I ran across this blog where the writer advocates giving away music.
Here's some highlights from the article "The New Music Industry"
It's no secret that the record industry is in trouble. They have moved from selling music as their main source of income to creating revenue through lawsuits against their customers.... Here are a few concepts every musician today should understand.Maybe the author has a point. Take control of your own music and get it in the hands of as many people as possible and be the main provider of your own content.
1. People will share your music with one another - Don't think of file sharing as stealing. Most people who download music for free don't think of themselves as thieves, they don't think of themselves as pirates, they just want to listen to your music. The whole goal in the music industry is to get as many people as possible to listen to your music. When people share music with one another, they are doing that musician a favor by increasing that bands listener base....
2. Music is not a product anymore, it is Content - When music was tied to the media it was played on, it was a product in the same way a dishwasher or vacuum cleaner is a product. You buy a vacuum because it is a product that cleans your floor. You used to buy a CD because it was a product that makes pleasing sounds.
Now we have separated the content from the product. You no longer need the CD to hear the pleasing sounds. With the music removed from the product, music only exists as content. The dilemma of how to make money off of making music becomes a lot easier to solve when you think of music as content and not as a product. Many different kinds of media have used content to make money. The best example is the television industry, which has used free, quality content to make money for years.
3. Be the provider of your own content - There are hundreds of torrent download sites making a fortune from providing free content. They advertise to the thousands of people who visit their sites. They get thousands of people to visit by providing free content. Content created by other people.
This is money that should be going directly into a musicians pocketbook. Musicians should be less angry that there are people hearing their songs for free and more angry that the web traffic is going to a torrent site instead of their own web site.
The best way to capture those advertising dollars is to directly compete by providing your own content for free. If someone has two options, sift through a sea of unscrupulous torrent sites for your new single, or download it directly from the artist for free, the customer will download the content from your web site every time.
Many musicians and record labels will cringe at the thought of giving away music for free, but it cannot be avoided. The Internet has made sharing the music you love easier than going to the store and purchasing it. The next step for bands is to make downloading their music even easier for the fans so they can control the content they create and make a dollar in the process.
Interesting perspective that flies in the face of the current system.