How One 'No Name' Musician Used Free Music To Build A Following

from the funny-how-that-works dept

We've joked in the past about how people always look for ways to make "exceptions" rather than "rules" out of every example we use to show how adopting business models around the economics we discuss works well. So, if we show a big name band being successful, we're told it only works for big bands. If we show a less well known name doing well, we're told that it only works for no names, but that it could never work for big names. Someone in our comments jokingly referred to this "exceptionalism" as "Masnick's Law." Hell, in a post that once described both big name bands and no names being successful, someone in the comments complained that it might work for big names, and it might work for no names... but it couldn't possibly work for the vast majority of musicians in the middle.

So, the best we can do is continue to show examples of how it works... for musicians of all "sizes" and levels of fame. One of Techdirt's longtime readers, and a well known "social media guru," Adam Singer, sent in a very personal example: himself. It turns out that, on the side, he's been something of a hobbyist musician. After years of trying to sell his music from various sites and getting nowhere, he went free and found an entirely different experience. He chose a Creative Commons license for his music, and it was like "magic." Because people could easily pass around and share his music, suddenly he had a following. Many more people heard his music, even to the point of people creating a profile page for his music on Last.fm, his music showing up on popular music blogs and internet radio programs -- and even people asking to commission him to write new music for them. To say that Adam is a convert would be an understatement.

Filed Under: adam singer, creative commons, masnick's law, music


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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 21 Jan 2009 @ 6:51am

    Re: ok smartguy

    what about a business model that works for a musician that has no musical talent, no knowledge of the internet or business, and no time or willingness to develop music or do any sort of promotion?

    Damn. Looks like you found a flaw in the plan. :)

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