i hope you didnt mind me posting the album for free
i would imagine that ideally you'd like people to buy it but at the same time im sure its still gratifying, to a certain extent, to see people wanting others to hear your music. i just try and share some of my favorite albums or artists with my followers


I’m always grateful to folks who spread the word on our music. I didn’t actually see that you had posted our album for free, but I’ve had our album available in-full for streaming on our website for over a year now.

Digital art is hard to monetize. Once it’s possible to make infinite digital copies of something for free, the cat is out of the bag. It’s difficult for me to make an argument as to why someone should pay for our recordings when they can acquire the same recordings for free elsewhere.

Obviously, illegally downloading our work violates our label’s and our own intellectual property rights under the law. But breaking the law doesn’t in and of itself offend me unless it correlates with what I otherwise view to be morally abhorrent.

I’ll put it this way, purchasing a record from an artist is a “vote of confidence”….it shows an artist and its label or other partners that folks are interested in the artist’s work, and that it makes sense to take financial risks to finance additional works by the artist.

Of course, it might not make sense to finance expensive recordings or other works at a moment when a system of monetizing those works hasn’t yet been hammered-out.

I don’t, however, take for granted that it is impossible for artists and their audiences to have a different sort of financial relationship. Something like Kickstarter embodies a concept that I’ve long contemplated: audience-financed art. I think there are many other interesting models to be considered, though.

Patronage is one concept with a long lineage. The singer from OK GO recently wrote a WSJ op-ed that trumpeted the virtues of corporate patronage today. And I’m not totally opposed to the idea of a LEVIS or a State Farm throwing artists cash to make some cool shit in their name. However, I have a general distaste for advertising, and even though corporate patrons might not seek to creatively control the works they fund, their involvement with art always has a stench of suspiciousness to it for me. It’s either a bad business decision for an insurance company to be wasting money making records and music videos or it’s a smart one…and if it’s a smart one that owes to the prospective goodwill among consumers that aligning with art will create. I’m not into lifestyle marketing, though. I don’t like the idea of corporations holistically profiling me and then pitching me a brand universe that is highly abstracted from their actual products.

I’ve heard folks say that quality is hyper-efficient online within the new, organic distribution networks we enjoy, and if that’s the case, then R&D is indeed the best form of marketing. Make some sweet shit, be it music or maple syrup, and people will find out about it if you straightforwardly demonstrate why it rocks.

I’ll make some songs for State Farm, and then wait for them to put it out as a branded “giveaway” on a branded splash page that is basically an ad, but wouldn’t the fans rather just pay me to do my thing independently and send it to them the moment I bounce it out of pro-tools? 


p.s. - It kind of bothers me that with the “free” paradigm gaining acceptance everyone is looking to corporations in general to finance everything. Isn’t it kind of lame that facebook and google, two of the coolest technology companies in the world, are advertising platforms? Not that what they do otherwise isn’t awesome. I think we need to start asking whether it makes any intuitive sense for advertising to sit at the center of unrelated enterprises….social networking, art, search, etc. I’m actually at the point where I’d rather pay for the freedom from ads than enjoy all these products and services for free. Give me $10 / month services with no ads. That’s digital luxury.

  1. theblueprint said: what puts the most money in an artist’s pocket? buying the album, concert tickets, a t-shirt? i’d think artists get a bigger cut the further it’s spent from the record company. could it be better for fans to spend x dollars on merch instead?
  2. dachesterfrench posted this