Worth Noting: Amanda Palmer's 'Free' Album Debuted At Number 10 On The Billboard Charts

from the oh,-look-at-that dept

We've written plenty about Amanda Palmer and the various cool things she's done to connect with fans and give them a reason to buy. She's stopped by on occasion to do some guest posting as well. Obviously, a lot of the recent attention has been about her Kickstarter campaign, but there was one tidbit that seemed worth calling attention to. A week and a half ago, when the album was officially released... it debuted in the number 10 spot on the Billboard charts. This is much more impressive than it might sound. You may recall when Dan Bull tried to reach the charts with his free single. It worked in the UK, but in the US, they calculate the charts in a convoluted way that includes radio airplay as well as sales. Getting airplay is very, very difficult if you're not on a major label who pays crazy money to "promoters" in the latest attempt to do payola that doesn't run afoul of the law. So to get on the charts with a totally independent album, with no label at all, is really quite amazing.

And, to do it with an album that is available for free for those who want it is just as amazing. Yes, that's right, free. While there's been plenty of talk about the Kickstarter aspect, there's also the fact that she's offering it as a pure pay what you want model off of her site, where there's even a button to click to get the album for free... and this part where she explains why it's okay to get the album for free (though she wouldn't mind if you paid too...) in which she also encourages people to share it:
If you can't see that, it says:

i firmly believe in music being as free as possible. unlocked. shared and spread.

i believe that in order for artists to survive and create, their audiences need to step up and directly support them. honor system.
no judgment.
if you’re broke – take it. if you love it, come back and kick in later when you have the money.
if you’re rich, think about who you might be karmically covering if you really love this record.

the store below has two versions of the record. one is totally free, and one has a minimum price of $1.00 so that i can cover the cost of covering other artists’ songs.

we are the media.

LOVE, afp
But, you know, it's impossible to make money when people share your stuff, right? Maybe if you actually spend time connecting with fans, you'll discover that they're more than happy to support you, as they're supporting Amanda.

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  1. identicon
    Michael, 1 Oct 2012 @ 4:52pm

    Although it's nice that she's giving her album away, her music does nothing for me. Much like all of the major label media darlings who just want attention, the hype doesn't seem warranted. It's a fad. Congrats on breaking the top 10 and all but, really, what does it matter? Who's she competing with that's any good?

    I prefer to hear an independent artist who does something besides that generic rock sound and rap/hip-hop. Maybe some jazz-pop fusion or something funky like Jamiroquai or Stevie Wonder? How about some good lounge music? If it's gotta be rock-based, why not something like Alice in Chains, classic rock like Steely Dan's early albums (although I sure love their latter stuff like Aja and Gaucho) or even southern rock like Steve Morse/The Dixie Dregs? Yes, I'm old-fashioned. I love melody, harmony, smart arrangements, virtuoso performances, et al. Must all the great songwriting be relegated to decades' past?

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