path.

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

  • identicon
    Jason, 26 Feb 2007 @ 4:05pm

    from the 2005-wants-it-story-back dept

    So, after a 1-minute review of the site, it appears that did this on September 20th, 2005 (yes, as in a year and a half ago). So, I am not exactly sure why this is news now, but since you guys at Techdirt brought it up, I think it would be more interesting for you to find out what the band's thoughts are now after all this time. Their news states that in Oct '06 they released a single with a few more new songs - no mention of any free downloads. That hints to me that it wasn't as successful as they hoped. Lets dig a little here, and see what comes up, eh?

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

  • icon
    Vincent Clement (profile), 26 Feb 2007 @ 4:44pm

    Writing is on the wall

    I love the last paragraph:

    This is by no means a manifesto. We don’t pretend to be the first band to spin a variation of the shareware distribution model. We love record labels and record stores. We buy lots of CDs and are committed to supporting independent music. We’re not a bunch of fake Marxists. We’re just trying to be smart capitalists so we can sustain our lives as musicians. This is an experiment. We’ll let you know how it goes.

    This is exactly what the RIAA is afraid of: artists taking control of their content, their marketing, and their destiny.

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

  • identicon
    Awesome Mr Ethan, 26 Feb 2007 @ 7:02pm

    I want to see

    Is there a list of bands that are doing offers like this? I'd like to support more.

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

  • identicon
    Buzz, 26 Feb 2007 @ 8:02pm

    smart people FTW

    This is what I'd like to see. Rather than digging through several shady download sites (usually with broken links), it'd be nice for once to just Google a music group and see their download links in a legit site as the first hit.

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

  • identicon
    ryan, 26 Feb 2007 @ 8:05pm

    didn't this happen a few years ago? i mean this exact thing, with this band?

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

  • identicon
    billy, 27 Feb 2007 @ 6:07am

    doesn't matter if it was in the past

    I did not hear about the free download before.
    I am glad to hear about it not that I read more news online.
    Back in 2005 the only thing I mainly did with the internet was play games.
    Now I play games, look tons of stuff up, and read the news.
    Happy to hear this news, old or new.
    Thank you.

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

  • identicon
    rishi, 27 Feb 2007 @ 1:38pm

    The fact that this was done in 2005 enables us to analyze the results of the experiment. From a previous commenter it seems that the experiment has not gone so well. (the next single has not been sold this way).

    There would only be an advantage of this if the CD sales are actually better than if done without a free download.

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

  • identicon
    karan, 5 Jul 2008 @ 5:39am

    download free songs

    [url]http://pbtone.com[/url] .. ♥♦♪♫ Download Free hindi songs , punjabi , ringtones , applications , themes , wallpapers n much more .. ♥♦♪♫ site is still in uploading period but they manage to get the latest albums first on net .. try it .. [url]http://www.pbtone.com/download/[/url]

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

  • identicon
    karan, 5 Jul 2008 @ 5:40am

    download free songs wallpapers and much more

    [url]http://pbtone.com[/url] .. ♥♦♪♫ Download Free hindi songs , punjabi , ringtones , applications , themes , wallpapers n much more .. ♥♦♪♫ site is still in uploading period but they manage to get the latest albums first on net ..

    try it .. [url]http://www.pbtone.com/download/[/url]

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.