Musician: Sell Physically Attractive Objects Worthy Of Purchase; Let Free Music Drive Success

from the someone-gets-it dept

Hypebot points us to a great post on the new blog Pirate Verbatim, which posts quotes from various musicians about their thoughts on "piracy." One recent post is from musician Phil Elverum, of the bands Mount Erie and also The Microphones. His response touches on a lot of the themes we cover around here, including how giving away infinite goods for free can help you out by making scarce goods more valuable and desirable. The key part:
It seems pointless to try to stop the practice because it's a reality of the world we live in. People will find a way. It's not a bad thing. In fact, I probably owe like 80% of my success to the fact that people can hear my music for free to see if they like it. My approach to the question of making a living off this "work" has been to make physically attractive objects that seem worthy of purchase.
He also points out that this doesn't mean that everyone who downloads needs to buy something, but that it's their choice:
Of course there will be people who don't care about owning an object, or maybe donít have any money, or maybe who live in Siberia, and so they can just find a way to hear it for free if they want to. I don't think there's an inherent moral duty for the listener to support the singer. In the broad historical perspective music is frivolous non-work and we are lucky to have time to make it at all. Those of us who are temporarily feeding ourselves by this activity are even luckier. The internet changed the world. Old ways need to adapt. There is a new way taking shape that no one knows yet. Trying to impose the old model of lucrative systems of parasitic labels, managers, agents, distributors, etc., on the new reality is a little blind.
It's always nice to see more musicians who seem to understand the key issues, and how to take advantage of them, rather than complain about them.

Filed Under: business models, free, music, phil elverum


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    DH's Love Child (profile), 9 Nov 2010 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Music as frivolous pursuit

    Your assertion was that ALL art was frivolous. I was pointing out that throughout history, art has served utile functions.

    Yes, Twinkle Twinkle AIDED your learning of the alphabet. Made it easier. that's not frivolous. I didn't say it was the ONLY reason you learned you f***ing ABC's, I just said it made it EASIER.

    Hunting calls helped the hunt, yes the hunt went on without it too.

    you realize that a lot of history was preserved through ART right?

    It's also VERY condescending to presume that art is only there for yours or my enjoyment. Again, you apparently need to take a humanities course to even remotely understand what I'm saying.

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)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

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

Close

Email This

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