Tuesday, July 24, 2012

10 Rules For Giving Away Music For Free

Free Music image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
I just love this list from Matt Parsons, founder and CEO of Ditto Music. It's the 10 rules for giving away your music for free.

The gist of it is that your music costs time and money to produce, so you must be compensated for it, but that compensation doesn't have to be in money. In fact, until you're somewhat of a star, fans won't pay money for it anyway, so you must be paid some other way. How? With social currency (see #3 below).

Check out the list:

1. Keep it simple. Choose just one platform to give away your music and direct fans there. [I'm not sure if I agree with this one.]

2. Do not forsake your current fans. Free music is not just for new fans. Reward your mailing list with free songs. Do NOT post MP3s within the email, since this can eat into people's bandwidth and annoy them. Always make sure that you add a link to the download.

3. Music is not free; fans should pay in "social currency." Ask for a Facebook Like, a Tweet, or preferably an email address in exchange for your music. If you're sending to your mailing list, ask them to retweet the link to their friends. Use a platform like bit.ly so you can track the click throughs.

4. Social currency is reciprocal. Tag fans on Facebook/Twitter when they buy the album or talk about you.

5. Follow up on social. Send out regular emails to your list, post at least once per day on Facebook and Twitter.

6. Don't charge too much in social currency for your music. If you ask for too much information, they'll give up and go somewhere else. Just stick to basic data like name, age, location and how they heard of you.

7. Let people listen before they download. No one will spend the time on music they've not heard before.

8. Have a strategy. Once you decide that you want to exchange your music for social currency instead of money, have a long-term strategy for how you will make money in the future.

9. Manage your copyrights. If you plan to make money from merch purchases, be sure to copyright any logos or graphics that you use so no one else can reproduce them and cut you out of the loop.

10. Don't stop promoting. Just because your music is free doesn't mean that you have to promote it any less. Also, don't stop promoting just because you're songs or album has been available for a while.

Don't forget that when you ask someone to retweet or follow you, make it easy for them by providing  embedded buttons. See this page for ways to do that easily.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this. Totally. Thanks


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