Giving your music away for free

Whats your thoughts on giving away your precious music for FREE?!

please leave comments!

so the Cosmo remix i dun has gone mental!!!!!
spreadin all over the werld, looking good.

so, im trying a week of giving sicknote tracks away on last.fm and we’ll see what it does for us….
after ive been reading lots of articles on Giving Music away, it seems to make a lot of sense.
I mean, when was the first piece of music Sold?
How? To who?
I mean recorded music is a fairly new concept in itself i think.
and everyone in the music industry is talking SHIT at the moment…
discussing how to MONETIZE, the buzz word MONETIZE,…. FUCk Off.
Its about the art.. and the bottom line is some people will pay, some wont. END OF.

so my plan is, what im gunna try… is offering the entire back catalogue for free…
this i hope will….
Spread sicknote like a fucking virus, and remove all blocks to people listening or sharing our music.
what i will also do is offer a DONATE button on our website, for anyone who wants to chuck a bit of cash our way to help us carry on.
Once we have recorded a track, that is one ‘take’ of a piece of music we created at one point.
How we can expect hen to charge and keep charging for everyone who listens or owns that music is silly, i mean owning a recording – the concept in itself, if you remove the last 100 years programming is ridiculous.
Music is there. it exists. you cant OWN it. it should be given, copied, shared, played and bellowed out!
It’s a tool to bring attention to an artist.

Then where the artist stands to make money is in what they ‘do’.
So a recording is a promo tool, that an artist makes then lets spread, to bring awareness to them.
Then if their art is good, and it touched people, then they will be in demand… this is where they can make money, as people will pay to see them perform, pay to own physical products made by the artist, or even donate money to help the artist carry on in their work.

So, we give it away. We tell everyone, its Free!!!
But, also! the mp3s will be for sale on itunes, for people who are used to that and WANT to pay for our tracks.
And finally we will have box sets, special editions, vinyl and merchandise, Tees, Bowlers, Noses, kilts, 7″s, stickers, badges, books, photo albums, dvds for Sale… for people who want more than a MP3 and they want to own a souvenir of our work.
And then we hope to receive bookings for gigs that will far outweigh any money we may have made on a few downloads to a few people who were lucky enough to stumble across us and part with their cash…

This is removing all blocks to enable the music to go viral,…
If the music is good enough it will spread….
and money wont be in the way to stop it…
and as the followers increase
as does the DEMAND

and isnt business ALL ABOUT supply and demand?

Thanks
Rant Over

SICKNOTE PRESENTs the MPFREE PROJECT!!!
more info to follow….

leading the way in the future of the music industry
Tantrum Records
Safe

Flaaaaaps


19 Comments on “Giving your music away for free”

  1. clive says:

    A very intresting post, and a very valid point but you need to learn to write.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful cncept ! Whether it will work or not is in the lap of the K-Gods. I would ask how long can Sicknote sustain the freebie fest theyve been doing for so long now, and will the punters expect freebies every time all the time ?Music is undoubtedly part of the arts, especially when it comes from the soul as it clearly does with Sicknote, but even artists need to eat.Rev Phil Dread.x

  3. flapsandwich says:

    yes, but cant you see this GIVING AWAY of recordings of music is a technique that will help build a larger stronger following?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I gets you Flappy….I give my work away free all the time…have done for years……but now if I want things done..people ask when….I now have built up a huge network of peeps that I can call favours from..I would ideally love to be paid for it…but thats why I became a youth worker..to pay for the things that I love doing….I think it is a great concept…..and hope it works for you….need any help?Ady HD

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ha..Just realised I am telling myself NOT to give up my day job!!!

  6. Cosmo says:

    This is a timely piece of writing. It’s from the soul and well communicated, despite whatever Clive may say….!I write, record, play and release my own material and I can totally get with the passion to get it out there no matter what. Giving music away is a reality and we should embrace it. It certainly is a way of overriding the money people who have nothing on their minds but profit, and getting into people’s hearts. Which is, after all, the point.A few things to consider. David Rovics is a protest singer from the US. He believes music is commons and has been very vocal about giving away his own for free. He has his albums available to buy on iTunes and on hard copy. But the songs are also on the site Soundclick. For free. All of them. He says that for every 100 000 people who download his stuff for nothing, 10 000 pay. Interesting ratios! He too has a donation service. Check out http://www.davidrovics.com and http://negatyve.gnn.tv/blogs/5467/An_Interview_with_David_Rovics.Rovics’ work is intimately bound up with his politics, and his audience appreciates him for his stance on this and many other issues. Many of them will pay for his material as a result, despite the fact it’s also available for free. For other artists and audiences who are not overtly political, however, it may be worth noting this. Back in the days of free parties, if a sound system put on a rave and passed the bucket round there may or may not be just about enough to cover costs. If the party crew insisted on a minimal set door charge, however, costs would most likely be covered. In other words, if you are giving something away for free, people are not necessarily going to put their hands in their pockets to support it unless they’re encouraged to. Which means artists who don’t charge for their music may have to think about other ways to survive financially because they’re cutting off a major potential income source. In conclusion, I’d say that whichever road artists and audiences decide to take in this regard, there are no set rules. And that’s the great thing about it, I don’t think we should box ourselves into a corner. We can feel our way around, try out different things, see what works and what doesn’t..and ultimately what feels right for all concerned. But mainly for the music.

  7. wezg says:

    Music is a community experience. It began with the tribal beat of shamans and gathered people together, long before the invention of cash. Music is power. For a band on the up who are trying to break through I think that there is no alternative but to give music away for free, especially in this digital age. Sure, where you lay out on hard copy production, sell your material, and for a profit, but what is a digital file? It can be mass produced and replicated at the touch of a button and there are no associated distribution or production costs…Radiohead are a clear example of bands who have even made it big using the viral effect and to good purpose. The album they initially released for free made more money than their other albums once they started selling it due to all the hype they initially generated. Sure, they can afford to do that and maybe there comes a point when bands decide that they are going to earn a crust from their music and NEED to make money from it. But by spreading virally you are investing in your long term future. The people who traditionally make money from the music are only the record companies and the suits who produce and distribute the band’s material. look at that Simon Cowell. He cannot sing or anything but makes an absolute fortune from music. This, I feel is unfair and breaks the community music spirit which is where the roots of what music is all about lie. It’s a difficult one. I’d recommend setting up an excellent merchandise campaign and making your money there, then at least you stand to benefit from the virus… PS. I hope there’s a cure!

  8. Ady HD says:

    Think out side the box!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    loves it Mr Flap music has no boundries, its time to remove the ones in place!!! talking about breaking boundries, would the rave scene of be as popular if it wasnt free to begin with, and how many of us went on to buy decks, pa equipment, transport to put on our own free party? generating a huge party scene in the uk via lots of networking and word of mouth. i spent many a good year parting around the country :D. how many diffrent people from diffrent back grounds looked forward to bouncing around to some free music every weekend for years? i knows i was one of them :D. and we scared the shit out of the goverment in the process lmao 😀 well keep it up MR Flapsandwich…and clive i knows i cant write so fek u lol 😀A Angryman

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think IT IS a great idea….and can widen the audience. Question is how do the wider audience get to hear that they can download for free in the first place? Does having no monetary value on something devalue it? At what point do you stop – this can’t be sustained forever….you gota eat son….I agree with Rev…about people expecting freebies all the time, you might tap into people who just like free and are not neccessarily going to continue their support when charged. So is that support really? Or just people willing to accept free stuff? All these questions I have…..I know what you’re saying about gigs etc…but you have to travel to those…which costs….Don’t know if this could work for everyone – some artists are JUST recording artists…and should bloody stay that way with no stage presence etc!Hmmmmm…..dunno…..yes to widening exposure….but saturation of a market can have the opposite effect – reducing demand…….hmmm……..dunno Kath x

  11. flapsandwich says:

    interesting points Kath, i understand what you are saying….Here are my views on your posed questions:Kath: Question is how do the wider audience get to hear that they can download for free in the first place?Flaps: There is more chance of people hearing it or being told about it if the track exists in more places and is on more peoples ipods… Word of Mouth. And then the mega fans will be telling everyone about the free tracks hence the wider audience gets to hear about it.Kath: Does having no monetary value on something devalue it?Flaps: i understand what you are saying, but these are MP3s, how can they be valued… if a film in a cinema was £20 to go and see would you watch it because you think it might be good? If a film in a cinema was free, would you go and watch it? probably. Rubbish example, but you know what i mean. it’s a way of bringing attention to something… and then if you want o town the Deluxe edition Vinyl or DVD then that is where the value exists.Kath: At what point do you stop?Flaps: NeverKath: You might tap into people who just like free and are not neccessarily going to continue their support when charged.Flaps: There will always be something you can charge for and there will always be the hardcore that will pay for it. Of that i am sure! I will run this test and the results will appear on this blog as we go along!Kath: .I know what you’re saying about gigs etc…but you have to travel to those…which costs….Flaps: But i mean getting really good fees so the bande can sustain itself and cover travel costs.Kath: Don’t know if this could work for everyone – some artists are JUST recording artists…and should bloody stay that way with no stage presence etc!Flaps: Agreed. Then these artists would probably benefit from giving half their catalogue for free for Promo, then getting some super quality Vinyl and Cd boxsets for sale.Kath: Hmmmmm…..dunno…..yes to widening exposure….but saturation of a market can have the opposite effect – reducing demand.Flaps: Yes! But it’s hardly saturating the market. offering free music to people that want it. Saturating is what NME does when it features a unheard of band on the Cover twice in 6 weeks, shuvs them down your throat every week, puts them on their nme tour and radio1 playlist and nme tv and mtv2 and nme.com and shuv shuv shuv… SATURATED. Offering free music is a way of an unheard of band to have a chance of their music spreading exponentially amongst people who request it, and the word spreading fast to new people that their fans talk to.fuck me, i’ve never written so much!!!!

  12. John Atkins says:

    nice article bryn! Fairplay to ya – it’s like the ole rave scene – back in the day, tapes of various DJ’ mixes went around for free, for anyone and everybody to copy – on hi dubbing recording;-) and it got me into it and it made the scene MASSIVE! Everyone wanted a copy and wanted to know when and where they are playing next. Spread the word and the gospel – then down the line u buy their tunes and find out more on the various DJ’s/ Artists and buy their stuff. It can only help the band, DJ, artist get bigger and gain more exposure in the broader sense of things.John Atkins – safe 😉

  13. Anonymous says:

    I agree to an extent man. Im giving away My Omega66 next E.P. for free very soon…..Its teh best way at this level cos more people will get it. To be honest , In theory I dont 100% agree with it cos I think music should be payed for in the long run, however Its just not the way it is these days….we have to deal with it and adapt….The fact is people dont value music like they used to…and its sad…gone are the days where you cherish a vinyl or cd and pay £20 for an album…in terms of Cash…..Its just how it is, even with gigsYou just, like any art, have to do it cos you love it and then if people cotton on to it then you can maybe make a living one day…..However it doesnt mean im taking it in the ass anymore with live gigs, pay to play FUCK OFF and playing live for FREE all the time, FUCK OFF Overall, GIVE YOU MP3’S AWAYGO FOR ITDO ITWELL AT LEAST UNTIL THEY SORT A BETTR WAY OF PEOPLE GETTING MUSIC OUTkrik…..http://www.myspace.com/omega66

  14. Anonymous says:

    I agree mr a angryman – the rave scene was started as a free party – it was something new and look at how money was generated from that. And the soundsystem people always covered their costs by what they were selling – free party merchandise…. Some also progressed by getting council paid work, hiring systems to festival people, doing club nights – all starting off the backbone of “FREE PARTIES” and their reputationNow we are entering another new phase with the explosion of freely availble internet – There are programs out there that’ll change youtube songs into itune files instantly stored on your comp…You are defo on to something here mr flaps – Spread the joy and infect the minds of the world……. FOR FREE…..nice1 and v.interesting blogFreepartylover

  15. Kaptin says:

    I agree with somebody on here that at the start these days you have to give stuff away. gone are the days of being over protective of your material, it’s a wide world out there. If artists are serious about their music I feel they should want the world to hear what they have to say so the more people it gets to the better. in some way this is better done through ‘the industry’. This costs alot of time and alot of money and therefore eventually somebody has to stump up the bill, I’m happy to put my hand in my pocket for some artists as a listener if this is the route they feel they must take to get heard. we need to think of it less as buying or selling a product and more as an a exchange system. this helps to keep the soul in the ‘industry’. Saying that I’m grateful for all the artisst who do give away music through my blog and if they didn’t I might never have discovered such amazing music. And if you’re complaining that you can’t afford your tenth car because a few people are downloading your stuff you need to check yourself… although I’m kinda certain that’s none of you fellas just yet.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Good ethos, hope it works for you 🙂

  17. Hey Jason http://www.reverbnation.com/michaelthedoncusatoI,v always given my stuff away free cos I love music ,I am Music ,and its synonymous with life itself , you dont have to pay to breath ,it costs nothing to die or be born , so who the fuck chose to be selling it and manufactureing it like some shit off the shelves oF Lidl , its free and now technology has really set it free …gotta eat but growin food is free when you have some land which is everybodies land anyway , water comes out of the sky , its all free really , the money is an illusion

  18. flapsandwich says:

    ok, so in keeping with my rant…go see all the free music from tantrum records here:http://www.last.fm/label/Tantrum+Records

  19. Anonymous says:

    this is pure and unmitigated garbage. your economic justifications for this approach don’t scale up at all. fine if you’re getting £100 for a gig versus a few mp3 download sales. good luck to you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s