I had an email from a musician today who said he was struggling a little with the idea of giving away mp3s. It’s a really common issue, and so I thought I’d share my response.
1) You’re not giving away music, you’re giving away RECORDINGS of your music;
2) Don’t try to make money from your music, make money BECAUSE of your music;
3) Economics works differently for bits than it does for atoms.
It’s all very well being able to buy music instantly, and take it everywhere with you. But somehow, it feels like we’ve lost something along the way with downloading. Music – at least, recorded music – used to be this thing that you would hold in your hand, treasure, read through the liner notes and yeah – smell.
As a wise man once said: “Don’t front like you’ve never licked a record…”
I even met a prominent music industry professional this week who clearly recalls taking his early record purchases to bed with him, and keeping them under his pillow as he slept. But none of these things are ‘the music’. They’re all the bits around the music. It’s the artefact, the artwork, the accompanying text – and not actually the recording of the tune that was being loved in this way.
And while of course we love the music, when you separate the recording from the artefact, things change.
Blog inertia is a real problem for a lot of people. You start writing and updating on a regular basis, but even though you understand the importance and benefits of the practice for your music business, sooner or later you just kind of run out of stuff to talk about.
But it can actually be a breeze, rather than a dreaded chore – if you just take a few minutes to develop a bit of a strategy for those down times when the inspiration seems to be in short supply, it can be something you can do easily, quickly, and at times when you just don’t feel like it.
There’s a simple solution, and it’s one that I’ve recently implemented myself.
It’s a simple idea: people make wishes – and then… well that’s kind of it, really. People make wishes. You can type your wish in on the site – or twitter it (just follow isowish on twitter, we’ll follow you back, and then “d isowish that I was Jimi Hendrix”) – and then you can take a code away and embed that wish on your blog or other website etc.