Releasing for free versus for money

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Free (+ email), or Charge $

Free (+email and pay-what-you-want)
2
67%
Charge a flat fee
1
33%
 
Total votes: 3

puddlejumper
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Releasing for free versus for money

Post by puddlejumper » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:10 am

I've been going back on forth with this.

I think we've all heard both sides many times by now. On one end, giving music away for free (and getting an email in return + letting fans pay what they want) arguably cheapens your music. On the other end, charging 1$ for a track isn't meaningful for longterm success and creates a barrier for many potential fans in this new age.

My music is at http://conda.bandcamp.com and I'm figuring out which route works best for me - a small independent nobody. I'm curious what your thoughts are on this.

mr lee
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Re: Releasing for free versus for money

Post by mr lee » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:53 am

if your tunes are worth paying for, people will buy them.

if you give them away for free, no one will care.

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tone-def
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Re: Releasing for free versus for money

Post by tone-def » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:50 am

Both.

oblioblioblio
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Re: Releasing for free versus for money

Post by oblioblioblio » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:19 am

you have to be able to read into every situation and choose what is best for you at any given moment. Being able to get your work into the public domain is valuable both for the music and for your profile as a musician.

I've released a lot of free music and it felt valuable and musically meaningful to do so. I didn't feel like I was comprimising. It put music into the ears of the listener in a way that was true to the intentions of the music.

One thing I see as making your work cheap is releasing things for the sake of getting the exposure or the money... people with hundreds of releases just filling the beatport hard drive.

One important thing that I am beginning to learn is that the price that people are willing to pay for something does not reflect the artistic value of it. In the letters of Vincent Van Gogh there is a part where his brother is complaining about all the junk taking up space in his shed. Now that people are willing to pay millions for these pieces it doesn't change what is on the canvas.

Whatever price you choose is best for you is not the thing that cheapens your work, which will always speak for itself.

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John Clees
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Re: Releasing for free versus for money

Post by John Clees » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:07 am

puddlejumper wrote: I think we've all heard both sides many times by now. On one end, giving music away for free (and getting an email in return + letting fans pay what they want) arguably cheapens your music.
I would as you say "argue" that completely. I would say the exact opposite. in my opinion, charging money for your music cheapens it. in a general sense of an approach. you sacrifice artist vision vs. a paycheck. unless your in the zip/ricardo/ect stage of the game which most are not of course.. doing music for money is always different than doing things for yourself : always and forever.

great topic : something I may switch over to charging very soon. I think from a business perspective, the $20 or $50 you may get a year, for the first few years in mp3 sales doesn't equal the amount of money you'd spend if you attempted to market your brand and music to get out to those people. meaning to me its best to chalk up loss of "potential" initial mp3's sales and getting into the hands of 1000's vs. the very small amount of money you may make on mp3 sales and get your name/sound heard prior attempting to charge.

so as stated do both, get heard, have fun, dont do it for the money..

if you thinking like this now, how will your sound develop :?:

will your music only be based on making money :?:

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John Clees
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Re: Releasing for free versus for money

Post by John Clees » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:15 am

I couldn't vote : I couldn't choose either one. -track price could vary. also : I think FORCING someone to give you an email address is gimmicky. 1990 outdated sales approach. If you have an audience : a fan is someone that chooses to listen to you, not forced because you sent them an email. they WILL come back, follow you, go to your shows, and buy you releases. In my opinion, FORCING them to give an email cheapens giving them the gift of music for free. from you the source directly. you can be the distribution to your own music, and watch your audience grow. that is valuable/priceless information.

it (appears) as if... you may be more concerned with profit and gain ...even before having fun or just being heard.

:shock:

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Re: Releasing for free versus for money

Post by Barfunkel » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:31 am

I wouldn't bother charging money if you're a small independent nobody. You won't make any real money (or even nice extra income) anyway, so why bother? Just give your music for free until you have a large following, then labels start (hopefully) knocking on your door and people start throwing money at you.

At least to me, the comments (or actually the lack of them) on Soundcloud is much more valuable to me than making 20€ (made up sum) a year.

Then again, if you already have a professional sounding product (no idea, didn't listen to your music yet) maybe charging right away could work. You need to be really good though.

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