Free At Last: The examination of FREE music...
This article is presented from the perspective of someone who has released FREE music for some time. I believe that presenting FREE music does not give our fans a chance to be fans. Fans, typically, are willing to support an artist by buying music, merch, and other valuables because they relate to the music that the artist creates. I believe that FREE music is a great promotion/marketing ploy if the artist has intentions of releasing material in the future. I understand that some artists give away music for free to curb piracy and generate a bigger buzz. In order to release music for FREE I believe that artists should rely on these three principles.
1) Present music with a purpose (Are you releasing the project for fun? Are you releasing the project as a stepping stone for an album?).
2) Present FREE music with the ability to capture email addresses. This idea is genius because the collected emails can be added to your mailing list. The purpose of a mailing list is to inform the masses about current and future events. A person's CD sales can increase because of familiarity.
3) Provide a way to gauge the reaction of the music. Presenting FREE music is one thing and getting reactions from the fans is another thing. A poll or a short survey helps the artist gather information about the effectiveness of the project.
I remember when an artist would present free singles or free projects because they wanted to show their gratitude to the fans for supporting the music. Nowadays it appears that FREE music is given away BEFORE an artist builds his or her fans.