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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Hey MySpace Artists - Let Us Download
Friday, February 02, 2007

This post is dedicated to all the artists on MySpace out there, and I know there are literally millions of you, and the folks who like to discover and listen to their music. For the past few weeks I had been asking my friend LEE from The Square Egg to post up one of my personal favorite songs of his, “Just One Letter.” I thought it was the perfect MySpace song since it’s all about wanting just one letter from that special someone. He put it up the other day and while I was adding it to my own page I noticed he had also made it available for download. Actually all four of his songs on the site were available for download. I got to talking with LEE and my friend Conscious, who is also an artist, about having songs available for download on MySpace and we all came to the same conclusion, making your songs on MySpace available for download just makes sense. So why aren’t more artists doing it?

OK, we know why a lot of artists aren’t doing it, money. They feel that if they let someone download a song for free it’s potentially taking food out of their own mouths. Well, I don’t think that’s really the case, especially for up and coming artists looking to develop a name for themselves. I can remember back in Napster’s heyday artist friends of mine would go on the site specifically to upload their own songs in hopes that someone would download them. This was one of the ways they were hoping to develop a following. On MySpace bands are setting up pages with their music on them for the exact same reason, to attempt to develop a following. A lot of artists, however, can’t see past a few dollars and cents to realize losing out on a couple bucks now could reap huge rewards in the near future.

Here’s the situation, if an artist has his or her music up and only available for streaming play fans and passers by can take a listen and have a three minute experience with the artist. No matter how great that song may be, if you only hear it once there’s a pretty good chance that thirty minutes later you won’t be able to tell anyone who the artist was. Now, if that same artist had made their song available for download that same listener who dug the song could have put it on their computer, burned it onto a CD, uploaded it onto their iPod, and made it a more constant part of their lives. Driving down the street, working out at the gym, or just relaxing away from the computer; during all those times they could be listening to the artist’s music. These multiple listenings could easily lead to album sales, ticket sales, merchandise sales, and the always important word of mouth free publicity. Everybody likes telling their friends about a new artist first, but very few of those people want to log on to their computers to give their friends that musical experience.

Both LEE and Conscious also noted that if you’re a musician you want people listening to your music. I’d like to add that since MySpace only allows four songs to be on any one person’s site at a time it’s not like you’re giving away your entire catalogue. In fact, you could just make one song available for download, but make sure you have at least one, because if your music isn’t a constant in a person’s life it will be forgotten. Music sales and lifelong fans don’t come from streaming music, they come from people being able to play the tune whenever and wherever they want. Let them download a song or two and watch your fanbase grow.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:18 AM  
  • At 9:44 AM, Blogger FHHN said…

    The crazy thing is a lot of the people talking about they don't want to allow downloads don't have those songs anywhere for purchase, digitally or in hard copy to begin with.

    Artists that no one has ever heard of need to realize that for one, with music in general no one has to buy it.

    Secondly, you have to prove to people you're worth their money anyway. A lot of kats end up coming off like all they care about is getting money from people. Like they aren't concerned with music and getting it to the people. Making songs is a way to get a quick buck. You don't have to work. Why do that when you can force music on people? Well that's the way is seems when you make everything about money. There's nothing wrong with making money from your talent. It's all in the way you go about doing it.

    You gottah ask your self why you're really doing it to begin with if you're on the come up and you refuse to give away a song or two. Maybe you're just not smart.

    Also, Myspace is a great networking tool but it is not a place to get fans by trynah get other artists to listen to your music. Sure you can develop relationships with other artists and network to share your art. But remember, you're trying to get fans. You need to go to where the fans are. You have to find your fans. Know your market or create a new one, whatever you have to do. Really think about what you're doing and become acclimated with real promotion and business, or find someone that is and stop treading water.

    Don't end up jaded with the music biz because you didn't do what made sense to do in the first place.

  • At 7:48 PM, Blogger Mara Fraser said…

    I agree with both Adam AND Conscious. And let me tell you something, if I hadn't been able to get my hands on a few songs from my favorite MySpace bands, I don't know that they would now be some of my favorite bands. Just listening to a song once doesn't do it for me. I want to hear it over and over. If I have to stream it from your page, you just lost me. Because I don't have time for that. 90% of my listening to music happens in my car...on my iPod. I can't stream your MySpace page while I'm driving to work...

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